December 10th 2016 | Cheryle Writes
Can you keep a secret? The grandchildren don’t know yet and won’t until Christmas, but I will share my secret with you. Christmas is almost here again and are you finding yourself at a loss for that one special gift? Well I had such a great time last year with all that I did for the grandchildren, that I was finding it difficult to top it. I have batted my head against the wall trying to come up with something just as impressive or better. What a tall order! Well, no worries, I found it and am so excited to share it with you. You have just enough time to get it done, if you don’t procrastinate.
The span of our grandchildren, five girls and five boys, reaches from ages 1 through 16. Finding a gift to satisfy all the age groups is hard, plain and simple. We always have several individual gifts for each, but like to have a large one for all to share.
Over all these years we have enjoyed sharing popsicles together and have always made it an event to celebrate with the sharing of the joke that surprises you on the stick when the syrupy goodness is all gone. These jokes have evolved and since the children are rapidly growing, most can even read them independently.
The normal routine is to finish your popsicle and get everyone’s attention. If not able, have an adult read the joke, and then we all discuss it with laughter and fun to follow. When things settle down, everyone must take their stick and put in a special place by the sink for cleaning. All the age groups have followed through with dedication to this rule. We have saved all these special sticks over the years which has amounted to quite a cupful. From time to time, the children will pull out the sticks and we will sit for a time and just read the jokes and all laugh again. The children all look forward to these times. This is a time of family sharing and togetherness; a timeless, ageless treasure for all of us.
My quandary came when trying to figure out that perfect gift for all the children. Last year’s gift was pretty special and having to top that was challenging. This cup of sticks faced me; all the written words just asking to be noticed again. I grabbed the cup and went to work.
There are several websites where you can plug in your pictures and texts and design a book with little effort or if you choose, a lot of effort. The book is then printed and shipped to you usually within a week. Each book is priced based on your number of pages, type of paper, etc, etc. The particular site that I used was MyPublisher.com.
This is what I did. I created pages with pictures, pages with instructions on how to make things with the leftover popsicle sticks, pages with the jokes retyped, pages with a poem about each child and what they do with their sticks, a poem about popsicles themselves, a short story for the older children and a separate one for the little ones and in the center of the book, a picture of each child enjoying a popsicle! Before I knew it, I had amassed 28 pages!
My husband and I will take the leftover sticks and make 10 little picture frames and include a selfie of us enjoying a popsicle. We will wrap this up, along with the book, and when Christmas arrives we will gather all the children and in a circle and hand each one their special gift made especially for each and every one of them by their grandparents to share the loving fun that we have all enjoyed for 16 years.
What a great memento for the children to have, and selfishly, for us to have! You can also create a book with pictures only, a small photo album. I recall that our daughter-in-law gave us one capturing our grandson’s first year in photos and it was and is wonderful to have it some 5 years later. When looking for that last minute special gift, pull up your creative side and get busy. If not in time for Christmas, give it a thought for a birthday or anniversary. Happy Holidays to you!