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by Abigail Van Buren

Grandma's Kitchen Serves Up Birthday Delights

DEAR ABBY: Another birthday is coming up for one of my grandchildren and there is absolutely nothing we can think of that she doesn't already have five of. We are simple people but love our grandchildren and would like to get them something original once in a while. Our kids buy them everything they want in every color and style. Our grandkids have clothes they wear once and toys that are still in the packages. Spending time would be a good idea except that they want to be entertained at expensive attractions and are bored with just spending time together.

We want to be part of their lives, but we don't have a clue as to how to do it. Can you help? -- OUT OF IDEAS IN FLORIDA

DEAR OUT OF IDEAS: I'll try. Is there anything that you can MAKE for your grandchildren that cannot be found in a store -- perhaps something from your oven? Many grandchildren have fond memories of Grandma's brownies, chocolate chip cookies, apple cake, etc. If the answer is yes, then bring -- or send -- a package to your grandchildren.

I say this because my grandmother, Rose Phillips, used to have the most wonderful brownies (with powdered sugar on top!) on her kitchen counter when our family would come to visit. If she had sent me a box as a gift, I would have been delighted.

Something like this is a gift that only you can give. It's something special and it won't break the bank.

Read more in: Family & Parenting | Holidays & Celebrations | Money