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Grandparents Managing Expectations for the Holidays

In this podcast, we discuss all the pitfalls of the holidays and how to avoid them as well as all the holiday stress that comes along with get-togethers, gifting, and so much more.

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Full Transcript of Podcast

Corinne 0:01
Well, hi there, it’s episode 14 of modern grandparenting. And on this episode, we’re going to talk about grandparents managing expectations. For those holidays, holidays can get super stressful on everybody. But oftentimes grandparents really feel the brunt of it. Sometimes we feel like everyone’s scapegoat or punching bag. And I don’t know about you, but it definitely wears me out. In this episode, we’ll talk about managing your expectations and your stress from Thanksgiving all the way through Christmas.

Jim 0:34
Welcome to our weekly podcast, modern grandparenting, where we discuss issues that grandparents must deal with in this changing world for maintaining the best relationships with both our children and grandchildren, to giving you all kinds of ideas of what to do all year long, and hopefully making memories that will last a lifetime.

Corinne 0:52
Well, I don’t know about you, but I’m really excited that the holidays are coming up. It’s of course, it’s just like most people, it’s one of my favorite times of the year. Yes, I just love it when it gets cold. It’s hot chocolate. I just loved the whole season.

Jim 1:08
I think it’s it’s no secret that we both love the fall is definitely our favorite time of year. I really like Halloween. Not really because of the holiday itself. But because of the change in the weather. really find a lot of energy in the fall. And with Halloween comes the beginning of that holiday season. Which can be pretty stressful.

Corinne 1:34
Especially if you look in the shops. They started sometime before Halloween.

Jim 1:38
Oh, yeah, it used to be you didn’t really see anything Christmassy until after Halloween. Now,

Corinne 1:44
gosh, back to school and Christmas. Yeah. Me anyway. I mean, we all love Christmas. So what can we do?

Jim 1:53
And we’ve got this great grandson in our lives. And, you know, we want to be part of it during these holidays. And we want to be part of our children’s lives during these holidays too. And when you start talking about getting all these people together, there can definitely be a lot of stress.

Corinne 2:11
I mean, have you ever felt stressed during the holidays? Have you ever been in an altercation with a family member on a holiday? If not, we’re sure you’ve at least witnessed one because it’s all too common. I know myself, I’ve probably been in a few. And what a shame. We want to remember our holidays as being as being great as being fun, loving days, not fighting days not becoming resentful days. So today, we want to talk about some of the stresses, the stresses of getting together, gift giving, sometimes there’s financial stresses, and hopefully how to sidestep them all and get ahead of the game. And then, at some point, being able to look back on them. And we could just smile because we’ve had wonderful memories with our children and our grandchildren.

Jim 3:00
Yeah, well, I know, in my family, the holidays, you know, we were I grew up in a really big family, we had eight kids. And we didn’t really have a lot of visiting between my cousins and grandparents and things like that, because we lived for part of my childhood. Anyway, we lived pretty far away from everybody. But I do remember some of those earliest memories. Where were our grandparents gonna come over to our house? Are they going to go over to my aunt’s house? Where my aunt and uncle are going to come over to our house with all their kids? Are we going to go to their house? You know, we kind of went back and forth for a while until we did move further away and it became more difficult. But even then they would come up and visit during the holidays, or we would go down there and visit during the holidays. And luckily for us, that was it. We had my aunt and uncle and their kids and my one set of grandparents. So there was never that, you know that push and pull on the grandparents, where they were going to go and where we were going to go and who was going to be where when we didn’t really experience that I guess. How about you?

