By Lois Breneman, Copyright © 2007, Heart to Heart Newsletter

There are unique ways to enrich long distance relationships with children and grandchildren, and I’d like to share one with you. Our four year old young grandson and infant granddaughter live a good distance away, so we as grandparents don’t get to see them nearly as often as we’d like. We do talk on the phone often, of course, but that’s not the same as giving and receiving those wonderful hugs and spending time with our grandchildren, making crafts, cooking, playing games, reading, fishing, and sharing other fun hands-on activities with them. All of you grandparents with grandchildren living out of state can empathize and understand that great void felt in the hearts of grandmas and grandpas in this situation.

Recently when I learned the latest high cost of mailing even one small story book, I decided on an alternative route requiring no postage at all. I wrapped quite a few story books individually in brown paper, using paper grocery bags with no print on the inside. After taping them with packaging tape from the dollar store, I addressed each package to our grandson, Justin, along with his address, happy face stamps and return address labels. Some packages were embellished with rubber stamp designs.

Next rather than actually mailing each package to his home, when our daughter’s family visited recently, I gave his parents a bag full of individually wrapped packages of books, stickers and small toys to take home, to put in a special hiding place. In the future I plan to also including an Alka Seltzer Rocket Kit, something Justin and I have already had fun doing together.

Now that our daughter has several packages for Justin, I e-mail a message to her to stick one in the mailbox for Justin on certain days. I have also told her she could stick one in the mailbox for him to find whenever she thinks he needs a special lift. As soon as our infant granddaughter, Ryan Elizabeth, is able to enjoy such fun gifts, she will receive some personal packages as well, though for now I plan to simply wrap up little outfits for her brother or parents to open for her. I’ve got a big stash of darling outfits waiting for her to grow into that I found at a wonderful yard sale and even more adorable outfits from Goodwill – each one for only a dollar, although they all look like new!

So grandparents, here’s a low cost tip on how we can still be a special part of our grandchildren’s lives, even from a distance, to express our love to both our children and grandchildren, without actually “mailing” packages all the time. We grandparents can be a vital part in sharing God’s love and building character into the lives of our grandchildren. Today Justin called to thank me for a book he received in a package!

This could also be a suggestion that moms might want to pass on to their children’s grandparents to save them some money which could be used instead for an extra trip to visit the grandchildren!

Lois Breneman is the Editor of the Heart to Heart Newsletter, a ministry for the purpose of bringing practical encouragement to women through creative ideas for the Christian family – regarding homemaking, marriage, children and much more. You may receive this free bimonthly newsletter by sending your name, city, state, country and the name of the person who referred you to Lois at A “Start-Up Kit” will be sent upon subscribing