Memorable Gifts that Show You Care – Even From a Distance

Editor’s Note: This is Marianna’s last Life is Grand! column. We at Staten Island Parent hope you join us in thanking her for all her wonderful insight, advice, and tips for our Staten Island Grandparents, and wish her all the best in her future endeavors experiencing the grand life! 


Being away from grandparents during the holidays shouldn’t take away from the meaning of sharing and caring about each other. With today’s technology and a few trinkets from the Dollar store or a souvenir shop, a lot of love could be shared on any day of the year.

Here are a few ideas for giving back and forth between grandparents and grandchildren:

• Stay away from toys that will have little meaning to them within a few months. Consider an ornament that has a special meaning. It may be from a trip you attended, something especially inscribed, or a menorah from somewhere special. If possible, date it so that every year as the child grows the collection will have meaning.

• Buy a ticket to a one-day experience with you. When you know you will be visiting the children or they will visit you, have tickets ready to an event such as a play, sports event or musical performance. If the price is out of your range, a gift certificate to a favorite restaurant for just grandparents and grandchildren will give everyone something to look forward to. Time spent together is not soon forgotten.

• Although for some people, books have moved to the side by eBooks, a small collection of classics is something a child may like to have in his or her library. Perhaps the inspiration will lead to an interest in the masterpieces. Most bookstores have beautiful collections especially during the holidays.

• Art supplies are an all-time favorite with kids of all ages. Along with the supplies, add the stipulation that the children send you their artwork or a picture of it. When you run out of room on the refrigerator, use an old fashioned photo album, or a binder with sheet protectors to collect all their artwork. (Tip: put child’s name and year on all art work).

For a gift that keeps on giving, consider monthly care packages with snacks and little gifts like gloves and hats or books, age appropriate, of course! Let the kids know that they will be getting a small package from the “Grandkids of the Month Club” exclusively set up for them!

Another way to keep the fun of sharing going is when you do get together, leave a bunch of small gifts wrapped for each month you will be a part. (Fun gifts could also be practical too, such as crazy socks, fresh school supplies, etc.). Have the parent put them away and take them out at the beginning of each month to present to the grandchild. Have mom take a picture of the kids opening gifts and send it over to the grandfolks!

I guarantee most of the above gifts will put a grand smile on everyone’s face.

By Staten Islander Marianna Randazzo, author, educator, and a two-time grandmother.



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  1. Opera Classes

    October 18
    October 18, 2017  |  12:00 am - 11:59 pm
    Garibaldi-Meucci Museum
    Lou Barrella. Class meets weekly from October 11 to November 15. Please contact the museum for more details.
  2. THE LEGO® Americana Roadshow

    October 18 @ 10:00 am - 9:00 pm
    October 18, 2017  |  10:00 am - 9:00 pm
    Staten Island Mall
    Staten Island Mall in New Springville will host THE LEGO® Americana Roadshow, a highly visual, educational and free traveling installation of larger than life LEGO replicas of some of our nation’s most beloved landmarks. Ten one-of-a-kind, large scale models of
  3. Greenbelt Peepers

    October 19 @ 9:45 am
    October 19, 2017  |  9:45 am - 9:45 am
    Greenbelt Nature Center
    Mighty oaks from little acorns grow. Through hands-on activities, crafts, and stories, two year-olds and their caregivers will become familiar with the sights and sounds of the forest. Space is limited. Registration required. Fee: $3 per child/Free for Greenbelt Conservancy
  4. THE LEGO® Americana Roadshow

    October 19 @ 10:00 am - 9:00 pm
    October 19, 2017  |  10:00 am - 9:00 pm
    Staten Island Mall
    Staten Island Mall in New Springville will host THE LEGO® Americana Roadshow, a highly visual, educational and free traveling installation of larger than life LEGO replicas of some of our nation’s most beloved landmarks. Ten one-of-a-kind, large scale models of
  5. Greenbelt Tree Tots

    October 19 @ 11:00 am
    October 19, 2017  |  11:00 am - 11:00 am
    Greenbelt Nature Center
    Mighty oaks from little acorns grow. Through hands-on activities, crafts, and stories, three and four year-olds and their caregivers will become familiar with the sights and sounds of the forest. Space is limited. Registration required. Fee: $3 per child/Free for
  6. Tot’s Time Plus

    October 19 @ 11:00 am - 1:00 pm
    October 19, 2017  |  11:00 am - 1:00 pm
    SI Children's Museum
    Your pre-schooler will create artwork, sing along and listen to stories.
  7. Bouncing Babies

    October 19 @ 11:15 am
    October 19, 2017  |  11:15 am - 11:15 am
    West New Brighton Library
    Come for playtime, stories and songs for babies and their caregivers.
  8. Science Time

    October 19 @ 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
    October 19, 2017  |  2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
    SI Children's Museum
    Join us for this daily program on problem solving, inquiry and creative thinking. Activities include meetings animals from our Bugs exhibit, playing with solar cars, solving puzzle and games or building structures. Time is subject to change each day
  9. Homework Help

    October 19 @ 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
    October 19, 2017  |  3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
    Port Richmond Library
    Need help completing your homework assignments? Stop by during homework help hours. We are here to help with basic questions!
  10. Art Around the World

    October 19 @ 3:30 pm
    October 19, 2017  |  3:30 pm - 3:30 pm
    West New Brighton Library
    Educators journey around the world with students exploring unique artistic styles and mediums from different countries and cultures. CMOM’s creative arts programs support the student’s own creativity and nurture a love of the arts. Using a variety of art media,