Corinne 4:09
Well, we did and the same as you we were traveling around, really the world. My dad was in the military. And so we lived all over the place. But when he retired, I was still in high school. And soon after he retired he divorced my mother. So there’s two houses right there. And then you know, there was an aunt so there’s a third house right there. Then there’s grandma. And so that’s a fourth house right there. And I remember thinking, Gosh, this is so stressful. And I was a teenager by then it wasn’t even as a kid. I was a teenager and it was like oh gosh, first we’re gonna go to Aunt Louise’s house and then we’re gonna be there for two hours we’re all we’re gonna do is we’re gonna have a little breakfast. We’re not gonna, we’re only gonna be there for two hours and we’re only going to open the presence that we’re giving them and they’re giving us and Maybe you have breakfast, and then we’re moving on, then we’re gonna go to dad’s house. And then we’re gonna go over here to grandma’s house. And we were just all over the place. And I remember, you know, it just being a real hassle. I felt like I was in the car half the day. And I didn’t like it. And it was, you know, then then it even got down to the nitty gritty words like, oh, did you have Christmas dinner with with your mom last year? This year, I should be able to have Christmas dinner. i Yeah, as a grandparent. I mean, and grandparents are usually part of this as well. I mean, for me, my grandmother wasn’t really, I mean, she was not at that point in her life anymore. But, but for me, as a grandparent, I don’t want that. I don’t want that stress of having to compete with everybody else.

Jim 5:48
Well, and I had lots of friends who were in that same situation. And they would always be complaining about it. And I think it’s pretty common. So hopefully, we can come up with some ideas on how to kind of relieve that part of the stress on Who do you visit when. And I know, for ages, parents, you know, it’s pretty understandable. They want to create their own traditions, they’re a young family, they are just getting started. And just like we did, we started Ireland traditions, and we carried some traditions on from our family. She’ll carry some of those traditions on as well. And, of course, she wants to start new ones. And of course, we want to be part of that. And they want to be part of it, too. But they also want to have their own core family time. And that’s understandable as well. So they want us there, but not all the time. So at first, that kind of felt a little hurtful, but it really is best for everyone. But it seems like one big role that grandparents have to take is to be that ultimate compromiser is that a word?

Corinne 6:53
I don’t know if it’s a word or not. But I but I agree with the sentiment. Definitely. I mean, I feel that we’re in the position now. Well, we’re not in the position of, of being in charge, right. We’re not in control, we’re not in control anymore. And that I think, is no matter. I mean, it’s already been, you know, 18 months is still a little hard for me, you know, I like being in control who I am, you know, so But I definitely feel like it’s time to give that control up and let them have their, you know, the their time and their own family, traditions and family traditions. Yeah, that’s fair. We had it.

Jim 7:32
What do you think back? None of neither of your parents nor my parents, were coming in telling us how to do our holiday traditions or anything like that. We lived pretty far away. But even still, we had the opportunity to develop our own traditions and to set things up the way we wanted them.

Corinne 7:53
And we enjoyed it. Right? Yeah, we didn’t live where anybody else lived. Ever. Jim and I, this is the only time we’ve ever lived where we’ve had any family together in our entire married lives. And that is because we moved up here for Eric, as you well know. And that’s fine. But it, but we didn’t ever really have to deal with this. So. But we just know so many people that have had to deal with it. Now, as we were, as we were raising our children, we lived overseas. And the reason we were doing that one of the reasons is because we wanted them to see the world, get that education, and we were teachers. So we’ve always thought and we’ve always lived by the preface that holidays, the actual date itself is rather arbitrary. That’s someone maybe it was decades ago, whoever it was, they wrote it down on the calendar, and now it’s become put in stone. I mean, but they’re arbitrary dates for the most part. And really, even if it’s the day that you really think should be carved into stone, doesn’t matter. Doesn’t matter if you see them on December 27 25th, as opposed to December 27. Does it matter?

Jim 9:16
Right? It’s, it’s more about the traditions, the family time, and the sentiment than it is about the day. For me anyway, that was ringing true. And that’s one way to deal with the stress of, you know, the time involved who’s going to be spending the time when you can just pick a different day when you can have that time.

Corinne 9:42
For I mean, it doesn’t matter. Thanksgiving doesn’t have to be the last Thursday in November Christmas. Christmas is a little harder, but it doesn’t have to be on December 25. You can have Christmas anytime around there. I mean, it works for Valentine’s Day. I mean, who cares? Me who really, really cares and personally think if you can give up that, that hold on the calendar day, you’re gonna make your life a whole lot easier.

Jim 10:12
It’s gonna reduce a lot of stress right there, and blood pressure.

Corinne 10:17
And maybe think of adultery today are an alternate way to celebrate that holiday. For example.

