Christmas is a wonderful time – we get together with our family and friends and celebrate the meaning of Christmas, and the love we share. It can also be a stressful time for many people, including those living in senior living communities. The stress can be related to holiday travel, cleaning, decorating and preparing your home for the holidays, and also, coming up with gift ideas for your grandchildren.
Younger grandchildren will be happy with a stuffed animal, truck, or a doll. However, as they get older, they can be difficult to please, and nobody wants to see a disappointed face when opening a present. So what’s a grandparent to do?
Below are some ideas and suggestions, which can be modified based on your budget.
A Christmas show.
Expand your grandchildren’s horizon by taking them to The Nutcracker or A Christmas Carol. The performance does not have to be a professional ensemble – a local college may put on a very good show. Discuss the performance afterward, and share your memories of the first time you saw the show, how old you were, what it meant to you, and who you were with.
How about a way to capture moments? A camera is a great gift and will capture moments and your grandchildren’s imaginations for years to come. There are good cameras at different budget levels. It’s best to start with a modest camera that is easy to use. Most cameras these days are digital, so your grandchildren will be able to share their experiences with your via text or email instantly. Learning to use a camera can also lead to a fun and educational hobby that will last a lifetime. Take the kids on nature trails, or to the zoo for some great photo opportunities and create cherished memories.
Depending on your budget, you may want to consider giving your grandchildren (or their parents) money, to help cover:
- Education. If the grandchildren go to a private school or are getting ready for college, any help with the tuition will be appreciated, by your children and grandchildren alike. Discuss the amounts with your children first, and make the necessary arrangements.
- Sports. Activites such as ballet lessons or martial arts classes can be quite expensive, and help to cover these costs makes a wonderful gift. If you can, attend their performances as well to get the full impact of your gift.
If your grandchildren are in their late teens or their twenties and they enjoy traveling, sponsor their trip. You might even suggest some of your favorite travel spots, and share stories of your past trips.