The Christmas feast was ready, presents wrapped and under the main tree (there were three), stockings filled ¦ lights, camera, music, ACTION! The grandboys barreled through the door with dog in tow. Mom and Dad and Nana followed. To the tree they went and festive packages began to fly. They never heard, Would anyone like to eat first? I turned the ovens to warm. The almost 10 year old donned his Santa hat to help Paw Paw pass out the gifts. The 20-month old scamp, having figured out the whole gift thing earlier that morning at home, started shredding paper indiscriminately. Soon there was paper, ribbon and boxes everywhere. The scamp got a pop up tent. I swear it came in a box no bigger than a shirt box, but when it popped up it exploded, blocking doorways and half the hall! Of course, he immediately disappeared into it and wouldn't come out until Mimi came in to get him. Sigh. Down on the hands and knees I went and got just far enough in that only my backside stuck out. That's when I heard the shudder click on my daughter's camera. She's dead, I thought. I ™ll kill her if she develops that. The older grandson gleefully showed me the new game for his DS, moving so quickly between screens that I gave up trying to pretend I understood what was happening. Hours later, after too much food, lots of laughter, and dropping an exhausted toddler into bed, my older grandson handed me a small gift. It was a story he had written for a school project: “I ™m the only reindeer who doesn't want to pull Santa's sleigh, and this is why. He weighs a lot (from eating the cookies and drinking the milk), plus the sleigh's weight and I ™m kind of scared of heights. It would take all night to deliver all those presents. I am also very busy every Christmas because I always walk on the red carpet on those nights and I have to say speeches all day long. That's why I can't pull Santa's sleigh!” It was the very best Christmas present ever! All those years reading to him, encouraging his storytelling and playing the, I ™ll start the story and you finish game came back to me. My budding little writer knew I would want this gift. As grandparents, we have the time to savor moments with these children of our children. The light in their eyes, the laughter in their hearts and the joy in their antics is a special gift God gives the older generation.

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