My granddaughter Marie age 9, just got glasses. Come to find out her eyesight is really bad and probably has been since birth. She has compensated all these years by sitting up close, memorizing and just getting by. How frustrating must that have been? I can’t even imagine.
So now she has glasses and is worried about other kids making fun of her. She thinks she will look “goofy” or strange.
I reminded her that Gramps and I both wear glasses and she doesn’t think we look “goofy”, does she? Of course not!
I also said, “I bet you look cute as a button with those glasses on.”
She said, “Well, they are pretty cute.”
Kids get their self-esteem cues from others, so plant those good seeds right away. Tell them how wonderful they are and be specific. Tell them all their wonderful traits and tell them often.
Grandson Mac age 11 now has braces and has stopped smiling for photos. At least smiling that shows his teeth. Many other kids his age have braces but he feels very awkward about his.
I tell him about my time in braces and funny things that happened. He is not too impressed at present but we did get him to smile very nicely for the family Christmas picture.
He seems able to talk about his braces more openly now and hiding them less. All good signs of adjusting to wearing them.
We all have certain things about ourselves we think are not pretty or presentable. Many of these things cannot be changed. Some will last forever and some are only a temporary inconvenience. Whatever, we must learn to accept them.
Helping children to accept the way they look is a true gift. You are the mirror that reflects their self-image. Make sure they see only beauty and goodness in your eyes and in your words.
What could be better than a new dress for Christmas? Say a dress made of white Batiste with cranberry trim and maybe some smocking? Maybe it would have a beautiful little green ribbon running through the threads of the smocking and maybe the tie would be cranberry too?
Would that dress be the prettiest thing you ever saw? Would a granddaughter of eight years old think it was the best dress ever made for her?
Would Christmas be just that much better wearing a new dress made just for you? Would you feel like a princess in a crisp white dress ironed just so and stitched with all the love possible?
Would the pictures taken of a dark haired girl in the new white dress be all the more precious because her grandmother made the dress just for her? Would the dark haired girl feel the same because she knew the dress was meant for no one else but her?
What could be better than a new dress for Christmas? How about two new dresses for Christmas? How about a dark haired granddaughter and a fair haired great-granddaughter in matching dresses? How about Christmas memories that will last a lifetime for two?
Is that not that the best picture for Christmas? Two precious girls, in two precious dresses, at the same time? Am I the luckiest Granny ever?
Think it’s not worth the trouble? Making things for the holidays or anytime, for that matter? Think no one will really appreciate your effort? Think it is all a waste? Think again, my Sweetie!
I believe the biggest and best gift you can give anyone is your time. It is precious, unique and will never come again. Any time you are thinking about someone, doing for someone or sharing with someone, it is a gift to be treasured and held in the highest regard.
So spending the time making a gift or fashioning a decoration or baking food or brightening up the yard is a gift of your time and thought. Do I believe you should do EVERYTHING – NO!!!! That’s a killer and a misuse of your time. But adding your personal touch to each day and especially each holiday is very doable.
And the memories it makes! Oh Boy! I have the best memories of my mother baking for every occasion. Pies! Cookies! Candy! Cakes! Everyone enjoyed her handiwork. Everyone was blessed by her efforts. And she loved doing it.
That’s the double blessing of homemade. The maker is as happy making the gift as the receiver is getting the gift.
I love spending time on a project for one person. The whole while I’m thinking about them. How they will look when I give them the gift. How they will enjoy it. How it will benefit our relationship. On and on I think, until the project is done.
Then I get to really see their face when I give it to them and watch them enjoy it and feel our relationship deepen. What could be better than that?
I remember when we had young children, we decided to each have small blank books one Christmas. In each person’s book we would write down the gifts of our time we were giving that person. I had things like: “I will make your bed” from my daughter, I will give you a back rub” from my son and “I will bring you breakfast in bed” from my husband.
There were many others that year and in the years to follow. How fun it was to cash in the certificates during the year. Those gifts were extra special in so many ways.
Putting forth effort for those you love is never a waste. It is love in the purest sense, it is a teaching moment and a good example for all those watching you. It couldn’t be more important.
So put your personal touch on every holiday. Whatever that means – making presents, making decorations, fashioning yard art, baking, cooking. It could be as simple as wrapping a gift or tying a bow or as interesting as smocking a Christmas dress. Whatever shows your talent and care.
Show your love. Give of your time. Make you holiday homemade.