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some of the 1300 ideas shared in LOVE LIFTS … through the generations
(these following ideas are from seven different chapters ... these ideas are actually arranged by category in the book ...)

 

• make a “congratulations box” for the new parent … baby name book, book of prayers for expectant parents, body lotion for Mom, thoughtful book for Dad, a restaurant or movie theatre coupon, a lovely baby lullaby CD …

• have a surprise “what are your cravings?” lunch shower for the mother-to-be … guests bring pickles, ice cream, chocolate, pizza, etc. for snacking at the party ...

• host a surprise shower for grandparents-to-be … friends bring books or toys to keep at the grandparent’s home ...

• take a bottle of wine (that improves with age) to the hospital on the day of the birth … include a note that says, “to be used for a toast on some special future day …at baby’s college graduation or on baby’s wedding day” ...

• create a family celebration dance … perform the “dance” when something good happens (short, creative, simple shuffle ending with a “high five”)  …

• let child/children sleep with a remembrance of parents when the parents are on a trip … Mother’s perfume on a stuffed animal or Daddy’s cologne on a shirt  ...

• have a family “smile file” of fun, happy and memorable events and revisit it often for more smiles ...

• record the lullaby or song you sing each night … leave the recording with your child when you are on a trip ...

• create surprise ice cream nights … neighborhood parents swoop sleeping kids out of bed to go to the ice cream store while kids are still in their pajamas ...

• take a “restaurant bag” each time you go out to eat … special toys, games or easy crafts that come out only at restaurants ...

• make up a story in the car while traveling …let another family member add to the story after a minute or two … your crazy story continues and continues ...

• pick a family saying or some initials (like SHMILY: “see how much I love you”) to pass down through the generations … write your special saying on cards, on an engraved plaque for a special gift, on the bathroom mirror with lipstick or spell out with pancake batter …

• hang “success symbols” in a child’s room or closet to remind him or her of great attempts made or successful endeavors … the socks worn during a race well-run, goggles from a difficult swim meet  …

• let children watch you have compassion for a new sales clerk when you say, “why don’t you learn on me and I will be very patient ...

• take children to the airport to welcome military troops that are returning home that day … take along a flag ...

• make an “I CAN” can … write a note describing difficult tasks that were accomplished … place the note in the can … encourage child to re-read the notes on days when life might not be going as well ...

• create a silly “turn around” day … have dinner at breakfast, eat dessert first, wear pajamas backwards ...

• celebrate a “not your birthday birthday party” … invite some friends over during the summer … everyone has drawn a name and has $3 to spend on his/her “not your birthday” honoree ...

• invite birthday person to pop out of bed and turn around as family says, “you turn 7 today!” ...

• record a short video of child sitting in a chair on his/her birthday … record again in that same chair each year after … eventually a “movie” …”look, you are growing right before our very eyes!” ...

• keep a family journal and list the events of the past year … add to the journal each New Year’s Eve ...

• host a “Mommy Only Tea” on Valentine’s Day … attire could be “carpool casual” ...

• put cardboard inside kids’ sandwiches with a note saying, “April Fools!” (include plenty of other things to eat) ...

• plan a neighborhood Fourth of July festival … flag-raising pancake breakfast on the driveway, neighborhood bike parade, hot dog cookout, games, crafts …

• make lunch box notes for children who do not read … include a photograph (that will never make it to the scrapbook) and attach the picture to a card … “sign” with a happy face or sticker ...

• send Thanksgiving greeting cards to family and friends in lieu of Christmas cards … “I thank my God in all my remembrances of you” (Philippians 1:3) … include a family photo with your greeting ...

• host a holiday family slumber party under the lighted Christmas tree each year (new winter pajamas for everyone?)  ...

• consider giving a gift to a charity in honor of someone instead of giving a present … donation could be symbolized by giving a small ornament  (a bike ornament if a donation was given to a bike project for children) …

• join your young person (and perhaps his or her friends) in organizing a service project … donations for water wells in Africa, new coats for kids affected by a hurricane, summer fun supplies or school supplies for a school damaged by a tornado ...

• help your youth publish a book he or she has written … research businesses that publish one or a few copies ...

• consider purchasing a special “quiet time” chair (or study chair) for your student … create a special, comfy pillow from a team or camp t-shirt ...

• treat your teen to a “coming of age” trip when he or she is 13 years of age … something all the children in the  family can look forward to experiencing ...

• create a book or letter or album, “for I know the plans I have for you” (Jeremiah 29:11) … incorporate scripture with your child’s past and future story … add photos … give to your child at graduation ...

• make a memory quilt for child’s first apartment … use the fronts of all growing up t-shirts … swim team, band, Indian Guides, camp, Student Council, After Prom …

• ask your bride-to-be “the big question” in some special way or at some special place: where you first met or a place meaningful to you both … with just the two of you present or a scenario involving friends ...

• have a wedding day “tear hankie” (or small, white, hand Bible) monogrammed for both the mother-of-the-bride and the mother-of-the-groom ...

• make or purchase a memory box for the bride-to-be to store engagement pictures, shower favors, dried wedding bouquet flowers, place cards from the rehearsal dinner, rose petals thrown on wedding day …

• save the bride’s wedding day shoes for a future “dress-up box” (perhaps for couple’s daughter one day) ...

• host a grandparent party for all your grandparent friends … ask friends to bring a new gift for a baby or child and donate gifts to a nearby family shelter … ask the grandmothers to bring pictures of their own grandchildren and have a fun (and "purposeful”) day of bragging ...

• make an ancestor memory book by recording the family history through a story of photographs ...

• build or purchase something fun that is just at the grandparents’ house … small antique table and chairs, climbing gym, small fort, garden playhouse, kid tools and kid workbench, tandem bike, puppets and stage, ping pong table, teepee tent, chess game ... …

• be available to take an older grandchild shopping for someone in his/her school who will not receive a Christmas gift … take your grandchild to that child’s home and leave the gift anonymously on the front porch ...

• offer to host a “spa day” at your house before your granddaughter’s prom or graduation … a special lunch for the graduating granddaughter and her friends, followed by manicures and pedicures …

• take a gift pack to those whose loved one is in the hospital … include healthy snacks, bottled water or juice, stationery and stamps, magazines, parking tokens, disposable camera, journal and pen …

• visit the home of someone having a difficult time … leave a single rose in a vase at the doorstep with an anonymous note saying, “you and yours are completely surrounded by His love” ...

 

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