The best present ideas are personalized gifts that contain memories and love. Let me share with you a gift I gave to my three adult children last holiday season.

I started a journal for each of my kids when they were toddlers. On plane trips once a year I would write an entry for each child, usually a page or two each. The entires were observations about their personality, their interests, things we did together, and how I envisioned them in the future. I continued these entries until they went off to college and forgot about the journal until last year.

Last fall I got each of their journal pages made into a book and placed a photo of each child and I on the cover. It was the last present they each opened on Christmas morning, and at first they didn’t know what it was. As they started reading, there were a lot of smiles and a few tears as well. All three kids loved it, especially all the incredible memories it brought back. They were fascinated at how I had seen them at each age. And they could relate how my perspectives mirrored where I was in my growth and life at each stage. So my children learned more about themselves and their dad.

This year, buy a secret journal for each of your kids and make entries at least once a year. I promise it will become a treasured keepsake some day when your kids receive their present of memories.

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