I love the holidays. Seriously love all of it.
Every minute, all the shopping, wrapping, baking, cooking, prepping, figuring out.
Time and again, I think back to when my boys were little guys, so excited, so wrapped in those moments. Then, bang, it’s my grandkids. Holy crap! And they’re so excited, so wrapped in the moments. I’m right there with them.
Now I have grandkids ranging from 20 to 4.
How did that happen?
It’s still about the moments, about treasuring each step and stage and change and wonder.
My darling baby girl is now twenty, but she still bakes cookies with Nana. This year, in addition to her little brother, Colt (already 12!!!!) we include her adorable boyfriend J.R., in this long family tradition.
They’re just great at it. Mixing, measuring, baking. I am now assistant baker instead of chief, and delighted to pass the torch.
On baking day we have Kayla and J.R., Colt, Grandda and Jason. Logan’s working—I have a grandson who has to work! And Kat’s herding Griffin.
We bake, and mix, and bake. Snickerdoodles (which turn out to be Griffin’s favorite), chocolate chip, peanut butter blossoms, peppermint blossoms, and painted sugar cookies.
It’s a lot. It’s a marathon, but very precious. Plus delicious.
This is the weekend before Christmas, where Griffin gets a race track from his cousins. And played with it, and them, for HOURS.
Then there’s the countdown, and before we know it, it’s Christmas!
I do some snacks—deviled eggs, a crudite, we have some cocktail shrimp, I baked an Irish soda bread. Ripping wrapping paper and opening boxes requires energy.
Fun, chaos. Surprises, delights.
Logan has a girlfriend who’s now part of that. But we still have a little guy, a four-year-old, and nothing makes Christmas like a little guy.
When we need food, we have a salad bar, home-made lasagna, garlic bread from the Italian bread I baked the week before. Then an ice cream bar.
It’s a long, happy day, where the adults exchange a lot of delights. Kayla, and she’s an adult now, opens lots of clothes, Logan’s very pleased with his gamer steering wheel, Colt his computer. And Griffin’s clear favorite is the Mario Rainbow Road race track.
Actually, I think everyone’s favorite is the Rainbow Road race track.
While the gifts are great—they really are—the true happy is the being. Being together, being in the moment, appreciating that being in the moment.
Our annual holiday photo demonstrates just that. Oh, look how they’ve grown! Look who they are right now. It’s marvelous. It was a minute ago when my oldest grandkids were shorter than me!
There’s some recovery time, then it’s New Year’s.
Griffin would play on the Rainbow Road forever, so ends and starts the change of years doing just that.
I’ve made a chicken en cocotte, and some pasta and red sauce as Kayla, as our vegetarian, is joining BW and me, Jason, Kat and Griffin for the Eve.
We eat like royalty, then just hang out. Many races on the Rainbow. And Griffin’s favorite cousin (Kayla) plays endlessly with him. Our floor is lava! The safe places are the rugs. We can turn the lava to ice by magic, but then you slip and slide instead of burn.
I have no idea how many year-end steps I logged dealing with lava and ice.
Then the year ends, and somehow the four-year-old stays awake to ring it in. He insists: No bedtime! But goes off with Mom and Dad to bed without complaint at the dawn of 2023.
I’m so grateful for all of it. For the shopping, the wrapping, the decorating, the baking, the cooking, the cleaning up after. For the sharing the moments with the people my grandchildren brought into our lives.
All things change; nothing perishes.
And here we are, once again standing together, an expanding group, happy together in the chaos and joy of the holidays.
Here’s to 2023. May it bring us happy, healthy, and all the moments to treasure.