Jim 10:26
Yeah, we were teachers, we were teachers. And as teachers, especially living overseas, we would get those breaks that schools have. For Thanksgiving, it was a four day break for Christmas, it was a two week break. And those are great times for us to go traveling. And that’s really what we want to do. So we would find ourselves traveling over Thanksgiving, especially. It’s a nice long weekend, we could really go somewhere interesting and do some very cool things and not really worry about the Thanksgiving meal. Now does that mean we didn’t have a turkey and all the dressings and get together as a family and have give thanks and whatnot. Of course, we did that. Those are important traditions. And our family as well, is just that we would do them on a different day. It didn’t have to be Thanksgiving. Now, in the past, of course, it was difficult to get some of those Thanksgivings trimmings for us at the store if it wasn’t Thanksgiving time. So we would still try to do it around that time. Nowadays, I think you can get cranberries, and cranberry sauce

Corinne 11:33
and stuffing and all all year long. But we also lived overseas. So we were relying on our commissary giving those things in, right. So living overseas. I mean, I don’t know if he could do it all year long or not. Even today.

Jim 11:47
So even though we’re saying like it’s arbitrary, pick a different day, you still want to kind of do it in the season.

Corinne 11:54
Well, and especially Christmas, because when the kids go back to school, what do they do? What do you get for Christmas? What do you get for Christmas? So you want to do something before them? For sure. But remember, we’re the grandparents now we’re not the parents. So that was us as grim as parents during that, yeah.

Jim 12:09
Regret to the parents on when they’re going to do it. And if it happens to be the time when we’re invited, of course, it’s going to be on that day. And we’ll go and maybe maybe your children want to invite the other set of grandparents on Thanksgiving, or maybe they want to invite everybody and that’s okay, too. And but if they don’t, you know, just be aware, you can you can have your Thanksgiving and Dean it to eat it.

Corinne 12:35
No, kidding. No, but the same thing happened at Christmas for us. Christmas is a two week stint. That was non interrupted vacation time. Except for the you know, with the interruption of that pesky and December 25, in my opinion. So, Jim and I and the girls decided that we would travel, we lived in Asia we lived in during the time they were still teenagers. And before they went off to college, we were living in Japan and Korea. So we basically were doing travel in Asia. We did do some travel in Europe, too. But we tried overall to go to places that were non Christian countries just because everything is still open. Although sometimes we wanted that Christmas spirit. It really depended on the year was one of those things that we decided together,

Jim 13:23
say writing in the Austrian Alps, like Christmas time. Yeah,

Corinne 13:27
exactly. But we had the whole week of skiing. And then we went to the chapel where they wrote still a good night or is silent night as you know it in English. And of course, we went to a mass for it. And then they it was all in German. And then they sang. So like a mesh mocked, and it was just really, really cool. So I mean, you can still travel to do Christmas, or you can travel do Christmas at a different time. We have done both.

Jim 13:54
So our recommendation for traveling in and you can do this with your regular Christmas, if you’re not going to be there on Christmas Day. What we would do for Christmas presents would we would pick a different day, maybe earlier in December, or maybe when we got back in before school around the first of January. And we would do our main gifts on that day,

Corinne 14:19
and our Christmas dinner and exactly what Christmas feel.

Jim 14:23
But while we’re traveling, of course, you still want to do something on Christmas Day,

Corinne 14:28
you want to acknowledge it.

Jim 14:29
So one thing we would do, the one tradition that we brought on the road with us would be our stockings and stocking stuffers. And the way we would do those was we would each take a small amount of money. We didn’t want to go crazy on this. Let’s say it was like $20 $20.20 euros or 2000 yen or whatever wherever we happen to be about $20 worth and go to one of those large department stores supermarket

Corinne 15:00
Meet him the superstore that has like the foodstuffs, and

Jim 15:03
yeah, you know, like a Walmart, and we would just go in and we would each have $20, we draw one name from the bags, we’d have one more one other person that we’re purchasing for. And we would go through the store. And we find all kinds of really crazy interesting things that would fit in a stocking, and wouldn’t be too expensive. And maybe with that 20 hours, you would get one thing, or two things or three things, but they had to all be small. And then on Christmas Eve, we would take turns going in and filling the stockings. And then the next morning, you’d get up, and we would have a nice surprise stocking.

