The holidays are fast approaching, and parents everywhere are scrambling to get their children whatever gifts they think they’ll love the most. Of course, some people are notoriously difficult to buy for, but kids don’t have to be the hard ones. They’re your family, after all, and you can use this time to year to tell them how much they mean to you. Don’t shy away from the occasional sentimental gift. Those are the kind that will last a lifetime.

A Mother’s Journal

A mother’s, or grandmother’s journal is a diary with a bunch of personal writing prompts. The point of this, of course, is to fill it out and then give it to your child. It’s great for you because it gives you a chance to reflect on your childhood and teenage years, as well as what you were like before you had kids. For your child, it’s an introduction to your younger self. This might not be a treasured gift for a 15-year-old, but a 25-year-old will love it. It’s an opportunity to teach your child about the process of becoming a person, and a parent that they might otherwise miss out on.

A Family Heirloom

This doesn’t have to be something big, or even old. Some family heirlooms are best passed on as traditions. If your traditions are more traditional, you may find it appropriate to pass along the big one to them when they have the family and financial ability to do it. This is often a big family dinner for the holidays, but it can be anything. If your kids are younger, they can be in charge of something smaller like putting out the cookies for Santa.
The more traditional heirlooms are objects, of course. Try to tailor it to your child though. Gifting your child your wedding dress is a good idea, but they might not want to wear it. On the other hand, a classic dining room table from your parents is sure to be welcome in almost any home.

Birthstone Jewelry

There are few things that people welcome more than jewelry. If you have kids, including their birthstones are an easy, personal way to give them something both meaningful and that they’re likely to love. If you have more than one kid, you can incorporate their sibling’s birthstones into it as well. This is a sneaky tactic to encourage them to remember each other’s birthdays as well! If you want to make it a remarkable present, try to get a birthstone that’s been certified by a gemologist to determine its exact quality and clarity.

Handwriting Jewelry

Handwriting jewelry is available on Etsy and from most jewelers, and it’s one of the most personal gifts you can give someone you love. The important thing is just to choose someone that will matter to them in a big way. If your kids are grown, then their kid’s handwriting is a good option. If they aren’t, then use someone else’s handwriting who matters to them. You can change it up, too. Use a fingerprint, a soundwave of a heartbeat, or paw prints!

A Secret E-mail Account

This is one present that works best if you start it ahead of time. If you have a small child or a baby, now is a perfect time. Set up an e-mail account for them and send them weekly e-mails about what it’s like to be their mom. When they turn whatever age you think would be right, send them the account and the password. They’ll find a treasure trove of messages detailing just how much you love them and what it was like to raise them.

Photo Album

When there’s a fire, the one thing everyone tries to save, besides the people and pets, are the photo albums. Today, with everything being available online, it can be a nice change to get the old school version. A family photo album is a perfect example. It’s special enough that they’ll never want to get rid of it, no matter how minimalistic they are. And it also gives your whole family an opportunity to sit down and think about what life used to be like.

Family Recipes

A collection of family recipes is a pretty fantastic gift. It’s even better if you can assemble them into a bound, laminated book where the recipes are protected, so you don’t spill soup on them. There’s even recipe software if you want to try and do it on your own instead of having it done for you. Food is often a source of joy and culture for families. Passing on the recipes can be like passing on parts of your family to them, and can mean just as much.

Sometimes it can feel like a lifetime has gone by since your kids lived with you or you held them in your arms. Sometimes you can’t wait to take a five minute break from a toddler who’s been arguing about every aspect of life for the past three hours. But no matter what, taking the time to put these gifts together gives you a chance to reflect on the times you love. The gifts will give your kids a chance to do the same, and that’s what Christmas is about.

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