Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Tater Spreads Christmas Cheer!

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Gran hasn't had the Christmas spirit for several years now. It just hasn't felt like Christmas. I'm sure some of you know what I mean. I didn't bother putting up a tree last year, and I wasn't too excited about it this year. But, Tater needed a tree for Santa.

white Christmas tree with homemade ornaments

Pappy brought the tree into the living room last night and helped assemble it. I put the lights on it and did a little shaping before going to bed dreading today. I worked on shaping it off and on all day, and I kept thinking of how much Tater was going to enjoy the holidays this year. And the more I thought about it, the more excited I got. I decided to string lights across the opening between the living room and the kitchen. Mama Tater told Tater she should consider herself special because Gran never did things like that.

You see, Christmas is a rough time for Gran. It's a reminder that it won't be long before all the children are grown and gone. It's a time of remembering my dad, who was born December 23 and passed away on New Year's Day. I let negative thoughts ruin the holiday season for several years now.

But this year, Tater gave me Christmas cheer, and it's about the best gift Gran has ever had. She made me remember the good things:

  • Her uncle "Quin" was born on Christmas Eve and left the hospital in a Christmas stocking.
  • Mama Tater peeking through the tent on Christmas Day with her static-y hair sticking to the top and sides
  • Uncle "Cay-wub" snooping and telling the girls what was hiding in the closets
  • Ry-ry waking everyone up before the sun came up because she was too excited to sleep
  • Pappy always too excited to wait and passing out Christmas gifts long before Christmas Eve
  • Visiting Mamie and Pop and watching excited kids dig through the treasure boxes they enjoy so much
  • Gran waiting up and watching her sisters wake up on Christmas morning after helping Santa while they slept
  • The old Christmas albums from the 1960s and 1970s and hearing dad sing Willie Nelson's 'Pretty Paper'
  • My grandmother's famous chocolate pie with mile-high meringue
  • Her silver tinsel tree and the way it reflected the colored lights

And, most importantly, Tater reminded me that entering a new chapter in life doesn't mean there won't be new memories just as precious in the future. She enjoyed handing Mama Tater the ornaments so she could decorate the tree. She was delighted by the simple strand of lights hanging across the doorway. She was even tickled by the annoying little plastic needles that fall all across the floor. Everything is new and exciting for her, and it reminded me that new can be exciting...as long as you give it the chance. 

snowman playing banjo

Many of my ornaments have been collected over several decades. Some were made by my children. Some were made by my husband when he was a child. Most of the ornaments on our tree are very special, and pulling them out of the boxes made me smile.

Ladies and gentlemen, this is why grandchildren are so special. Just when I think the magical chapter of moments with children has ended, Tater comes along and changes everything.

So, take a moment and enjoy:


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