M. Winston (Winn) Egan
Since our junior high days to the present, Charlotte McDonald, a dear friend of mine, has offered this creative idea for grandparents whose grandchildren live across the country or reside in another nation. I am sure you will sense the excitement of one little grandson who cannot contain his joy at receiving his two $2 bills and his personalized love letter. Also, enjoy the attached video shot by Charlotte's daughter in her kitchen in Alexandra, Virginia. Here is the story!
As is our usual tradition, we always mail valentines to our grandchildren because all eight of them live at impossible distances to hand deliver. Anyone of any age loves receiving an actual card or letter via the USPS.
We always include a $2 bill to save or buy a treat for a novelty. When the grands were little, it was easy to pick a cute Valentine from a card selection, but now that they range from four to nineteen, the choice was not only getting complicated but expensive.
One morning, I thought of Winn's birthday letters to his grandchildren in my waking hours. The idea popped into my head that I could write them love letters as a Valentine and send them with my creations. Beginning with a brainstorming session with my husband, we specifically listed what we loved about each child. Then I crafted each letter. The next project was the card for each. I found a website with different Victorian 8" x 10" valentines with loving quotes from Jane Austin that were just right for the girls, all flowery and lacy. Also, I perused the clip-art sites for Star Wars and Harry Potter themes. There were enough ideas for me to use for surprisingly different age interests. My ability is still tied to the cut and paste method, but my diligence was rewarded, and I crafted unique Valentines for the boys on 8 x 10 paper with fitting borders, I might add.
I found a heart border on which to print the Love Letters and prepared them for mailing; of course, tucking in not one but two $2 bills because, as I explained, inflation has hit with a vengeance and a treat probably costs more today. I put them into regular envelopes but decorated them with Valentine stickers and a "Love" stamp.
[I loved the response of the very young grandson, who was far more excited about his money than his letter. Also, I hope you noticed the intensity with which the other older grandchildren processed their letters from their grandparents. They were very interested in what their grandparents had conveyed in their letters.]
My oldest sister passed away over ten years ago, so I have included her children in family celebrations and Valentine's Day activities, so I wrote love letters to them using my internet Valentine creations. I add that note because many of us have extended family members or friends that need TLC.
My son and his wife have no children but have given us a darling golden doodle granddog, whom we tend regularly. For Zoe, I will provide a "pupuccino," which is her favorite bowl of whipping cream from a "squirt can." P.S.
Another fun way I keep in touch with my grandchildren is with a text thread. I call it "Gram's Tip of the Day/ or Joke of the Day." When I find a short bit of advice, a quote of great wisdom, or a funny joke, I send out a text. The jokes get the best responses. One recently enjoyed: "I wanted to put together a Hide and Seek team, but I couldn't find anyone!"