I can remember feeling both worried and super excited about all the changes that occurred in 2015. One of these was becoming an aunt (officially) and wondering what teenagers (more specifically college students) these days deem as “fun”.
I’m laughing at myself because I realize how “old” that sounds. (She says in granny voice, “What are these teenagers up to these days?!!). Criminey to Pete- It’s only been like 16 years since I was that age. Things can’t be THAT different, right? “Well since you use phrases like Criminey to Pete, you MUST be out of touch with things and these teens will think you are “old” and stuff, ” her inner critic says. GAH! Then again, I’m sure not many of my peers say “criminey to Pete” either. I’m just quirky, but I have embraced that :D. Actually things ARE quite a bit different since 1999. I grew up in the cut off era just before every teen (and probably now toddler) known to man had cell phones, computers, electronic “pads” and all that stuff. I didn’t have a cell phone or a computer when I went to college. I was rarely on the internet. There was no Snapchat (I still don’t know what THAT is, only that it exists), Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and people talking in hashtags. #idigress…
It isn’t only that times have changed much since I was that age, but the fact that I am just VERY rarely around teenagers at all (not since I was one myself at least- ha!). There have been no children in my family since myself, my brother and my 2 cousins. We are now all in our 30′s. Lots of funerals, no births (unless you count third cousins that I never get to see). On the upside, this is the part that had me excited about being an aunt for the first time! With my new marriage to Matt came 2 nieces and 1 nephew. I’ve always wanted to be an aunt! Especially since I’m not a mom.
So anyway, I found myself in this new role. Kids are super easy for me. The littler the better. I feel right at home. With a teenager I had visions of boring them to death and being soooo “uncool”. Though I don’t know why. I have a pretty fun personality if you ask me . Matt doesn’t come from a holiday gift giving family, and I do. Although we dated for years before marriage, I never bought the kids gifts for Christmas. I don’t think Matt did either. So, I guess I started a new tradition and Matt was totally on board with it. I let Matt pick out the gift for our young nephew and I picked out a HUGE 1,000 piece Disney Princess art set for the little girl. Because I think kids should spend time creating and not in front of the TV all day ;). It has stickers and markers and coloring books, paints, etc. etc.
Only one lives nearby. Our 18 year old niece. Maybe it is just a guy thing, but bachelor Matt wasn’t the type to invite family over, so I wanted to open that door for family to know they have a haven here to hang at. In true “teenspeak” of modern times I Facebook messaged her to ask her if she’d like to come over and spend some Christmas time with us on her holiday break from college. Not sure how much time she would want to spend here, or what she would want to do, I gave options. Dinner? Baking? Making Christmas crafts? “OMG I’d love to bake!” was the response. I was pleasantly surprised at the enthusiasm I received.
The Plan, Stan
I made a dinner of baked chicken, peas (she loves the kind of peas I buy!) and mashed potatoes. We ate at the fancy candlelit table and talked about college and future goals and all of that. The house was decorated beautifully with her gifts under the tree to open afterwards. Did I mention how fun it was to finally get to shop for a young girl!! (the majority of my shopping is for men and I never get to shop for teens.) I picked out a knit beanie from American Eagle, a sparkly tube of Bath & Body Works Freshly Fallen Snow body butter, a little crown shaped Juicy Couture necklace, and a microfleece onesie. “ONESIES?!!!”, you say. I totally took a gamble on that one, but I thought they were so cute and cozy and sort of snow-bunny like. Just the sort of thing a college student would like.
The ONESIE : (NOT the one I got her. Just an example)
My Onesie- HA! (Yes, I got one for me too at the Kohl’s black Friday sale before they sold out-& they sold out quickly!) P.S. I’m no good at taking selfies of my clothing…
After presents we had fun baking chocolate chip cookies and cookie dough brownies. We played with the puppy while we waited for things to bake and then we made a gift basket of goodies for her Mom for a Christmas gift she could give her. That gift basket included a fun and quick “craft” that we did next- bedazzling some lip balms. She totally loved the idea- score! I get my stocking stuffers from drugstore.com every year and I just happened to see this lip gloss package by EOS:
I forgot to get a photo of the ones she made for she and her Mom, but here is the one I made for myself (you can get these at drugstore.com , just search “EOS”:
The moral of the story is that giving from your heart, trusting your instincts and just being yourself is all that ones needs to be concerned with. Here I was worried about if she would like her gifts (I second guessed myself and decided the onesie was stupid at one point haha), or if she would find our house boring and not stay long, or if she wouldn’t think my ideas were that awesome at all (but they were awesome in my head, so…. ) . The reaction I got in reality was totally different (in a good way) than I expected.
For one thing she told me when I invited her to dinner she couldn’t pass it up because she thinks I am the best cook (aw). When it came time to open her gifts and she saw what was under the tree for her she said , “wow, all those are for me?” and told us she felt really special. To which I replied, “as you should” . She loved the lip balm idea and thought doing that together was so fun. She loved the gift box we put together for her mom. We had so much fun! She said she’d like to come over next time I have one of my “date nights with myself (which consist of a chick flick, snacks, and beauty treatments). I think I’m going to enjoy this aunt thing!
For My Readers- Something to Ponder:
Part of “Living Inspired” and creating more joy and beauty in life is in the magic of making special moments for yourself, and just as importantly, for others. Actually, creating special experiences for others is a favorite thing of mine because it makes you feel so good inside! Who could you bless today? What sort of special thing could you plan for a family member? A friend? With how busy people are today, simply taking time for them- making them a priority and letting them know they are important, is so appreciated. Plus it is FUN! You are creating memories and that is what life is all about.
I’d love to hear your stories about how you create special moments for others. Leave a comment or drop me a line to share <3 . Warmly, Rebekah