Is she young and hip? Doesn’t like to be called Grandma?
Does she love tradition? Is she sentimental?
Is she all about the baby? Is she a spoiler?
Check out these FUN Mother’s Day Gifts for Grandma from the Grandparent Gift Co. to make your Mother’s Day shopping fit her like a great pair of shoes!
Does she cry at the drop of a hat? Does she use words like darlin, honey, and adorable? Does she wear her heart on her sleeve? Then Grandma’s Heart will have her right where you want her. Wrap this gift with a tissue, because she will need it. Available in different frames and cards, choose one that suits her style. You can even get it personalized if she goes by another Grandmaname.
The Young and Restless
Did she have a hard time seeing herself as a Grandma? Did she choose a name other than Grandma? Is she Mimi, Gigi or Glamma? Is she at the gym, working out or traveling? Then our fun line of grandparent plaques will suit her perfectly. Choose from a sign for her beach or lake house or her home. Light-hearted and fun, theseplaques will make her smile.
The Story Teller
Does she often say, “when I was a little girl” or “back in my day”? Does she like heirlooms, old family photos, antiques and nostalgia? Make sure she is writing down her memories and stories in our Grandparent’s Memory Book. She may also love one of our Generations frames designs for her treasured family photos or the Grandma Life Story frame that tells her story in photographs.
At her house, the answer is Yes! We have a sign for that! It can be personalized with her name too. Check out our beautiful candy dish too. Comes with our trademark Orange Slices, but she can fill with her spoilin’ treat of choice.
Ah, the joys of Christmas! The twinkling lights, the perfectly placed stockings, Uncle Bob’s bad jokes, the mistletoe and magic. The holidays are a busy, yet simple time in our lives when we stop to reflect on those who matter most. When there is a new baby in the house, we are even more in touch with the true meaning of Christmas.
Here are 6 ideas to make the meaning and memories last a lifetime.
1. Say CHEESE! If ever there is a time to spend a few extra dollars on Photography and Christmas cards, it is now. Let’s agree on this subject: there is nothing cuter (and I mean nothing) than a baby in a stocking! A close second is baby in a Santa outfit, oh, but baby in Santa’s arms is adorable too, and baby under the mistletoe…you get the drift! Roll out the red Christmas carpet for your little one and announce to the world: It’s “Baby’s First Christmas!” I remember one (or two) doting grandmas who told me I would never forget my children’s first Christmases, and I must say, I have not…and I have the PICTURES to prove it.
2. Trim the tree with Ultrasound Ornamentsfor years to come.An original Grandparent Gift Co. idea, our customers have enjoyed our ultrasound frames and keepsakes for over a decade. Hang the priceless snapshot of your holiday angel on the tree each year and always remember the moment when you saw baby for the very first time. Grandparent Gift Co. Ultrasound Ornaments come in a variety of shapes and sizes and make the perfect gift at the holidays or anytime of year.
3. Deck the Halls! While baby can’t quite make it to the naughty list with dirty diaper and late night cries, it is hard for Santa to know just what to give baby for Christmas. My son was just 3 months old on his first Christmas, so I took the opportunity to give him items he could cherish for many holidays to come. First of all, a stocking. I searched far and wide for the perfect stocking as I knew it would be hung by the chimney with care for decades to come.
In my pursuit for the perfect stocking, I found a Christmas quilt to match with somersaulting Santas and embroidered with his name, my son loves to dig in the holiday boxes each year until he can get his hands on his own special quilt. Now at age 11, he still enjoys snuggling up with it, a tradition that will certainly be passed on to his own family one day.
For his first Christmas, I also purchased a personalized “Cookies for Santa” plate and daily nativity wall calendar, both of which are still family favorites year after year. Before baby grows up and starts making long wish lists for Santa, take the opportunity to invest in items that will become part of your unique holiday family traditions.
Starting a holiday collection for baby or family, is also a wonderful First Christmas purchase. I buy a new Christmas book each year, and now have a collection we love to sit down and read each and every year. Two of my children have collections, one of snow globes and another of nutcrackers..something special like this would be perfect to start to commemorate their first Christmas.
4. One of the best ways to preserve baby’s first Christmas is to stop the hands of time. While it is, of course, impossible to stop the clock, a handprint ornament from the Grandparent Gift Co. is a timeless edition to your holiday keepsakes.
