5 BEs from a grandma on composing meaningful gift cards and inscriptions

The gift-giving season is upon us, and many grandparents like to include a meaningful, memorable message with the gifts they give their loved ones.

Whether you plan on crafting quips for gift cards or unforgettable inscriptions in gift books, here are my top five tips for meaningful and memorable — as well as short and sweet — sentiments for your sweeties.

tips for writing to grandchildren 


Be yourself. Use words and phrases you would use when talking to the recipient. Your writing voice should be similar to your speaking voice so your loved one hears you when reading your carefully chosen words.



Be brief. No one — especially youngsters — appreciates longwinded wording in the open-the-card-first moments when they're anxious to open the gift to which it's attached. Book inscriptions can be a tad longer, if desired, but short and sweet works best for those, too.



Be personal. Write something specific about the one you're addressing. Perhaps a brief reason why you thought the gift might match his or her interests or what about his or her personality led you to consider the item ideal.



Be sure it fits the space. It can be difficult to gauge exactly how much space one has when writing by hand in a card or on a book cover. Avoid marking out mistakes or scribbling in a squished "oops" by first writing the sentiment on a scrap piece of paper about the same size then adjust accordingly.



Be prepared for little fanfare for your efforts. We all want notice for the thought and care we put into scribbling our hearts on the page for someone to see and (we hope) appreciate. Such kudos may not come. At least not in the moment. Perhaps not at all. That's okay. Really. As with most things, it's better to give a genuine message than expect to receive the same in response.

Especially when the recipient is a kiddo ready to rip into a present from Grandma.


• For additional tips, check out my previous pointers on writing to grandchildren:

Love, Grandma: 6 tips on writing memorable messages for grandchildren

How to write a keepsake letter to a grandchild