Corinne 15:43
And you know, the things that we come up with were candies, little alcohols, little bottles of alcohol, and treats from the place that we were at, or, I mean, they have toys everywhere. So toys, really little art supplies. I mean, it’s so easy, and some of the stuff was recognizable. And some of the stuff was just from that country. So it made it even extra special, because it’s like, oh, here’s my Portuguese little ornament that I got, yeah, can be like a little souvenir as well. So it was really fun. And it kind of was enough of recognizing the holiday on the Day of the Holiday to get us past that, psychologically, I guess, so that we could go off and enjoy the rest of our day. Now, the other thing that we did, often on Christmas Day, while we were traveling as that would be the time that we would try and schedule, you know, something extras, especially fun. For example, we would do a cooking lesson, and spend the whole afternoon cooking and then having a dinner from that, you know, with that kind of food, or, I mean, we just have done different different things. Sometimes we were in Airbnbs. I mentioned we were in Portugal one year, and we did buy a turkey that year at the superstore and we made Turkey in this little tiny cabin, this little tiny hut. And the funny thing was, we told our hosts that that’s what we were doing. And she goes, Oh, well, you have to go over here to buy your eggs, and you have to go over here to buy your honey. And she goes, Sure it’s black market don’t tell anybody. And we thought this was so funny. So one of the things that we ended up doing is we got some vegetables and some eggs and honey and all these things that we incorporated into our Christmas meal that were quote, unquote, gotten off the black market, it was so much fun, and, and what a story what a memory. I mean, those are things that you’re not going to replicate, you know, in your home, fighting with everybody over Christmas, and who’s gonna do what and host what and be where, when,

Jim 17:53
right. So if that’s an issue, if the timing of it is an issue, and it’s looking, it’s getting down to sharing the time, you know, that’s always an option. go off and do some travels, if you can travel with the whole family, bring your grandkids along. That’s awesome. You don’t obviously want to have your whole Christmas day with a big presence in the tree and everything while you’re traveling. So use some of these ideas for that. If they’re not traveling with you, but they’re going off to the other sets of grandparents house, for instance, that’s fine, that’s okay. It doesn’t have to be a tug of war on who’s going where go off and travel. But plan on having those Christmas traditions that you want to have. either before or after. I really liked the idea of doing it around New Year’s Eve.

Corinne 18:43
Yeah, for a lot of reasons. So if you decided to up in travel during Christmas, which I know for a lot of people that would be quite a bit of difference from what you’re used to. But you don’t have to go far, you could just run a cabin in the woods, we’ve done that before. And that’s beautiful too. But everybody staying in the same place and as it’s neutral territory, and it sort of feels like you know, you’re all together, that it’s you don’t have to worry about cleaning the house, you don’t have to worry about all that stuff. It’s just all new. Or you could go further, you could go on a ski holiday, like we say we did in Asia, I mean, in Austria, or you don’t have to go to Austria, you can go to Whistler or you can go to anywhere here in the States. You could you could go on a beach vacation, you could do all kinds of things, and still not go too far or spend too much money traveling. But, but sort of have that that time with your family that’s just for you. But, you know, maybe that won’t work either. So you have to you just have to have a discussion with you, the parents of the grandchildren and see what’s going to be and of course, you know It is it is overwhelming. But it also depends on how many kids you have and how many grandkids you have, for us is pretty simple. We only have two daughters, one with one child. That I mean, that’s much easier than most people. I’m well aware of that. But I still think some of these tips will be good for you. What are you gonna do if you stay home? Whose house is everyone going to go to? Are you the home that everybody’s gonna go to? Because you’re the family house? And it’s what people are used to? Or do the kids like Erica wants to do they want to have, you know, the bulk of the Christmas tradition at her house so that she’s establishing their family traditions. I mean, it goes without saying that the more you put into the mix, the more difficult it’s going to be. But I think I think it’s manageable. I think it’s doable. And sometimes it just means adjusting to what everyone’s idea of the holidays will look like, especially yours is the grandparents.

