I wrote previously about the challenges of Dating Grandpa. But there are perks too. This morning I had the privilege of sharing Christmas with Papa, his son S, daughter in law V, oldest daughter B (14), oldest son D (7), youngest son O (3), and youngest daughter E (18 months).
We started with dinner last night. Papa’s daughter, son in law, and their four kids came over to exchange presents. After dinner and exchanging presents, we played some games on TV. It’s an app that gets downloaded and you play via your cell phone by logging on to the game website and entering your answers to each question on the phone. There were several games to choose from and it was fun playing, laughing, and teasing one another.
We finished fairly early since the little kids got sleepy and went to bed. The adults all went to sleep pretty early as well, since S and V expected the kids to be up around 5 am.
Fortunately, the kids slept til almost 7am, but when they all came running downstairs, it was game on! We hurried to throw on some clothes and join the fun. Thankfully, V was already making coffee for us. We all got settled in the living room and got started. V began handing out presents. It was so much fun watching their excitement and happy faces, especially when they got something they had been hoping for!
The two little ones were the most fun to watch. At 3, O is the perfect age for Christmas. Each present was more wonderful than the last, and he wanted to stop and play with each one immediately! The present I enjoyed watching him play with most was his new lime green tricycle, with matching dinosaur helmet, arm and knee pads, and a T Rex horn that made a roaring sound instead of a beep or honk.
E got bored when she didn’t have a present to open, so she started going over to the tree and picking up random presents and opening them! We tried to keep an eye out, but she’s fast!
E got a little jealous of her brother O’s tricycle, even though she got a cute little car to ride around in. After an hour or so of getting frustrated by his little sister touching his new toy, I suggested he play with her toy. He didn’t like that idea, but after a while he did go over to her little car – and in less than a minute, E got off the tricycle and was interested in the car! It took her a while, but by lunchtime she was playing with it.
Of course, there was a lot of wrapping paper all over the floor when they were finished, but everyone seemed pleased with how the morning unfolded, despite a few squabbles and meltdowns by the two little ones.
This Christmas scene reminded me of Christmases with my second family: Mom, Daddy (her second husband), my sister P, and brothers J, S, and A. The happiness, squabbling, and the bond of sharing a family experience.
P is two years older than me; J is six months younger; S is two years younger, and A is the baby – ten years younger. Our Christmas mornings were remarkably similar, with Mom handing out presents one by one, some envy or disappointment between me and P; or S and J, and of course A always feeling like he was missing out on the big kids’ cooler presents.
I remember one year the big present for J was black Converse high top tennis. Oh was he happy! That was the style that year and he just had to have them!
Another year my mom took me shopping for my siblings and was asking my opinion on what they wanted. I saw something I wanted, and she bought it …. for my sister! I was so mad! And then so surprised when I opened my present on Christmas and there it was! I couldn’t believe my mom had tricked me! But I was glad she did.
I really don’t remember most of the presents, even though we had things each year that were important to us at the time. I’d bet the grandkids probably won’t remember a lot of the presents they got today, but just like my family, the memory of a happy family Christmas together will remain as part of the tapestry that is their childhood.