Notice I didn’t say “buy”a gift. There are plenty of great gifts you can buy – I will be doing a little bit of that myself in the next few weeks – but giving the gift of literacy doesn’t always mean going to a store.
It also doesn’t mean that your gift has to be a book. Today’s post offers gift ideas that celebrate family and literacy but which cost little or no money.
Before you stop reading and decide that these no-battery- / no-screen-required gift ideas won’t fly with your (grand)son, (grand)daughter, niece, nephew, or godchild I have a question …
When you were a kid / teen what were your favorite gifts from the grownups in your life?
I’m betting your memories focus on experiences, maybe a gift that reminded you of something you did with someone. Maybe it came from miles away with a a story of why they picked it for you. I have a few …
- A photography book about nature that my grandmother gave me because she knew I loved the outdoors. Says so right on the inscription!
- Old family movies and photos that my Dad and Mom turned into a DVD collection for my brothers and me. It has a personal, handwritten letter about why they started the project.
Now that I’m an adult, its my turn to be that special aunt / Mom / sister. I thought I’d share some of the gift ideas did I put on my drawing board … and hope you’ll add more in the comments.
- Write or record a story that is a piece of their biography.
- Is there a special vacation that you shared?
- Something they accomplished that you’re particularly proud of?
- Do you remember what they were like when they were little? Got a funny story?
- Make a collage with pictures of a family member they remind you of.
- Do they have musical talent like Uncle Buck?
- Do they look like Aunt Petunia?
- Collect pictures from a time you spent together and create a mini-album with photo annotations
- What was your favorite part?
- What was your least favorite part?
- What made the trip / event / outing special?
If you’re looking for ways to do more together in the future, then how about creating a coupon book. Go out together on “library dates” to pick out new reads. Alternatively, you could collaborate to pick out a book you’ll both read and then plan to have a mini-book club meeting about it … maybe go out for coffee or lunch.
The gift of literacy is more than just reading a book (though that’s really good, too). It’s about modeling a literate life. Showing kids – with words, stories, images – that literacy is part of how we connect with each other and what we do. Every. Day.
So what do you think? Do you have an idea on a way to give the gift of literacy?
Add yours here and I’ll tweet about it over the next few days.