Jim 21:01
Yeah. So here’s some good suggestions that you can use. First of all, make a list of your favorite traditions and see how you can incorporate those into a new way of doing things and talk to your children about what traditions that they want to incorporate.

Corinne 21:15
Well, really, you make the list of traditions, right? And then you have a discussion with them and say, Okay, well, maybe what’s the most important to you is Christmas dinner, maybe that is your baby. So then you’ve got to talk to your kids and find out, you know, wait, were you planning on doing Christmas dinner? Do you mind if I do it. And if they really are set on doing it, that’s, that’s no, you’ve got to figure out a way to, to either change your idea or do it in a different way or a different time?

Jim 21:48
Well, for us Christmas Eve is almost as important as Christmas day. You know, that’s when we had our big meal. And we’d play a game or watch a video. And before we went to bed, each person would get a gift that usually included like a book or a game, or a new movie or puzzle, and pajamas. Because that way in the morning, we’d all be wearing these nice new Christmas pajamas. That would be great for

Corinne 22:18
pictures, which nowadays obligatory.

Jim 22:21
And we’d have that book game or video to finish off the night with. So as a really fun thing to do as a great tradition, I think both of our kids really liked that tradition, and are keeping it up. So that’s our plan for this year is they’re going to come over to our house for Christmas Eve, and then we’ll go to their house. So look for that sort of thing, where you can have one of the traditions that if you’re into that, that you can host but don’t fight. Okay, so the next one, don’t fight have the kids or grandkids time on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. If the other side of the family wants them over and the kids feel obligated to go, of course, let them go.

Corinne 22:59
And yeah, without any I mean, it does maybe hurt a little inside. But if you think about it, where you’re gonna get some time alone with them where you’re not sharing, I feel that that’s better. That’s worth waiting. That’s

Jim 23:15
right. And it’ll just be much less stressful for everybody involved, including the other set of grandparents.

Corinne 23:23
And maybe they’ll think they have one. But this is not a competition,

Jim 23:27
right. So like I said, change the day, that date is arbitrary anyway, it won’t matter to anyone that it’s not on that day, it’ll still be special. Next up would be maybe come out as the hero, tell mom and dad that you’ll take the kids for the whole night on New Year’s Eve. Or whatever night it is. And you can have like a mini Christmas Eve that night. And then the next morning, you can do whatever you want to do whatever you want, give you a presence that day, let the parents sleep in, have a big breakfast, to celebrate your time together. But just shift the tradition to a different day that

Corinne 24:04
way. The only thing you have to watch out for, I think is you didn’t want to compete with your kids or anybody else as far as what their traditions are. Yeah, so they’ve already done quote unquote, Christmas Day where they’ve done stockings. And they’ve, you know, done a certain series of things. Maybe just tried to be a little bit creative. Instead of doing stockings, you know, maybe that’s when you can make Christmas cookies with the kids in the morning, or a big breakfast to serve mom and dad with a wake up. Or maybe you can go for a bike ride. And I don’t know, I mean, there’s lots of different things you can do to make it yours and to make it special and memorable for everybody without necessarily repeating the quote unquote traditional traditional Christmas,

Jim 24:55
right. So hopefully, taking the stress out of The timing of it will really help a lot. I think it will, the next area really that I think a lot of people get into trouble is over gifting or feeling like they need to over get. I think this is a huge topic. And I really think that, you know, commercials, commercialism has really done a job on us. It used to be the day after Thanksgiving was Black Friday. And it was a, you know, the big sales day. And that’s when everybody would go out and do a lot of their Christmas shopping. Well, now Black Friday is like a whole black week, if not even a whole black month. It seems like it’s non stop. But it just seems like we’re all programmed to spend Thanksgiving all the way to Christmas Eve. So you know what, we really need to do a step back and think back to your own Christmas as a child. How many gifts do you remember? I know in my family, like I said, there was a lot of children, there’s eight children, we got some really nice special gifts. But we didn’t get a whole ton of gifts. It was pretty restrained. And we really enjoyed what we got because of it.

Corinne 26:09
Can you remember them? Can you remember the gifts he got?

