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Heartfelt Holidays

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Planning ahead can make for memorable times with your grandkids.

Posted November 24, 2010

Here are ten tips to help make your holidays with your grandchildren more memorable—and stress-free—for all concerned.

• Offer to celebrate on a different day. It really doesn’t matter if you eat that Thanksgiving turkey on Thanksgiving Day. What is important is that you enjoy the time you are together.

• Create some family rituals and traditions. It can be as simple as holding hands around the dinner table during grace before a meal or greeting your grandchild with a welcome note on his pillow.

• Have your camera and extra batteries ready. Be sure to document the visit so the memories can be saved and treasured.

• Try to plan ahead and set aside at least one thing you can do alone with each grandchild— these one on one times are what will be remembered.

• Lighten the load and pass out the jobs—maybe resurrecting the old job chart you used with your children will work!

• Ask the parents for their advice about giving gifts to your grandchildren.

• It’s always safe to give gifts from the heart such as something you’ve made or an heirloom from the family.

• The most lasting gift you can give your grandchildren is the gift of your time. A trip to the zoo can be more meaningful than a toy that is quickly discarded. Memories of your times together will enrich their lives and keep you in their hearts forever.

• Be receptive to changing some old traditions as you move holiday celebrations to your grandchild’s home.

• Consider organizing a family reunion. With families spread out across the world, it is more important than ever to foster a feeling of roots and heritage.

By Sue Johnson, Julie Carlson, and Elizabeth Bower from Grandloving: Making Memories with Your Grandchildren, 5th edition

Sue Johnson is the founder of Heartstrings Press, and co-author of 5 editions of the award-winning Grandloving: Making Memories with Your Grandchildren. She has become known as a contemporary grandparenting expert, serves as a judge for the prestigious Mom’s Choice Award, and helps families connect. She and Rick, her husband of 49 years, live in Lancaster, Virginia. Her website is GrandLoving.com.


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