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Day 21: That one Christmas

December 7, 2014

Yesterday I had the very wonderful opportunity of attending my annual birthday “party” given to me by my children’s adopted grandmother. It is always such a blessing of a time! She is an amazing cook, but an even more wonderful hostess. Our tradition of making kringla and enjoying lunch with birthday cake is a refreshing blessing to me.

This year’s celebration was simply a little more special as we remembered a precious Christmas. Grandma and Grandpa only shared one advent season with Reed before he passed away. Their “adoption” into our family occurred in the spring. But we celebrated one annual Christmas sleepover together with all of us.

Best carrot cake ever!

Best carrot cake ever!

While enjoying bites of the most divine carrot cake ever made, our conversation settled upon quilts, like the ones I am making for gifts. Grandma asked if I had ever seen the beautiful quilt made for them by the local church. I had indeed. Then we both remembered my sweetie and I have used it at our family Christmas gathering. As my mind raced through the thoughts of that first Noel shared together, I remembered how under that quilt we were supposed to have a soft and cuddly fleece blanket. Grandma raced around the house looking for it to no avail. Eventually, we discovered a young redhead had snuck off to bed and was wrapped snuggly inside it. We survived, but were a little jealous of Reed’s snuggly blanket.

As we were cleaning up the table, I lovingly touched the cake stand. At my first birthday party Grandma did not own one, but wished she did. Her smile told the whole story when she unwrapped one that first Christmas. We all still laugh (and sometimes say in unison) Reed’s clarification of the significance of this gift. Upon opening, he blurted out, “That’s not just any cake stand! It’s a Martha Stewart!” For our little family, that little line is recited as precious way to breathe Reed’s memory into our presence.

Yet, the most special memory to me was the one Grandma had forgotten. One the drive home after our first year, Reed quietly said, “You know guys, I think Grandpa P is the real Santa Claus.”   After a little bit of questioning about this observation, he explained, “Didn’t you see how his eyes twinkle?”

That’s my boy! Keeping the magic of Christmas alive for us all – especially his younger siblings – while always loving Jesus more than most knew possible for twelve years old.

A scene from Grandparent's day - notice Grandpa with the twinkling eyes!  Magic or mischief . . . we'll never tell.  photo courtesy of Karen Berg

A scene from Grandparent’s day – notice Grandpa with the twinkling eyes! Magic or mischief . . . we’ll never tell. photo courtesy of Karen Berg

May you all have a moment as wonderful and special this Christmas!

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