Jim 26:13
A couple only like one or two

Corinne 26:15
that’s right out of your entire childhood. And the same with me. We can only remember one or two gifts. And those are probably going to be those bigger gifts, the bigger gifts that you know, it’d be given. That’s right. And well and of course Mom Dad said they are from Santa because they don’t want to wrap them. But for me, for example, one of our big Christmases, you know, back back when I was growing up with dad being in the military, we didn’t have a lot of money. And so one year I don’t know how they did this, but they bought every single one of us five kids a new bike. We woke up, they’d spent all night probably putting them together and they they were ready. Wait ready and waiting for us in the den. So the first thing we wanted to do is go out riding bikes. How clean is that? It was it was really exciting. Well, of course that same Christmas, we got hamsters while I was pregnant. And I do remember mom scrambling around trying to figure out how to get a second cage so she could separate them because the hamster side from the male was good. It was a little bit scary and bloody, but she must have done a pretty good job because I wasn’t traumatized. But what do I remember about their Christmas more than the hamsters? I remember getting into bike. I remember the five or six other gifts that I got. No. Do I remember the gifts I got the year before? No.

Jim 27:40
I think that’s what I remember too is bikes. Yeah, the big the big things right? And only one or two of those. Not that well. I think the one I remember the most was a unicycle. It’s the memory I really wanted and I got a unicycle I learned how to ride it. So that’s pretty memorable. But in general, yeah. Most most gifts, Christmas come and go. There’s very few that last a lifetime.

Corinne 28:06
And I think when we talk about grandparents, you know, if you talk to parents about when irritant they might have at Christmas is that the grandparents want to give the biggest and best guess. And that feels like competition to them that feels like they’re out doing them. And maybe mom and dad are struggling to keep their heads above water. It’s been a rough couple of years with the pandemic and some people being able to work and some people losing their jobs. But even still, unless they asked for help. Let them be the big gift givers and you take a backseat and do something again, creative or small. And just understand that it’s not about the gift. It’s about the feelings. That’s right. It’s about the memories. And it’s about what you do with the kids. Um, yeah, yeah, of course air attend might be the other grandparents, right?

Jim 29:03
Yeah. But you can’t worry about what the other grandparents are giving them or the aunts and uncles or whoever, right? If you really want to stand out with your gift giving us some strategy, maybe pick one gift to give every year. Like I really like to give a j a set of new coins every year. We’ve got there’s a couple of different collections that are that you can go on to the US Mint and get a Mint Mint proof set of maybe state quarters or the new one going out right now is the innovation innovation dollars. Those are really cool and it’s a really neat gift and they will last a lifetime. They’re not meant to be spent. They’re meant to be collected. So something like that a collection like that.

Corinne 29:47
Or if you are into knitting, maybe you do a new knitted sweater every year something that’s unique to us something that when little Johnny looks back on it. He’s gonna remember Oh, I know my grandma gave me that I know my grandpa gave me that fishing bowl, nobody else likes to fish in the family, you know, things like that, that are tied to you, I think make a lot more, more impact.

Jim 30:11
Or it can be an experience like a live show, or like a concert or a hockey or a baseball game,

Corinne 30:17
or you got that fishing pole. Now grandpa’s gonna take your fishing, and you’ve got a whole weekend to use your new fishing pole. I mean, that’s, that’s the thing that memories are made from.

Jim 30:25
And every time you go fishing with that fishing pole, now you’ve built something that will be a memory.

Corinne 30:33
I think that’s the way to go. And I think it’s a way to maybe if that is a tradition, you can think of something else to give for fishing next year, or you can think of something else to give like Jim said, The minting coins or, if cooking is then maybe you can build a cookbook together for the next year. I mean, you could build on the same idea. If they still love doing that same thing. Maybe it’s art, maybe it’s whatever it is, and that you to share, you and each grandchild, then you can build on that and be very specific. And once you start doing that, Mom and Dad are gonna be like, Well, no, grandma and grandpa gonna get that form, because that’s what they always do. And that’s your thing. Memorable. So if you can, and also the with experiences, I do believe kids remember, experiences better than better than things than our actual objects, right? So I think anytime that you can, that you can give an experience, whether it’s going to a live show, or, or whatever it is something that is just for you guys together. Even if you’re giving it to the whole family, it’s still something they’re going to do with grandma and grandpa, maybe go out to dinner and go to a live show. And maybe that’s a tradition and you find a new one each year. How cool is that? It’s something for them to look forward to. It’s a tradition that they know what’s going to happen. This what Grandma and Grandpa are getting me. And they’re looking forward to it. To me, you’ve won.