The “Child’s First Christmas” ornament and “Grandchild’s First Christmas” ornament are Grandparent Gift Co. exclusives, each featuring 3.5×5 antique gold frame, gold stamp pad, green grosgrain ribbon, instructions, plus unforgettable keepsake poem written on the back. Parents, grandparents and your growing child alike will adore trimming the tree with this first Christmas handprint ornament year-after-year. My son loves to compare his hand-size each December as he hangs his first handprint on the tree. What an incredible reminder of how fast they grow!
Other baby keepsakes can also be added to the tree as ornaments, such as a tiny baby shoe, crocheted bootie, engraved silver spoon or hospital bracelet tucked inside a glass ornament.
5. Fa! La! La! Fun! The first Christmas is your opportunity to begin building traditions you only wish your own parents could have thought of. In the age of digital media, the possibilities are endless as you create your own unique holiday story. Some unique fa-la-la FUN ideas are:
1) take a photo of your child every year in front of a wipe-off board or chalkboard that lists why he/she has been naughty or nice this year (the first few Christmases, mom or dad will need to write, but can you imagine how humorous these will become as time goes on!)
2) starting with baby’s first Christmas, (you know, when you spent a little extra money on photography and Christmas cards?…Just making sure you were paying attention at the beginning of the blog), start a coffee table book of yearly Christmas cards and professional family photos. It may look empty for the first year or two, but soon you will be amazed at just how many “Christmas cards you write”!
3) In an effort to take the handwork out of creating her own Christmas timeline, Grandparent Gift Co. founder, Teri Harrison, made it easy for all of us to celebrate the holidays through pictures! The Holiday Family Timelinecreates a visual story of your family’s growth over the years and preserves the magic of the holiday season through pictures. It holds ten 4×6 horizontal photos and has a space on the back for inscribing your favorite memories. Save it for yourself, give it as a gift…or both!
6. Lastly, may you find a place of peace this Christmas. While the demands of parenting and grand-parenting can be exhausting, be sure to take time out of the hustle and bustle to just snuggle with your little bundle of joy, for isn’t that what the FIRST CHRISTMAS is all about?
A Grand-HAND in Time by Nikki Clemens A grandparent’s guide to fun and easy hand-printing activitiesNo matter how big or how small, no matter how youthful or how aged, hands are as unique as the people they belong to. Nothing is sweeter than seeing a newborn baby’s hands for the first time—ten fingers all perfectly formed and ready to take hold of life. Hands are an extension of human nature itself, whether it is a pair of little hands playing pat-a-cake, a high-five on the ball field, a mom waving to her child on the school bus or grandma’s hands planting flowers in the garden. We use our hands to work, play, communicate and express… handshakes, hugs, pats and high-fives!
Handprints are the perfect way to preserve a moment, celebrate a milestone or create a unique gift. A child’s handprint is the iconic image of both youth and joy, and a “stamp” in time that remains even as a child grows. In honor of the adoring ten fingers upon your hands, here are ten fun and easy handprint activities to share with your grandchild: 1. Holiday Hands You have undoubtedly seen or helped create the iconic Thanksgiving Day turkey hand, either drawn or painted with each finger serving as a brightly colored feather.
It’s time to think beyond the turkey! There are dozens of ideas for every holiday imaginable. A little paper and a little washable paint can lead to a lot of smiles! Here are a few ideas to last the whole year through!
2. Handprint Placemat What better way to serve up your grandchild’s favorite food than on a personalized placemat? Take an oversized piece of construction paper and let your grandchild’s imagination run wild! Help him/her stamp the page with handprints, add photographs and hand-drawn pictures. Once the masterpiece is created, visit your local business supply store or copy center to have the placemat laminated for a keepsake that will last far longer than the food on your grandchild’s plate!
3. Keepsake Ornament to Celebrate the Newest Family Member
The Grandparent Gift Co. is proud to offer this keepsake Christmas ornament to celebrate baby’s first holiday season. Complete baby handprint ornament kit features 3.5×5 antique gold frame, gold stamp pad, green grosgrain ribbon, instructions, plus unforgettable keepsake poem written on the back.
