The holidays can be a special time for families to create new memories and enjoy being together. For those of us with grandchildren, these moments become even more precious. If you’re planning on spending time with your grandchildren this holiday season, it can’t hurt to start thinking how you’ll make your time together special.
“The role of a grandparent can be so important in a child’s life,” says Gregory M. Stevens, President of Vantage Point Retirement Living, headquartered in Exton, Pennsylvania. “Without the concerns of constant parenting, grandparents get to be fully present with their grandchildren. They get to be playmates, storytellers, mentors and experts on family traditions. Spending the holidays with your grandchildren gives you both beautiful opportunities to bond and make memories they’ll carry with them for the rest of their lives.”
If you’re lucky enough to spend the upcoming holidays with your grandkids, be sure to make the days special by planning ahead to ensure your time together is fun and stress-free for everyone involved.
How to Create a Joyous Holiday
While some grandparents might have the privilege of living close to their children and grandchildren, others may not. Add to the distance any family tensions and parents trying to please both sets of grandparents, it’s no secret that holiday planning can get complicated. But whatever your family’s situation may be, the five following tips should help you prepare to make the time you spend with your grandkids this holiday joyful.
Check In with Their Parents – It’s vital to be on the same page as your children when it comes to planning the holidays. Start the conversation early to understand their expectations for the upcoming holidays, as well as to make your wishes known. The earlier you plan, the easier it can be to compromise your expectations with their obligations to two (or more) sets of grandparents.
Additionally, check in with your children about their guidelines for gift-giving. Try not to assume that the rules you made when they were little automatically apply to their children. Ask about what types of gifts they don’t want their kids to have, or if they have a limit on how much their kids receive. If you haven’t seen your grandkids in a while, it may also help to ask about what they’re interested in at the moment so you can focus your gift-giving on something most relevant.
- Be Flexible – Remember that your children are doing the best they can to please everyone around the holidays, while still creating special traditions of their own. However, this doesn’t mean you need to sit on the sidelines and feel left out. Just be understanding if your children can’t go along with your ideal plan. Try to be flexible. Maybe it’s the in-laws turn to host your grandkids on Christmas Day, so work it out with your children to have them over on the weekend before or after Christmas.
- Focus on Doing, Not Getting – When you’re celebrating the holidays with your grandkids, consider what you will do together as more valuable than what gifts you can give them. Kids are more likely to remember the quality time spent together more than the sweater you picked out for them. Focus your energy on planning fun activities to share, such as baking cookies, taking a drive to look at Christmas lights, making cocoa and watching holiday movies or volunteering a local shelter. These are what memories are made of, and you and your grandchildren can bond through these experiences.
- Involve Them in Planning – If your grandkids are old enough, try to involve them in planning what you will do together. Maybe they just started learning to play an instrument and would be really excited to go to a local band concert. Allow them to choose some activities that both of you will enjoy, and they’ll be even more special.
- Make Your Own Traditions – One of the many benefits of planning fun experiences with your grandkids is that they can turn into traditions they look forward to each year. It can be anything from decorating the tree or going to a Christmas Eve service to going caroling in your neighborhood or serving Christmas lunch at your local soup kitchen. When you do meaningful things together, it shows your grandchildren what you value, and gives them special traditions to carry on for years to come.
Make Your Season Bright
Even if the time you spend with your grandchildren over the holidays is shared with other family members or not exactly as you wish it could be, you can still decide how you make them feel when you’re together. Plan ahead to make this holiday and every one after a joyous time they won’t forget.
For more tips and advice on senior lifestyle topics, be sure to explore past articles on our blog!
Experience That Matters.
With headquarters in Exton, Pennsylvania, Vantage Point Retirement Living, Inc. is a senior living development and management company that has been ensuring area seniors enjoy vibrant, carefree and healthy lifestyles since 1995.
The company is widely recognized for its hands-on, personal involvement within its associated communities, as well as for offering amenities and services that allow seniors to lead stimulating, active lives.
Vantage Point Retirement Living is a family-owned and -operated organization born out of a passion and enthusiasm for seniors. While Vantage Point Retirement Living may be considered a family business, its leadership team has decades of industry experience behind them – bringing together the best of both worlds to provide area seniors with the most extraordinary retirement living experience.
Whatever your interests and needs may be, exceptional living is just the beginning at a Vantage Point Retirement Living community. Whether it be Active Adult Living, Independent Living, Assisted Living or The Compass Memory Care™, living at a Vantage Point Retirement community empowers you to take control of your life while embracing your future with confidence and peace of mind.
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