Category Archives: Gifts

Gifts for Grandchildren, Grandparents, Baby Boomers and Boys and Girls

Wrapping Christmas Presents for Grandkids

Wrapping Christmas Presents for Grandkids

Who can Wrap Christmas Presents for Grandkids better than Aunt Chippy?

If you are like me, you love everything about Christmas except wrapping Christmas presents for Grandkids.  Sometimes the wrapping itself is worth more than the little trinket of love you are giving but still you have to wrap it up.  The kids don’t really care cause they rip into the paper and never even look at the pains taken to wrap it. And the gifts for kids are either too big or too small for the wrapping to work.

I had a rule when my kids were small.  All the presents from Santa had to be in paper they had never seen before so the paper had to be hidden as well as the gifts until I was ready to wrap.  Then all Christmas presents to other kids in the family had to be wrapped in Santa paper. I tried to carry this forward for wrapping Christmas presents for my Grandkids but those little bags are just so terribly handy that I could not bring myself to wrap the present instead of dropping it in a Christmas bag with tissue on top.  This makes even me look like I know how to wrap.

My daughters all have different styles of wrapping presents.  The oldest one simply wraps and goes without too much fanfare and although the gifts look nice enough, the wrapping is not the point.  The middle one wraps each gift beautifully so that even the wrapping is a gift in itself.   The youngest one is a ‘save the earth’ type so she uses brown paper bags, newspaper and other methods of wrapping uniquely her own.  I must admit though that I love beautifully wrapped presents.  Its a shame that I have never, ever mastered that skill.  So this video from “Aunt Chippy” simply cracked me up because I can so relate to the problems she faces.

Illustrated Children’s Books for Christmas

Illustrated Children’s Books for Christmas

Best Illustrated Children’s Books for 2012

The Best Illustrated Children’s Books and Picturebooks of 2012

I love well illustrated books for children.  There is so much more that can be gained in the imagining versus just the reading of words.  I think this is why Pinterest has become such a great social site – we love the imagination that is stirred by images.  Many well written books for children fall short when it comes to illustrations but this list is one that has been put together by Brain Pickings and I think it is a great start.

The first book on the List of Illustrated Children’s Books is Henri’s Walk to Paris by Saul Bass

henris walk to paris

Henris Walk to Paris

From Indian folk art to neuroscience, by way of Saul Bass, James Joyce, and die-cut Cold War allegories. On the heels of this year’s best science books, art books, design books, and philosophy and psychology books, the 2012 best-of reading lists continue with the annual roundup of the year’s ten-or-so most delightful children’s and picturebooks. […]

Another of my favorites from this list Illustrated Children’s Books is WATERLIFE by Indian publisher Tara Books, who for the past 16 years has



been giving voice to marginalized art and literature through a commune of artists, writers, and designers collaborating on remarkable handmade books, including I Like Cats, Do!, and Tara’s crown jewel, The Night Life of Trees. But now comes what’s positively the most exquisite book I’ve ever held in my hands: Waterlife by artist Rambharos Jha, who explores the marine wonderland through vibrant Mithila art, a form of folk painting from Bihar in eastern India.

A Puppy for Christmas?

A Puppy for Christmas?

What a Puppy For Christmas Can Mean

Why give a puppy for  Christmas?  “If you resist too much the power of the big primary-color emotions that surround the dog, you’re missing the experience.”A puppy for a Christmas Present

It must be the season of the dog, from the recent treasure chest that is The Big New Yorker Book of Dogs (one of the the best art books of 2012) to the history of rabies to Fiona Apple’s stirring handwritten letter about her dying dog. But what is it about dogs, exactly, that has us so profoundly transfixed?

That’s exactly what former New York magazine executive editor John Homans explores in What’s a Dog For?: The Surprising History, Science, Philosophy, and Politics of Man’s Best Friend (public library) — a remarkable chronicle of the domestic dog’s journey across thousands of years and straight into our hearts, written with equal parts tenderness and scientific rigor.

Rachell and her little red head dog named Opie grew up together.  They ran through the woods, he walked her to the school bus, she gave him baths in the shower, they slept side by side.  He protected her from evil and she fed him every day.  She learned responsibility, consistency, focus and love.  He just exuded love.

We miss Opie but got another little red headed dog that is now giving the same love and attention to my husband (who needs lots of training).

A puppy for a Christmas present?  I cannot think of any other gift that will keep giving and giving and giving for years to come.  Who will show you love and affection, will be loyal and true and keep you sane when all else fails.

Go to the shelter nearest you and find a pup for a gift of love!

Make a Video Holiday Card

Make a Video Holiday Card

Look at this fun tool to make video Holiday cards!

Are you looking for a fun way to send holiday cards and share your memories with friends and family without the hassle of postage and addressing?  Well look no further.  A video holiday card is the answer.   This nifty little tool from Animoto allows you to create a card and share in a variety of ways — Facebook, Twitter, Email, Youtube and so on.  You can use your pictures from  Facebook, instagram, Flickr, and more.

It is not only a great way to connect with friends but also to archieve your year’s activity.  Try it!  It is fun and good to share.


Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all of you!


Best Christmas Season Memories and Activities

Best Christmas Season Memories and Activities

Making the Best of the Christmas Season

The Best Christmas Season Memories and Activities are personal and significant. I am taking a moment to reflect on my holiday joys, memories and activities to share some of the things that make Christmas season so special.  While planning my holiday hassles, it is important to remember why we look forward to this season every year.  I invite you all to share your memories, pleasant or not, and perhaps over time we can create a collection of our best memories and activities.

Top of the List of Christmas Memories is Always the Nativity Scene

As a child, I could not wait to get out the decorations and was always most touched with the nativity scene and each year said a silent prayer when placing the baby Jesus in the manger.  Our nativity was a painted ceramic and not at all what one would consider “fine”.

When I married, my in laws had a beautiful white porcelain nativity which I secretly hoped to call my own one day.  But   apparently, I was not the only one with that in mind and it has been given to someone else.

About 20 years ago, my husband bought me the most beautiful Boehm Nativity Scene with an exquisite Mary, Joseph and Baby Jesus.  It is the centerpiece of my decorations.

Last year, when my granddaughter helped me with decorating the house, we took great care, more than required time and loving reflection when placing the Nativity.  I explained to her how we had to keep the Nativity scene and the Santa scenes separate and apart and how the Nativity was what really mattered. She understood completely.

Of course, my favorite has always been the living nativity scenes where people play the role of Mary, Joseph, Shepherds, Angels and Wise Men.  As a child, the Church had a wonderful scene that went for 10 nights and my teacher often played the role of Mary.

Do children still enjoy these things or are they so bombarded with stimulus that it has no meaning?  I think we should make every effort to impart the wonder of this story and how special it is that we are allowed to celebrate the birth of Christ every year.