Aside from being able to enjoy all the smiles and giggles and then hand your grandchildren back to their parents when things turn sour, the best thing about being a grandparent is being able to spoil your little ones rotten without an excuse or a worry for the consequences.
It is part of your role. Of course, there is a teeny-tiny little problem that accompanies the gift-giving ceremony and that’s knowing what to get them. You want to get something age-appropriate but also fun.
Now, we don’t have all the answers, but we do have a list of ideas that may help you out a little.
This is the time to go all homemade with your gifts and make something that could become a treasured keepsake as the years go on. What you make is up to you, but we suggest you get your sewing machine out and make your new grandchild something special, like a quilt, a blanket, a doll or a stuffed bear. Whatever your level of needlework lets you achieve.
That first year just becomes a kaleidoscope of toys, all of which can be a little overwhelming for the child (and annoying for the parents). So choose your present wisely. As a tip, try and choose something that could be considered a classic, something sturdy and delightful that can be passed down the generations.
If there is one thing toddlers love more than anything it is discovering new skills, which is exactly why you should help them to discover and grow. They are also tough little cookies too. So get them some big building blocks or their first tricycle or a Scuttlebug. Anything that will help them learn to push the boundaries.
Ah, this is that gorgeous age where they start learning something new every day. They get into sports, and board games, and the arts and they start to fine tune their skills and language and it is just amazing. So get them a little kitchen to play with, or some puzzles, or a load of outfits to play dress up in, and anything that will encourage their minds to keep ticking.
The world is your oyster at this age because kids aged between five and nine are just so excited by everything. That means you could buy a Razor scooter or a more complex board game, a science kit or a tablet. You have so much wiggle room to play around in. One thing we do recommend is getting them a gift that they can share. It is a great skill to have.
This has to be the hardest age to buy for by a country mile. That’s because trends start to kick in and what is cool this week is totally uncool next week. Your best bet is to just talk to your grandkids about what they love and loathe and get some insider knowledge from the parents. If we could give you one tip, though, it would be to keep it fun. They start getting presents that are more useful than fun at this age, so be the person to break the mould.
This updated article 'Creating a New Christmas tradition' was previously published November, 2014.
"Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and love of kindred, and we are better throughout the year for having, in spirit, become a child again at Christmas-time." -- Laura Ingalls Wilder
Christmas, for most families, is a time of family traditions.
What Christmas traditions does your family hold to and treasure?
When my children were young, our Christmas traditions involved bright Christmas carols playing while decorating the tree, setting up the nativity scene, the advent calendar activities and daily Bible readings, the train trip to the city to view the department stores' animated displays, Christmas in Story & Song at our church and more.
Yes, it was a busy time but, in many ways, it was simple and unhurried. And the emphasis was definitely on the birth of the Saviour.
But times have changed and my kids are grown.
Fun Family Christmas Traditions
Now, as a grandparent, the traditions of Christmas are just a bit quieter. Maybe you're the same. Maybe you're looking forward to celebrating Christmas with a bevy of grandchildren. Hey, there's no reason why your time with your grandkids now can't be every bit as memorable and meaningful as when life was bursting at the seams with Christmas excitement and activity.
But how? What can I do?
But I guess you're wondering how, amongst all the frenetic activity of Christmas can you, as a grandparent, create a family tradition that will emphasise the real message of Christmas?
I was asking myself the same question when I happened to watch the latest clip from the SkitGuys...You can watch it below or via the link: see here.
The Search for the Saviour
The idea is simple: hide the Baby Jesus from your nativity scene and create a set of clues to help your grandchildren find the Saviour. Tailor your clues to the age of your grandchildren. If they're quite small, draw pictures with hints of where to look. Add some simple directional signs- large cards with printed arrows or footprints. Provide more cryptic clues for older kids or use Scripture verses for added levels of difficulty.
But, don't stop there...
Read the Christmas story together
Once your grandkids have found the Saviour, read one of the many wonderful storybooks of the Christmas story. Here's a couple of suggestions with links to where you can find them.
* Read Aloud Bible Stories Vol 3. Award-winning publication for young children filled with simple stories with big illustrations.
*The Jesus Storybook Bible.... where every story whispers His name.
*Jed And Roy McCoy.. One of the Lost Sheep series. A Bible storybook that the whole family will enjoy.
* If you're Missing Baby Jesus.. A true story that will unwrap the warmth of the real meaning of
Also, check out the review of Friends with God StoryBible. I think you and your grandkids will enjoy it.
You may be wondering about other tradition-building Christmas fun
Well, how about
There are so many other fun family ideas for building Christmas traditions.
If you're looking for other ideas, download and use this Christmas activity checklist.
Begin a new tradition this year with your grandkids that is not only fun, but places the focus on the real meaning of the festive season.
If you're looking for even more ideas, download and use this Christmas activity checklist to make more moments that matter for your family.
Life as a grandma.. it's no 'quiet, restful days in the rocking-chair'. It's filled with activity, excitement and lots of family fun. Please share it with me.