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  #1  
Old 09-01-2014, 04:03 PM
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Default New Traditions

Hello everyone,

With the encouragement of a new friend here, I decided to post an idea I thought of this weekend.

I decided to find, every year, a new Christmas ornament for my son, and give them to him when he is released (I won't know that date for a long time, as he hasn't been sentenced yet).

I thought of it while shopping at an Art Festival this weekend. I found a beautiful hand painted glass eagle, made me think of him being my Eagle Scout. I know he will love it.

Does anyone have any new traditions they have started for their child, or want to start? Maybe we can all share ideas here.

tatonkawia
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Old 09-01-2014, 07:18 PM
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That is so cool !
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Old 09-02-2014, 05:06 AM
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Since my son was born, we always buy one new ornament for everyone in the family, now it is just myself and him, (husband deceased), not only will he have a new ornament, but he will have this years presents to open next year too!
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Old 09-02-2014, 12:02 PM
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I bought ornaments every year for each of my boys since they were babies. I stopped when they left home although I still hang them on the tree, but I now buy ornaments for the grandkids. They love it. It's a great way to show what their interests are as they are growing up. My granddaughter loves the bumblebee I bought the year she was a bumblebee for Halloween. I've also made several shutterfly books for my son in prison, mostly about his son who just turned 13. He's missing out on so much so it's a great way to help him be a part of his life through pictures. I'm going to try making another one soon. Time is passing quickly and before I know it, he will be a full-fledged adult! Maybe by that time, they will have reconnected which is one of my biggest hopes.
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Old 09-02-2014, 06:28 PM
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Love this new tradition I think he will really enjoy decorating that first Christmas tree when he comes home and sees each one! I don't currently have traditions for my son as for now, (knock on wood) he is not incarcerated, however, I HAVE started a tradition for my granddaughter who is 14 months old. I have started collecting glass animal figurines for her. I will get for each birthday, Christmas, Valentines day, etc and give her the collection on her 16th birthday.
When my son WAS incarcerated, I took a photo every day. It could be the park, the grocery store, a dog walking, etc. And once a week I mailed him five photos of the week.. he loved it.
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Old 09-02-2014, 07:44 PM
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Originally Posted by southernsarah View Post
When my son WAS incarcerated, I took a photo every day. It could be the park, the grocery store, a dog walking, etc. And once a week I mailed him five photos of the week.. he loved it.
I LOVE this idea and so will my son. What a great way to keep them connected to us and the outside world. It's definitely going to be a new tradition for us. Thank you!!
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Old 09-02-2014, 08:42 PM
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These are some great ideas!
Starting new traditions is a really good way to focus on time passing in a positive way.


As a side note:
This would be a great piece for the newsletter (Christmas edition).

Anyone want to put a little article together for me in the next couple of months?
We could just have a short list (no names included) of some of these ideas.

It would be lovely to have a member contribution in our Christmas edition, so don't be shy!

~ Rachel
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Old 09-03-2014, 05:34 PM
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I don't know if this counts as a tradition but I make sure that I tell my loved ones more often that I love them and especially my son.
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Old 09-03-2014, 07:45 PM
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I love reading everyone's ideas! I am going to have to look up Shutterfly...I guess that is something he can see on the computer in prison, or is it something you send through the mail? It sounds cool.
The 5 pictures of the week is a great idea! It is like you and he were connected by the photos...just on opposite ends of the process, you looking through the lens to capture something, and him being the audience.
I do make small paintings or drawings for my son, mostly of outdoor scenes, some are prayers that I write on a bookmark, so it has a dual purpose. I know he likes the nature scenes, as he was an avid hiker and backpacker.
I know that most of us can get caught up in the awfulness, and it is great to focus once in a while on the positive rituals that can mark the passage of time.

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Old 09-03-2014, 08:34 PM
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We have an organic garden and he requested that we save him a jar of pickles (his favorite) from each batch we make.

It is amazing the little things he misses, but we gladly mark a jar with a "K" just for him when he gets home.
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Old 09-04-2014, 03:23 PM
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Default Christmas News Letter

Rachel,

I would be happy to put together something from the newsletter, please get back to me when the time comes and I will write something up. Thanks,

tatonkawia


Quote:
Originally Posted by Rachel View Post
These are some great ideas!
Starting new traditions is a really good way to focus on time passing in a positive way.


As a side note:
This would be a great piece for the newsletter (Christmas edition).

