by Texas Homesteader ~
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Several years ago our children requested no new toys for our grandkids. They already had mountains of toys, and Christmas always just sent it all over the edge. So RancherMan & I have been gifting our grandchildren ‘Experience Gifts‘ for Christmas instead.
One year we took them to a live production of ‘A Christmas Story’ at a theater in a nearby town. We’ve taken them to see a live production of ‘It’s A Wonderful Life’ at a lovely refurbished 1940’s theater one year too. Often we’ll drive through a Christmas-Light display at the lake or stop at a restaurant for a bite to eat as well.
But they’re starting to get older, so this year we wanted something a little more physically challenging for them. So we hunted down a Warrior Ninja Obstacle Course/Trampoline park in a nearby town. It was all the rage on TV so we knew they’d love it.
We always try to get all four of our grandchildren together at the same time so they can enjoy their gift from us alongside their cousins. Being with their cousins is a huge part of the overall experience.
But for us to make the rounds to both houses and get back home and then return them all home again afterward would be lots of time on the road. About 7.5 hours and over 400 miles!
So we rely heavily on their parents to help make it all happen. They each live about an hour or more away from us and about an hour from each other too. I’m so thankful to our kids for their help with transportation to make this possible!
On the day of our experience-gift plans, it was c-c-c-cold and rainy. But we’ll not let that deter us! We arrived at the Trampoline park about 7 in the evening. The kids had a blast. For HOURS!
They all tackled the Ninja Warrior Obstacle course of course, but they really enjoyed the trampoline portions of the park too. There was one section where you could bounce off a trampoline onto a large air-filled pillow section. They were doing cartwheels & flips, laughing all the way.
There was trampoline slam-dunk basketball court that they all enjoyed. And a trampoline dodge-ball court too. RancherMan & I even joined in on the dodge-ball fun. WHEW – I haven’t jumped on a trampoline since I was a kid! This hours-long experience sure tested the ole knees that’s for sure. LOL
We all jumped on trampolines until we were fully & totally spent. We stayed at the park for several hours before finally making the trek to our homestead.
The grandkids all came home with us to spend the night. It didn’t take them long to collapse into a deep sleep. They were very tired and so were we!
When we got home I downloaded a photo we’d taken of all of us at the obstacle course and sent it to the 1-hour photo processing place in a nearby town. There will be plans for these photo prints tomorrow.
The next morning we heard giggling from the guest bedroom. Is there any more wonderful sound than that of grandchildren breaking the morning silence with their giggling?
After some time they emerged from the back bedroom & it was time to feed those hungry kids breakfast! We decided on donuts from the local donut shop & homemade Hot Cocoa! I mean… Maybe not a nutritious breakfast, but I now have what our family has always called ‘grandparent’s rights‘ so why not?
You see, when the kids were little I’d turn a blind eye to some of the minor indulgences their grandparents would heap upon them. Things that they would never get away with at home. When the kids visited their grandparents it was ok for them to offer a later bedtime, candy before supper or even sweets for breakfast. Hey, it’s Grandparent’s Rights to spoil their grandkids! Now it’s finally our turn to claim our own Grandparent’s Rights, so we can spoil them just a bit, no? #SweetPayback
Plus since making homemade hot cocoa is so quick & easy, there’s no need to resort to the powdered stuff in the package anyway. And let’s be honest, homemade is ALWAYS better, and our grandchildren deserve the best!
So RancherMan went to the local donut shop & picked up donuts while I made the cocoa. And I also heated up some chicken biscuits that we had in the freezer. Let me tell ya, it was a feeding frenzy with those kids! LOL.
Remember The Experience Long After Christmas Is Over
After we had breakfast I brought out some black frames I’d previously purchased inexpensively at a dollar store, along with a white *paint pen. I told the kids they could decorate their frames however they liked. They each put their own creative spin on their frames.
When we picked up the photos I’d sent to have reproduced the night before, we placed one in each child’s frame. Now this framed photo gives them something to take home with them to enjoy the memory long after Christmas is over.
Oh, and we decided to take them rock climbing today as well. Check out the Rock-Climbing post here. We’re loving the experience gift idea for our grandchildren!
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