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Here’s what I’m giving my nieces for Christmas

Here’s what I’m giving my nieces for Christmas
This entry is part 8 of 70 in the series Spark

They’d probably rather have an iPhone, but they’ll remember this more.

No, really.

During the months of February and April 2019, I’m leading “Spark Campfire” which is a month-long experiment to write a book together with a younger person (child, niece, orphan, random friend of your neighbor’s daughter).

If you know my nieces, please don’t tell them. It’s now Dec. 23 and that would spoil the surprise! Thank you and happy holidays!


There will only be 17 families involved, we’ll have video conferences, checklists, how to walkthroughs on how to get stuff done, and we’ll be a thriving, let’s-get-this-done community of parents and uncles and adults working with kids to create something from nothing.

Spark: How to write a book with your kids and why you should
Spark: How to write a book with your kids and why you should

We’ll be a cooperative group, not competitive. Unless the competition is for “The Worst Book of All Time” (which is what I’m shooting for), then it’s all going to be for a good cause: creating something with kids.

We’re not looking to win literary awards. Not shooting for any bestseller lists. I’m personally not going for the huge dollar returns of book sales.

I’m going for the experiment of it. The unknown future of tossing together variables like a chemist mixing up a brew of a bubbly, smoking potion. He doesn’t know if it’s going to explode, fizzle, or taste like a strawberry milkshake.

Now if you don’t know kids and you didn’t have a childhood, this might be hard to grasp, but here’s what I’m really gunning for.

I want my nieces to look back on our Spark Campfire and say,

“Oh man. You mean the Christmas present from 2018? How could I ever forget! That’s when we did that Spark thing he was so gung-ho about and together we created that monstrosity. I’m pretty sure that was the worst Christmas gift I ever got–or the best. I still can’t decide. But one thing is sure: I’m never going to forget it and what we created together we have forever.”

Niece of Bradley

Sure, I could give them those fuzzy socks that have the sticky little knobs on the bottom so you don’t slip. Or maybe an iPhone XR. But what if I could give them something not only from me, but a part of me? Not just me but then something we share in common? The overlap of our experience. Not just that she did a thing and I did a thing and we talk about it but something we did together.

Then her experience and my experience is an overlap of experience and that we share together. It’s no one else’s and it’s only ours.

No one can take it away, we can’t lose it, and it will never disappear.

That’s what I see in Spark Campfire.

That’s what I’m giving my nieces this Christmas.

Here's what I'm giving my nieces for Christmas
Here’s what I’m giving my nieces for Christmas [Photo by Filip Mroz on Unsplash]
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