“I’m throwing myself a party to celebrate becoming a citizen of the United States,” read the invite from my friend Jenn.
My kids had tons of questions. “Why did she become a citizen?” “Why now?” “How long did it take?” “Will she get a new passport?” “Where was she from originally?” (While I was hoping for a patriotic story to report back to my children, it turns out the truth lay in the intricacies of inheritance taxes.)
I had never been to a citizenship party and was at a total loss as to what to give for a gift. While something red, white and blue made sense, becoming a citizen doesn’t mean you suddenly have additional needs (a musket or bayonet are so out of fashion!).
When I’m stuck and don’t know what to do for a gift, I think about the connection I have to the individual: where we met, what we both enjoy, something we do together. In the case of Jenn, we both share a love of word games and have played countless Words with Friends games…which is how I ended up making a “patriotic” Scrabble set.
I started with a basic Scrabble set and several packages of stickers that were USA-oriented: stars, states, flags, historic images. Assembly was easy: I just stuck the stickers everywhere—front and back of the board; letter tiles; letter trays; game box. (Though I am somewhat embarrassed to admit this, applying all those stickers took a strangely long time!) I also made a card using some heavy glitter cloth, a flag sticker and a few red, white & blue paperclips…which really “popped” against the blue and white striped wrapping paper and the red bow.
Welcome to America Jenn! We’re glad you’re now a citizen of the land of the free and the home of the brave…never mind, the birthplace of Scrabble!