Spending time with one’s grandchildren is always special, but Christmas is something altogether different. Decorating the Christmas tree, making gingerbread cookies for Santa, the school Christmas pageant, and then finally, mercifully, the excitement that is Christmas Day. My mother used to leave our Christmas stockings at the foot of our beds as we were growing up, mainly to avoid having to face us at 4 am, ready and eager to explore the packages under the Christmas tree.

However, the ritual of writing to Santa is unique. My grandchildren have penned several letters, so as to make absolutely sure that Santa knows where they will be on Christmas Day. The two photos below attest to their wishes and desires, all neatly or not so neatly captured on a piece of paper.


Emery’s wish list

Then, we have to decipher what is written, and subsequently whisk off an email  (most likely to Amazon) to place the order. The difference between what the boys and the girls want is amusing, to say the least. Things like rocket-launchers, Nintendo Switches, Nerf-guns, Karaoke players, versus dress-up cabinets or dolls and flower toys, most of which existed in a different form long ago when we celebrated Christmas. Each of them  knows exactly what they want and while parents can deny them their wishes, grandparents do so at their peril.

Theo’s wish list

To see the excitement on their faces Christmas morning, tearing through assorted packages is priceless. Since we are all very fortunate to be able to provide for our children and grandchildren, we strive to impress upon them that others are not so fortunate.  Our enduring hope is that they understand that their future roles are to help those who have nothing under the Christmas tree, if they even have any tree at all. My mother’s mantra is no less relevant to my grandchildren than it was to us: the more you have, the more you must give back.

Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!