Anyone want to put a little article together for me in the next couple of months?
We could just have a short list (no names included) of some of these ideas.

It would be lovely to have a member contribution in our Christmas edition, so don't be shy!

~ Rachel
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Old 09-04-2014, 04:12 PM
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Fortunately my man will be home before the holidays. We do have a tradition together. Each year he gets me at least one new snowman ornament. His very first gift to me was a snowman ornament that he had our names and the year engraved in. At Christmas our whole house is covered in snowmen and we add one that has our names and year engraved or painted on it. By next year hopefully he will be financially stable again and we can start the tradition we've talked about. We want to adopt a family to provide Christmas for, dinner, tree, decorations, gifts, the works.
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Old 09-04-2014, 05:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tatonkawia View Post
Rachel,

I would be happy to put together something from the newsletter, please get back to me when the time comes and I will write something up. Thanks,

tatonkawia

OOH! Thanks.
I will send you a message with some more details, don't want to hijack this thread! lol
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Old 09-04-2014, 06:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tatonkawia View Post
I love reading everyone's ideas! I am going to have to look up Shutterfly...I guess that is something he can see on the computer in prison, or is it something you send through the mail? It sounds cool.
The 5 pictures of the week is a great idea! It is like you and he were connected by the photos...just on opposite ends of the process, you looking through the lens to capture something, and him being the audience.
I do make small paintings or drawings for my son, mostly of outdoor scenes, some are prayers that I write on a bookmark, so it has a dual purpose. I know he likes the nature scenes, as he was an avid hiker and backpacker.
I know that most of us can get caught up in the awfulness, and it is great to focus once in a while on the positive rituals that can mark the passage of time.

I don't know if you've looked up Shutterfly yet, but they make photo books as well as calendars, photo gifts, etc. You make the book online from a number of options they offer. You upload your photos, arrange them on each page and add text (I've even added a few poems). You have plenty of time to reorganize and make each page just the way you want it. They now offer a soft cover version which is great since the prisons here won't accept hardcover books. They will send the book wherever you want it sent which is also good because all books here in CA must come from a publisher. My son hasn't had any trouble receiving them. I'm thinking I might make one for my son of all his favorite places - the beach, surf shops, his favorite fish taco place, Starbuck's, our house, etc. I think he might get a kick out of it and it's another way that he can be part of the world outside of prison for a few minutes and do so whenever he feels like it.

Good luck if you decide to make a book. I think it's actually a lot of fun!
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Old 09-04-2014, 08:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rachel View Post
OOH! Thanks.
I will send you a message with some more details, don't want to hijack this thread! lol
Rachel, I know this is "off the board", but everytime I see your Avatar, I have to just chuckle to myself as this is how I feel most days...love the rolling head.
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Old 09-08-2014, 02:45 AM
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Default Holiday idea

In AZ we are so limited on what we can send. He is only allowed 10 books, a specific number of CDs, a specific number of photos. I had thought about buying him one gift a year to hold until he was home but I was afraid it would be depressing for him as a reminder of how many he missed. I like the idea of Christmas ornaments but to avoid counting what was missed, I will collect a dozen just based on what unique items I can find so that they are not by year.

Elsewhere someone had posted that they send sheets of paper that when assembled make a Christmas trees, like a puzzle, and they send pictures of ornaments for their loved one. So they assemble the tree and tape it to their wall and then decorate it. My son said he would not be able to do that with the way they are set up. But for others this may be an idea that will work. Or you could do a picture of a manger and send the animals and the people. Or other holiday traditions from your family.

December last year was difficult for my son as it is his birthday and Christmas in the same week. I am going to create something and list his accomplishments for the yearto send him on his birthday, things like being accepted to community college, a 97% in English 101, being moved from level 3 to level 2 yard, qualifying for food visits, and whatever else I can think of, to remind him of his positive accomplishments for the year. I haven't decided how to lay it out yet, but a scroll look, or set it up like the chapters or index of a book, or like a report card with a comment section where I can put positive comments on his attitude is what I have considered so far. It will just be a sheet of paper. I hope to be able to decorate it a bit with small things.
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Old 09-08-2014, 05:53 PM
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When we get closer to the holidays, I'm sure there will be input from the other parents on ideas for their kids. It sounds like things are pretty strict at some of the prisons, but don't forget that you can always print out (or do your own) a poem or story to signify a birthday or other holiday. I also like to send lots of cards at Christmas and his birthday - some funny and some serious - and my son really likes that.
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