Yes, Virginia, there are ways to have a good time with your grandchildren without spending their inheritance before the end of the year. In addition to the suggestions I made in my last post, you can find a host of new, original, inexpensive activities that can bring the kind of closeness we all want with our grandkids.
One terrific resource is the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood. This national coalition of health care professionals, educators, advocacy groups, parents, and individuals who care about children is devoted to limiting the impact of commercial culture on children, and has just produced the free, downloadable "CCFC Guide to Commercial-free Holidays."
Download it by going to:
http://www.commercialfreechildhood.org/pdf/CommercialFreeHolidayGuide.pdf. Here you’ll find such great ideas as:
• taking a grandchild to a grocery store to buy fixings for a complete holiday meal and then taking those fixings to a local food bank
• giving a toddler one of your old purses and filling it with comb, old wallet, fake jewelry, change purse with loose change, band-aids, and other items like the ones she’d find in your purse
• making little coupons that are good for, say, a day’s shopping with you (sure to be popular with teenage girls, and not too pricey if you set limits ahead of time), or a movie and lunch, a hike, a trip to see holiday decorations, or some other shared activity
• making your own play-dough and giving plastic knives and other small inexpensive implements to use with it.
• And more, enough to keep you busy all season long.