4. Have a Hand in History Hand-printing projects aren’t just for the grandkids! Create a timeless treasure for your children and grandchildren to cherish. Purchase a canvas at a local craft store, dip your hands in some paint and create a masterpiece! Use special quotes, dates, and memories to personalize your one-of-a-kind canvas. Some ideas to accompany your hands (or your and grandpa’s hands side-by-side): “These hands will never let you go” “My hands may age with time, but my love for you lives on forever” “Let us lift up our hearts and hands to God in heaven.” Lamentations 3:41 “We joined hands 40 years ago, and never let go” (grandpa and grandma) “Four hands, two hearts, one love”(grandpa and grandma) You can also use handprints of you and a grandchild (grandchildren) side-by-side: “Who takes the child by the hand takes the grandmother (nana, nonna, etc) by the heart!” “You may hold my hand for but a short while, but you will always hold my heart.” “You hold my heart in the palm of your hand.” “Best grandkids, hands down!”
5. Bake Thumbprint Cookies Although cookies may not last as long as artwork, thumbprint cookies are a great way to personalize your baking experience with your grandchild!
RECIPE FOR THUMBPRINT COOKIES: Ingredients:
1 cup butter or margarine, softened
3/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs, whites and yolks separated and reserved
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1-1/4 cups finely chopped nuts
1/2 cup jam
Preparation: Beat butter until creamy. Gradually add sugar. Add egg yolks (reserving egg whites for later) and extract. Mix out 1 cup of flour and add salt to it. Gradually add to butter mixture. Add other cup of flour gradually. Cover and chill at least 1 hour or overnight. Also make sure reserved egg whites are covered and refrigerated, too. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Very lightly grease 2 cookie sheets. Set counter for the rolling process by setting out low-sided bowl with lightly beaten and reserved egg whites and another low-sided bowl for the nuts. Roll dough into 1 to 1-1/2 inch balls. Then roll each ball into egg white and then nuts. Place on cookie sheets 2 inches apart. Press thumb into each cookie before baking. Bake for 15 minutes. Cool 1 minute on cookie sheet. Move to wire racks for cooling. Press centers again with thumb. When cookies are almost cool, fill centers with jam or icing.
6. A Gift for Grandpa!
The Grandparent Gift Co. makes gift-giving easy! This 5 x 7 double tabletop frame has a space for your grandchild’s handprint and the perfect photo with grandpa! Now available personalized! Whether Papa, Pops or Grandpa, he will smile and give his grandchild a high five every time he sees this unique gift.
7. Grandma’s Wall of Fame Single handprints displayed in frames in a family room or study can be a timeless tradition at grandma’s house! Pick a time each year, albeit your grandchild’s birthday, Christmas, first day of school, etc. and build a wall of handprints! Be sure they are dated so you can see how much your grandchildren have grown! If you have a basement or garage wall that needs some grandparent loving, let your grandchildren take over with handprints and messages to you.
8. Create a Stepping Stone
Stepping stones are a great way to add love to your garden or patio. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to make a mosaic stepping stone like the one pictured above: Purchase mosaic tiles in desired colors from a craft store and purchase concrete mix like “Quikrete”, a just-add-water powdered mixture, from a hardware store. 1. Follow the concrete mixture directions and stir in a bucket until it has the consistency of cake batter. 2. Slowly pour the mixture into a platter bottom or pie tin. Shake the mold to remove all air bubbles and let the concrete sit for approximately one hour. 3. Help your grandchild press his/her hand into the cement mixture. Have a wet cloth nearby to remove excess cement. 4. Let your grandchild place the mosaic tiles in the desired position, pressing slightly to secure. 5. Once your grandchild is happy with the design, let the stone cure for a couple of days before removing the mold. 6. Enjoy your grandchild’s stepping stone for years to come.
9. A Family Tree
Invite the entire family to get involved in the hand-printing fun by creating a family tree! To create this timeless treasure, there are endless possibilities —construction paper cut-out hands, painted hands on canvas, quotes, dates, family names, birthdates…Make your family tree as genuine and unique as your family itself.
