A conversation between Bob Rummer, Ken Rummer, Don Burnham and Cousin Jane
Every year at Christmas time our Grandpas were busy in the shop.
Thinking about that, how does a Grandpa approach Christmas time and presents? How can you try to treat all your grandkids fairly? Do you just make multiple copies of everything? Do you try and knock it out of the park with an heirloom every Christmas?
Over time, Grandpa R came up with some creative ways to deal with this. Ken and I think there are some tips here as we all approach Christmas.
CLICK HERE to read Bob, Ken, Don and Jane’s reflections on the gifts they got from their own Grandpas:
We would love feedback from you, our readers, on this topic. What handmade gifts did you get from your woodworking grandparents as kids? Do you make gifts for your own kids and grandkids? Add your thoughts to the comments below.
I try to make something for the grandkids and my kids as they get older the projects evolve this year blanket chest and jewelry boxes for the older daughters and granddaughters the grandsons monster trucks (they got rocking toys last year) and they youngest granddaughter is getting a rocking horse
Wow! Lucky kids and grandkids. You must start before November 🙂
Sounds like you are quite busy in the shop. How do you decide what projects to make? Do you get requests from your grandkids? One of the things that I have found with my kids is the fun of working together to help design the project–“lets draw a picture and think about sizes and options and wood choices and finish.”
A long time ago ( almost 50 years) I started making name tags out of wood for one Christmas present for each member of the family. They were designed, marked and intended to become tree ornaments. Over time, and maybe my skills increased, the nametags became more complex and I developed some skill in intarsia. I have 14 family members, son, daughter in law, grandchildren and their wives, husbands and great-grandchildren. The project now starts in August.
A couple of years ago, at Christmas, I suggested that I would stop that tradition. The room became very quiet and finally one grandson said “Grandpa, stop the presents but not the nametags”. I am 82 and still making name tags.
PS I just finished an Oak chest for my grandson.
Hopefully many of the things I have made for my grandkids will become what is referred to as a heirloom. Something to be passed down through the generations. This is never the intent. I build the toys with attention to detail and with usability in mind. What fun is a toy if you can’t play with it? Not much survives when someone passes, except family. My hope is that someone 100 years from now will pick up one of my toys and feel the excitement my grandson felt when he first saw it. In this way I will live well into the future. Even if no name is attached to the toy or project.