Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Making A Special Gift

I do my best thinking on a motorcycle.  Today, as I rode an hour to a distant courthouse, my mind floated in a blissful sea of calm.  First, I solved Zeno's Paradox (a math problem), then I figured out how to negotiate peace in the Middle East and, finally, I came up with a blog-post worthy of your time.

The best gift you can give someone is something personalized, something that connects specifically to them.  A few years ago I discovered such a gift and now I'm going to let you in on the secret.  It's a great gift -- not only your recipient will love getting it but you will enjoy making it.

Pick a loved one or friend and make a list of personal things you know about them.  The name of their pet, their favorite food, inside jokes the two of you share.  Then take that list and make a crossword puzzle for them!

It really isn't hard.  You line up words horizontally and vertically and fill in blank spaces with black boxes.  You create clues to the words that trade on your shared knowledge.  The process is ripe with opportunities for humor and intimacy.

I made a crossword puzzle for Robin a few years ago and she was so impressed she had it framed.  Some of the fun clues were: "Ralph's Second Love" (Motorcycles); "World's Greatest Dad" (Milton); Our Furry Friend" (Juno).

That fact that only the recipient can figure out the puzzle makes it special for them.  And creating it is fun for you.  If you decide to try this and hit a snag, write me and I'll help.  I'm good at making words fit the puzzle.

Here's a shot of Robin's puzzle. 

14 comments:

  1. This. Is. Brilliant. Thank you SO much for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  2. That is a super awesome idea. I need to do this asap. Thanks for sharing the idea.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi there - I have not been able to get onto your blog from work - boo hoo...but have still snatched minutes here and there at home and have been reading..... Love this idea - thanks for sharing - Lots of love

    ReplyDelete
  4. I also like creating word searches in the same format - I used to make them for friends in high school (and you can have a secret message in them).

    I made my husband a crossword puzzle when we were first married; it was the very first time I had ever used Word (I wasn't computer literate prior to 1997) and there I was trying to create a table and grid it properly. I bet I still have it around somewhere. Thank you for the reminder - I should make him a new one for our anniversary. :)

    You're such a thoughtful person, Ally - I love that you do your deep thinking while riding. I do mine when I'm out for long walks. I find it very Zen and soothing.

    ReplyDelete
  5. This is such an awesome idea .... I absolutely love it.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I love this idea & will definitely make one for Ian!
    Happy Thursday xoxo
    http://www.intotheblonde.com/

    ReplyDelete
  7. Love this idea! So thoughtful, I love gifts from the hear the best!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Love this. My boyfriend frequently does the newspaper crossword puzzle with my mother, so he made her one of these for her birthday last year. We had so much fun making it/solving it together. Yours is even better we couldn't manage to fit that many words in.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Awesome idea!!! I love giving gifts!

    ReplyDelete
  10. One of my friend's made one of these for me because we used to work crosswords together at work all the time. Love the idea.

    ReplyDelete
  11. What a great idea and a very personal gift. I would never have thought of this, but it is an absolutely wonderful idea.
    A question, when you are doing this do you lay the words out on a Scrabble board or just cutout paper or do it in your head (not sure that last one will work for me. Ha!)

    ReplyDelete
  12. Debbi, using Scrabble pieces is a smart idea. I just write down letters on paper with a pencil.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Love it! One of my favorite gifts from my fiance is when he pre-ordered a book for me, and write little notes on post-its throughout it. They were just silly notes, but they made me happy! Agree that personalized gifts are the best. :)

    ReplyDelete
  14. thats really gud...I will also try it :))

    ReplyDelete