Monday, January 10, 2011

Invitation List

One of the granddaughters asked at Christmas if we could have a “cousins' tea” sometime after the new year. She was having so much fun playing with her cousins, she wanted to do it again -- soon! The only question is whether or not it should be an “elegant” tea, or a “baking” tea. (An elegant tea is one where the cookies are already baked.)
After consultation, we're thinking about sometime close to Valentine's Day. That means decorations, recipes, and all the other things dear to little girls' hearts. If we do it right, it will be quite some party!
And the next question is: do we invite the grandsons?
Do boys like tea parties? Or just cookies?

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Write Me a Letter . . .

Who doesn't like to get real mail?
For a child, a hand-written letter from a grandparent is something special, especially if it's written in a way that shows genuine appreciation for who the child is, and who she is becoming.
I was blessed with a letter-writing grandmother. From the time I learned to read, she took the time to write at least occasionally to fill me in on what she was doing, and to ask what I was up to.
Grandma favored a simple tablet of lined paper for everyday letters, but she took advantage of every card she sent to include a personal note, and if she had fancy stationery, she used it. Her letters were often no more than a recitation of who she was going uptown with, or what she was making for dinner, or which chores she was trying to get done, but despite their apparent ordinariness, I treasure the ones I still have -- they are a window onto her life.
I use a variety of post-cards for quick notes to grandchildren, because they allow me to share interests, encourage curiosity, and engage a child's imagination. I can dash off a postcard quickly, so I keep a good stock in the stationery drawer in my kitchen, along with stamps, stickers, and addresses. That way, if I have a moment while something is simmering, I can write a quick note to a grandchild.
I try to write thank you notes, too, when I receive gifts or pictures from my grandchildren. Besides showing my appreciation, thank you notes allow a child to experience the pleasure of receiving thanks for their gifts and effort. What better way to encourage them to write their own thank you notes?
E-mail, texting and twittering is all good, but a hand-written letter has staying power.