I usually spend the holidays at home since my children and grandchildren became adults. It’s the one time I have time to myself.
This time was different. My grandson is getting married next year. His soon-to-be in-laws invited me over to get to know the family. I knew this was important to my grandson, so I accepted and joined the family for what turned out to be a great event.
There must have been twenty to twenty-five people there. There was plenty of food, and I tried to get a little of everything, but there were too many choices.
At the end of the meal, we shared stories. I love hearing stories of the past. I shared some of my memories of my Christmases with my children and later with my grandson. I had four boys, and I loved watching them tear into their gifts while I prepared breakfast.
I had my breakfast ritual, and we would all eat together. I was almost as excited as the boys were about what they had received for Christmas. My grandson missed out on that. I raised him when he came home from the hospital, so he didn’t have anyone to share his excitement with except me. We still had good times together. I mentioned that, and his soon-to-be-new family assured me that would no longer be a problem because they were like this for all the holidays. I was thrilled beyond reason to hear that.
Soon, one of the adults asked us to move the chairs back and asked all the children to sit in the cleared area. I was, of course, curious as to why they did that. I found out because the adults started calling the kids names and passing out Christmas gifts.
The older kids had gift bags almost as tall as they were. There was so much laughter and screaming from the kids about their presents. My grandson also received several gifts from various members of the family. I saw how they accepted him and treated him like he was already married into the family.
The biggest surprise for me was toward the end of gift giving, and they gave me a beautiful gift bag. I thanked them and said they didn’t have to do that. The dad and mom informed me that I was now part of the family, so they gave me a gift.
They apologized for the noise and the children, but I told them it brought back so many good memories, and it was a pleasure to hear and be around it again. I usually watch the children to see how they act around the adults they spend time with to determine what the family is like. I saw a family that spends a great deal of time together, has a lot of fun being with each other and loves each other. The children laughed and joked with the adults and vice versa. There was plenty of love and respect, and you could feel it all around you. There was no name-calling or disrespect. It reminded me of the era I grew up in when there was love and respect for one another.
For me, this turned into an unexpectedly good Christmas. Since my husband passed, I have spent the holidays alone by choice. But because my grandson insisted I go for him, I had a fun-filled Christmas.
I look forward to getting to know our new family members. I pray your Christmas was just as enjoyable. Stay safe, love your family, and keep the faith until tomorrow.