10. Crafty Cut-Outs What a fun and unique way to show off hands, no matter how big or how small! Visit your local craft store and have your grandchild pick out his or her favorite pattern on paper or fabric. Next, trace and cut out hand shapes Put your fabric handprints on a blanket, quilt, apron, tree shirt or t-shirts.Put your paper cut outs in a frame, scrapbook or photo album for lasting keepsakes.
What could be better, joining forces (grandparents and grandkids) with no enemy in sight (parents). Said with good humor and a touch of sarcasm, but seriously, putting grandkids and grandparents together for a party, what could me more fun! And parents get to benefit with a few hours or perhaps days, off.
If you live near your grandchildren and can schedule time together on Grandparent’s Day, it might become an annual event, by very popular demand. If you don’t live near your grandchildren, perhaps a summer date would be possible. How about a day or evening set aside during a summer family vacation where only grandparents and grandchildren are allowed.
Here are 10 ideas to help you put together a memorable event. Adjust the ideas up or down based on your energy, budget, interest, time, and age and number of grandkids.
1. Be the hostess! Host the grandkids at your home, if there is room for all of them. There’s no place like Grandma and Grandpas! Focus on what the grandkids love about coming to visit you. Do you have a great attic to explore, a big yard, a pool, farm animals or an ultra modern condo? Make it a few hour party or how about a sleepover? A day camp? Or a weekend getaway?
2. A sure way to grandkids’ hearts are through their stomachs. How about letting each request their favorite dish and invite them over for a home cooked meal. The collection of favorite recipe requests might look something like this… strawberry pretzel salad, macaroni and cheese, chocolate chip pancakes and meatloaf! If they are family recipes you would like to pass down, use this opportunity to teach and share.
3. If your grandkids are older and it is getting tougher to think of things to do sans eye rolls, consider taking them out to dinner, attending a sporting event or participating in one. If you are fit and active, how about a Fun Run, golf tournament or fall hike. Consider participating in an annual charitable activity such as a walk, local area park clean-up, a Habitat for Humanity project or even a mission trip.
4. If the grandkids are old enough, let them plan or help plan the party. Older kids may surprise you with their creativity and organizational skills. Perhaps they can rotate helping you or rotate the task by family. As they say, half the fun is getting there. Planning and preparing together makes memories, maybe even more so than the doing.
5. Create a t-shirt or small souvenir or keepsake each child can take home to remember the “party”. Perhaps you create a unique invitation each year which serves as a memento, or you plan a craft to take home. Consider following up after the party with a handwritten thank you note for coming. Tell them how special they are and how much fun you had together. Thank you notes may even be returned in kind. Kids love traditions, be consistent and it will be memorable.
6. Make it a memory by taking a special photograph. There are great, creative photo ideas out there. For instance you can have them hold a frame or chalk board with the year or a message on it. Another idea is to have each grandchild wear a shirt or hold up a sign with their name or birth order on it. Fun, relaxed photos showcasing their personalities tell the story of how much fun the “party” has been. These photos will be keepers and fodder for your brag book or Facebook page. Creating a photo wall in your home or an album for each event, will ensure lasting memories.
7. If you prefer to get up and go, then go somewhere! Consider a ball game, girlie manicures and pedicures, go karts, an amusement park, a picnic lunch, rafting, biking or fishing. Perhaps there is a popular local festival or concert to attend. If you live close to where you grew up or spent many years as an adult, a trip down memory lane would be a wonderful way to share your life with your grandchildren. Plan to take tons of photos and videos, and answer all their curious questions about what life was like in the “ole days”.
8. If hosting a party at your place, themed parties can be a ton of fun. Many websites offer fabulous ideas to help with games, food and more. Look for age appropriate themes. If you have a wide range of ages, you may want to consider splitting up, with babies/toddlers together and the “big” kids, so you won’t pull your hair out!
9. If you were born with the creative gene, devising a treasure hunt or mystery is always fun and memorable. Clues placed around the house or yard or taken to the mall or local downtown area, really get kids of all ages excited to unravel the mystery or find the hidden treasure.
10. Plan to make something together. When grandkids are young, simple crafts, chalk drawings, handprints and silhouettes are priceless. As they get older, building a fort, tree house or play area, planting a garden or decorating a playroom are projects you can work on together and enjoy together for years to come.