Jim 32:01
That’s right. Well, and another thing you can do along the gift giving lines is take your grandchildren out each year shopping for a gift for a child in need. You know, those bins are all over the place, the Marines do a Toys for Tots drive every year. And there’s always some charitable organization in your area that is looking for help with trying to make sure that every kid has a great Christmas. And that’s a great gift to give to your grandchildren is that feeling of giving and the importance of it?

Corinne 32:35
Well, and it’s also another experience, right? Because you’re taking the child out, right? You can go shopping with your grandkids. And maybe you went to The Giving Tree and you picked off the tag and it says you have a six year old little boy, well who better than your grandson to know what to get a six year old little boy. So that’s your job, you go out there with him, maybe go out to lunch, get an ice cream, you go shopping, wrap up, whatever you do, wrap it up or put it in the band. And I mean, that’s something that if you do that with them every year, first of all, it’s just it’s training them to be giving as opposed to always worried about receiving. But it’s also a time for you guys to spend together. Which I if you’re like me, that’s what you’re always looking for.

Jim 33:20
Right? So what can you do to relieve some of that financial stress times do get pretty tight. And, and you don’t want to over gift because then the gifts start to lose a little bit of meaning. One thing that we do is we we just buy one gift in a certain dollar range. For the other adults in the family. There’s only six of us all together. But then of course, as grandparents we still want to get AJ are present each year. So he’ll get one from everybody regardless of course, and that’s special, but we don’t have to. We don’t have to do that if if money is tight, or if there’s a whole lot of people in the family. I know some families that just pull a name. And each person pulls name and that’s who they’re giving a gift to that year. And that works out pretty good too.

Corinne 34:22
Yeah, um, you can do that with themes like if your family’s into that kind of thing you could do like why near a friend of mine, all of them bought wines, different wines to give each other. Not the kids of course, but not the grandkids. Adults but for the adult time they got all wine that was pretty cool. So another thing you can do, which I think grandparents are perfect is making gifts, whether it be like I said knitted sweaters to birdcages to whatever it is that is your talent. It’s so nice to make gifts for people And plus is just so heartfelt. Yeah, I hope this has helped you take a little stress off of the upcoming holidays, and maybe thinking a little bit outside of the norm, and doing things that are going to save your blood pressure and make you feel like you’re more in charge than maybe you would otherwise. Instead of just pandering to the same old, same old, year after year where it gets irritating and people useful. People start fighting or bickering or complaining, just break that cycle and do something new. And I say, you know, give up on that calendar if you have to.

Jim 35:48
That’s right, pick a different day. It’s all more about the sentiment and their tradition. And it’s not necessarily about the day.

Corinne 35:57
I think to build memories with our grandchildren, and make life easier on our own children. We just have to be sort of innovative and, and be malleable and able to twist and turn him around kind of take what life gives us were the superheroes of the holidays. That’s who we are.

Jim 36:18
Yeah. The controllers.

Corinne 36:20
That’s right. Well, what do you guys think? I mean, we’d love to hear your thoughts on the topic. We’ve got a good month of this to go still. And, you know, what do you do for your holidays? How do you manage expectations? How do you keep the stress from sort of breaking down some of those wonderful memories you’re making? Put them in, you know, join our Facebook group and put them in the the post there and tell us what you do or ask questions about what other people do. And maybe we didn’t even hit what your biggest stressor is. Let us know about that. Yeah, maybe as a community, we can come up with solutions. Just go to grandma’s go digital Facebook page and join us.

Jim 37:07
Thanks for listening to another episode of modern grandparenting we are here to help you navigate those stressful and trying times of being a grandparent and turning them into joyful memories that are gonna last a lifetime. Thanks for listening and happy grandparenting

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