My Big Gift Box Idea
Staying connected with grandchildren and helping them understand our travel pursuit is important to us. While we’ve lived in separate cities most of their lives, they used to know where our house was. Now that we’re nomads, when we FaceTime them, they’re always seeing us in a new place. Putting together place-inspired gifts allows me to teach our grandchildren something about a place, to do creative gift-giving (something I love to do), and spoil our grandchildren. It’s awesome fun.
Deciding on a theme for a Halloween gift box that helps explain Austin, Texas was easy. Finding the items was a bit more of a challenge, since having things shipped to us isn’t as fun, or reliable as finding items in a store. I do love retail.
Side Note: I spent almost a decade working in a gift shop and a couple of years writing a shopping column focused on fun finds.
What connects Austin, TX and Halloween?
Bats. 1.5 million+ Mexican free-tail bats to be more precise. Austin is well-known for is its Mexican free-tail bat colony that dwells beneath the Congress Bridge. It’s the largest urban colony of them in North America. We took a sunset kayaking tour with Capital Cruises. It was an awesome experience. You can watch our experience with them by clicking here.
Going on a bat hunt
I recommend hunting for bats within the walls of trusted retailers only. I began my hunt at Domain Northside. First, I went to Paper Source. While there I found these adorable bat gift bags (a set of four), a couple of cute bat themed PEZ dispensers, and gift cards with bats on them. I stopped into Lush. They were out of their bat-shaped item, but the Aliens and Monsters moldable soap in-stock was something I knew both grandchildren would love. Then, I found two bat-topped candy kabobs in Nordstrom‘s Children’s section.
After that, I went off to what I consider old-reliable for filling in the gaps: Target. I’ve spent most of my 43-years living in Minnesota, its home state. I found bat-shaped Reese’s Peanut butter cups and vampire-themed Hershey’s Kisses with bright red strawberry filling. A note on the peanut butter cups – the bat shapes are in a bag with ghost and pumpkin shapes, so we had to keep a few for ourselves.
I made a quick stop at Michael’s for orange ribbon and tissue paper.
It's all in the details, right?
We have two grandchildren. They live in separate households. One is my daughter’s. One is Chris’s eldest daughter’s. One is five, the other is four, and they are only five months apart in age, so equality in gifts is quite important to them both. I counted each piece of candy to make sure that neither had an extra. Inside of the cards, I wrote the same note explaining where we are and why we sent them so many batty items. Putting together the boxes was fun and fulfilling. I only wish I had thought of the idea earlier. Right now, I’m starting to think about Phoenix and Thanksgiving and how to combine the two into something meaningful. If you have an idea, please share!