Whatever you choose to do, make it memorable! Please share your ideas or details of your day… Teri
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These are some very observations on helping grieving moms get through Mother’s Day written by my friend Renee Wood of TheComfortCompany.net.
We don’t like to think that this day could be anything but joyous, but for many women it is a day to remember their lost love, whether it be a miscarriage or loss of a child. Just the other day I received an email from a customer, asking to be taken off the mailing list because the emails reminded her of her loss. This is for her and all the other mom’s who have a piece of their heart forever in Heaven.
10 Simple Ways to Help Moms Cope When Mother’s Day Hurts
Acknowledgement is what grieving mother’s want most for Mother’s Day, suggests a survey by www.thecomfortcompany.net, a website that specializes in meaningful sympathy gifts. The online survey asked “What can others do to ease your pain on Mother’s Day”. Over 80 percent of the 200 respondents answered, “Recognize that I am a mother”.
“While Mother’s Day is generally considered to be a day of celebration, for many women it is a day of pain and loss” says Renee Wood, former social worker and founder of The Comfort Company. “It’s important to remember those moms who have had a failed pregnancy or who have lost a child at any age.”
In response to the survey results, thecomfortcompany.net has issued a list of ten simple ways to reach out to a grieving mother on this difficult holiday.
1. Recognize that they are a mother
Offer a hug and a “Happy Mother’s Day”. Send a card to let them know you remember they are a mother even though their child is not with them physically.
2. Acknowledge they have had a loss
Express the message, “I know this might be a difficult day for you. I want you to know that I am thinking about you.”
3. Use their child’s name in conversation
One mother responded, “People rarely speak his name anymore, but when they do it’s like music to my ears”.
4. Plant a living memorial
A tree or rose bush, like memories, will grow in beauty as the years pass.
5. Visit the grave site
Many mothers felt that it was “extremely thoughtful” when others visited their child’s grave site and left flowers or a small pebble near the headstone.
6. Light a candle
Let the mother know you will light a candle in memory of their child on Mother’s Day.
7. Share a memory or pictures of the child
Give thegift of a memory. One mother wrote that the “greatest gift you can give is a heart felt letter about my child and a favorite memory with them”.
8. Send a gift of remembrance
Many mothers felt a small gift would be comforting. Suggestions included: an angel statue, jewelry, a picture frame, a library book or toy donation in the child’s name or anything personalized.
9. Don’t try to minimize the loss
Avoid using any clichés that attempt to explain the death of a child. (“God needed another angel.”) Secondly, don’t try to find anything positive about the loss (“You stillhave two healthy children”).
10. Encourage Self-Care
Self-care is an important aspect of the “healing the mind and spirit effort” according to several mothers. Encourage a grieving mother to take care of herself. Give her a gift certificate to a day spa or any place where she can be pampered.
What have you done to comfort a friend who has lost a child?
Visit- www.comfortcompany.net for bereavement gifts
This is a photograph of my grandma and my daughter. I’ll admit it is a little dated. Grandma was only 95 years young in this photo, today she is nearing 99. We have been officially celebrating her birthday with a big family party every 5 years. We began the tradition on her 80th birthday and we are looking forward to next year’s 100 year celebration. My Grandma is amazing. She lives in a retirement home in the independent living apartments. She dresses beautifully every day, gets her hair done weekly, continues to write letters and carry on meaningful conversations. She would lament her eyes, ears and knees don’t work as well as they once did, but we should be so blessed.
When it comes to planning a milestone birthday party , the hall, the cake, the invites, the menu….those are fairly easy decisions. For me, the only thing on the to-do list that is difficult to cross off with a feeling of total satisfaction- is the gift. I think over the years we have done a pretty good job at coming up with sentimental and meaning gifts, but at 95 we were stuck. We had run out of “things” we could happily give. For her birthdays and holidays I rotate through a list of gifts, sometimes selecting stationery, other times soaps and lotions, or occasionally a new over-the-head necklace. For 95, I wasn’t happy giving the usual suspects.
