‘Open When’ Letters: A Treasured Gift for Grandchildren

Are you familiar with ‘Open When’ letters? They are such a fun way to connect with your grandchild. WHAT ARE ‘OPEN WHEN’ LETTERS? ‘Open When’ letters are a stack of letters you have written ahead of time and presented to your grandchild with instructions for opening at a later, specified moment. Each stack of letters…

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Deborah Haddix

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Are you familiar with ‘Open When’ letters? They are such a fun way to connect with your grandchild.


‘Open When’ letters are a stack of letters you have written ahead of time and presented to your grandchild with instructions for opening at a later, specified moment.

Each stack of letters can be as general or specific as you like. For instance, you could create an ‘Open When’ stack with such general guidance as “Open When you are lonely,” or “Open When it’s raining.” Similarly, you can write and deliver a collection with a specific purpose in mind such as “Open When mommy brings the new baby home,” or “Open When the baby seems to be getting all the attention.”

In other words, ‘Open When’ letter are letters you write to your grandchild for a specific event or situation and sometimes find uncontested divorce information that can be used as evidence during this legal battle. If divorce is your choice you can also find lawyers practicing in Gosford as they can help you legally. If you are in an unhappy marriage and your partner or their family is abusive or toxic, do not hesitate to contact expert lawyers like the family attorneys from Anita K. Cutrer, Attorney at Law, PLLC to give you legal counseling and help you out.


It does, of course, take a bit of forethought and time to write out such a stack of letters. But keep in mind that the purpose of these letters is well worth any amount of effort and time required. With these letters you are reminding your grandchild of your love and care for them.

  • As your grandchild pulls the letter from the envelope and sits to read it, they feel your arms wrapped around them.
  • The specific instruction for each ‘Open When’ letter confirms that you care about every tiny little detail of your grandchild’s life.
  • These little letters allow you to ‘be there’- by your grandchild’s choice -when the letter is opened.

‘Open When’ letters are personal and can help convey feeling that might otherwise go unsaid. They can be a source of encouragement, reassurance, motivation, or support. Likewise, ‘Open When’ letter can help when a grandchild must make a difficult decision.  


Following are just a few ideas for the theme of a collection of ‘Open When’ letters. (Just to get you started!)

For Long-Distance Relationships

One of the primary benefits of the ‘Open When’ letter is that they are a strong binding tool when it comes to building deeper relationships with long-distance grandchildren. These letters can help bridge the distance gap.

For Encouragement and Affirmation

A stack of ‘Open When’ letters can be a source of encouragement to a grandchild in need of some kind words, support, or inspiration. They are also an appropriate way to share some words of affirmation and building-up.

For Special Occasions

Consider writing an ‘Open When’ collection of letters for your grandchild to read upon the celebration of major life events – birthdays, birth of a sibling, first day of school, graduation, driver’s license, first job, marriage.

For When You Cannot Be There

You can’t possibly be with your grandchild every moment (especially if you live miles away). These “Can’t Be There” moments are the perfect time for ‘Open When’ letters. Reach out and support. Offer encouragement and perhaps a little careful advice when you simply cannot be there.

For an Especially Difficult Time

A letter from Grandma or Grandpa at just the right time is a treasure to be held. Shower some love on a hurting grandchild by sending letters to be “Opened When… a friend moves away, they don’t make the team, an exam was failed, their parents are divorcing” or for any life-challenging event.

For Leaving a Legacy

Leave your grandchild a legacy of your love, thoughts, and handwriting.


It’s time to get started on your first stack of ‘Open When’ letters. First, choose a theme or topic and then write out some letters. Don’t forget to seal each one in an envelope marked ‘Open When….”

Then be sure to write an “Open First” letter to be placed on top of the stack of letters. In this letter, provide instructions to your grandchild for opening the letters. There are no hard and fast rules. It’s up to you. Perhaps you want to put a limit on how many letter may be opened each week.

Wrap up your letters and mail or deliver them to your grandchild!


If the idea of writing ‘Open When’ letters to your grandchild appeals to you, but you’re just not sure where to start, we’ve made it easy for you with our ‘Open When’ Letters Kit.

‘Open When’ Letters Kit – Available through Gumroad ($5)

Included in the digital kit are:

  • Ideas for ‘Open When’ Letters
  • Information for ‘Open When’ Letters
  • Preparing Your ‘Open When’ Letters
  • “Open When” Letter Template
  • 4-Quarter Page ‘Open When’ Letter Note Templates
  • 8-Eighth Page ‘Open When’ Letter Note/Labels

Happy writing! And please come back to share your ‘Open When’ letter stories. We’d love to hear them!!

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  • This reminds me of the journals I have kept for each of my sons. The written word is so powerful!

  • What a great idea! I have kept journals of letters to my kids and grandkids for years. For example, I wrote letters to my daughter beginning after her engagement thru the wedding planning and the first few days after, I gave it to her on her first anniversary.

  • What a wonderful idea! Not quite the same, but I left Valentine’s cards and candy at my grandkids’ house last week and asked my daughter to give it to them on Valentine’s Day. :) You always have great ideas, Deborah!

  • Tonya, I love your idea! My husband did something similar. He kept a journal for each of our kids through their high school years and gave it to them when they left for college!

  • Lisa, How wonderful that you were able to be with your family recently and leave the Valentine’s cards and candy. You are such a thoughtful grandma!

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About the Author

Deborah Haddix

I am a child of God, wife, mom, grandma, daughter, sister, niece, and friend who loves nothing better than spending time with those I love.

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