Friday, September 20, 2013


I know a six-year-old whose grandmother gave him a TV for Christmas last year. His very own TV, that he could set up in his room and watch all by himself.

Major. Gift. Fail.

Grandma, were you out of your ever-lovin' mind?

When my children were young, their grandmother came up with more creative gift ideas. One year, it was a family membership to the children's science center in Nashville. Awesome. Another year, it was a family membership to the Memphis zoo. Totally awesome.

With an annual family pass to such facilities, we could pack up a picnic and head out for a day of adventure whenever we needed a break from the routine. And I assure you, every time we loaded back up into a hot van, tired and hungry after a fun day of exploring, we thought, "Thank you, Grandma! You're the best!"

On November 1, right here in rural northwest Tennessee, a world-class museum/entertainment/hands-on educational venue will be opening its doors to the public. I cannot wait to set foot in Discovery Park of America. You can check out their website here. It's kind of hard to believe that we're going to have such an incredible facility, right in our own dirt-road/corn-shuckin'/coon-huntin'/tobacco-spittin' backyard.

So, Grandma, forget the TV. (As a matter of fact, you should tell Little Joey the TV was only good for a year, and that you want it back before this Christmas.) This year, for less than the cost of a television, you can purchase a gift that will stimulate Little Joey's brain and imagination, instead of anesthetizing it. A gift he will enjoy much more, and that will foster more gratitude. A gift that brings with it adventure and exploration and discovery.

This year, why not get Little Joey a membership to a local zoo, or a children's museum, or an art gallery? If you live in Obion County, how about a membership to Discovery Park? While you're at it, get a membership for yourself, too. You'll be giving yourself and Little Joey the key to a treasure chest of wonderful memories.

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