I gave myself some thinking time. I do my best thinking in unplanned moments and some of my greatest ideas have come in the shower, to the hum of a blow dryer, or in the car on a rare solo drive. This time I happened to be working in the yard. It was late winter or early spring (sometimes the two blend together here in the south!) and I was tending a flower bed. I was thinking Grandma loved flowers and perhaps there was an idea there somewhere. And then my mind wandered back to a program I had seen on television not long before. It was a documentary on the traits of centenarians. It featured several centenarians from around the world. They analyzed their lifestyle, diet, attitudes etc… There was one man from California, I believe he was still a practicing heart surgeon, who said he liked to hang out with young people, because they kept him young. He used the old crab in a bucket example of what happens as we age. He didn’t like to talk to old people because the complaining got him down, just like crabs in a bucket. One crawls up and the others pull him down.
My Grandma had lived in her own home until shortly before her 95th birthday. She decided it was time to move to a smaller apartment and away from some of the chores and hardships in caring for your own home. My fear for her was changing her environment, although there would be more people around, would be like crabs in a bucket. At 95 she was probably one of the oldest residents at the center, but being around 80 year olds didn’t constitute hanging out with young people! I wanted to make sure she was still engaged and connected, so the letter of the month gift was born.
The concept was simple- gather family and friends and send them a reminder email once a month to mail something to Grandma…a card, a letter, photographs of the kids, artwork from the kids…anything she could open and touch. A full mailbox gives you bragging rights at the senior home too. I thought if I could get a list of relatives you could do this for a year, Grandma would stay positive and connected. When I told her about the gift, she had tears in her eyes.
As the months progressed I realized there was a benefit to my gift I had not anticipated. For the cards, letters and photos she was receiving, she was writing back. She was finding meaning, purpose and an activity to keep her mind engaged, her spirits up and her heart connected. At the end of that year, I thought “why stop now?” and I continue to send out a reminder every month. She may not receive letters daily, but I know her mailbox is fuller because of them. I will continue sending them as long as she is celebrating birthdays. Which brings me to next year…what gift would be suitable for a 100 year birthday party? Believe it or not, I have an idea, a really great idea I got in the shower…so stay tuned!
With Valentine’s Day around the corner, are you looking for great Valentine’s Day gift ideas for your family? Take a look at this 10 ideas from the heart. Isn’t that what it is all about?
10 GREAT Valentine’s Day Gift ideas for Family
Make an “I love you” book. Purchase a blank album or journal. Fill the pages with reasons that person is loved. For example: I love your chocolate cake, or I love it when we watch movies together. Include pictures, drawings or other personal touches to make it special for the recipient.
For gifts such as candles, jewelry, flowers, chocolate etc., add your own special touching message, so they remember the gift came from you. Tie the gift and a meaningful message together. If you give candles, add a note that tells them you light up your life and every time they use the candle to think of how special they are to you. For candy, tell them how they sweeten your life.
Schedule a meal to have together and fill it with love. Heart-shaped pancakes or sandwiches. Think red…strawberries, tomatoes, pomegranate etc… to add lots of color. There are all kinds of websites with yummy, wonderful and attractive Valentines recipes to use as well.
Honor the recipient by having one of their favorite sayings or mottos put on something they will see everyday such as a wall plaque, magnet, coffee mug or frame.
Schedule a time to get together and do a few good deeds for others. A day or week planned with a few special “giving back” deeds, will fill your family members hearts with good feelings.
If older family members need help with their home or with everyday chores, show up at their home for a work day. Nothing says I love you more than the gift of your time.
If you have long-distance family members, nothing says it better than pictures or video. For still shots, take a photograph of children holding a heart, wearing a heart t-shirt etc.For video, kids can sing a song, shout I love you, put on a play..use your imagination!
Don’t buy your Valentine’s Day cards this year- make them- however cute, messy and imperfect they are, your heart will shine through. For an extra touch, frame them as a “work of heart”. When wrapping gifts, use kids artwork or print out a special photograph of the recipient and use it as a gift tag.
Start a Valentine’s Day gift journal that you can record in each year. Note the year and list all the things you are grateful for and all the things you love. Perhaps even a great way to start keeping a daily journal of positive, loving thoughts.
Make a plan to give everyone in your family your sincere attention and interest. Give hugs, really listen, write a little love note and be gracious to each other in the name of family and love. These gifts are free, but have the most value.
For great Valentines’ gifts that will meet your budget and time constraints, but still send an unquestioned message of love, visit www.grandparentgiftco.com for sweet gifts for your family.