Dear Sue Ellen,
I am the proud grandmother of 6 grandkids. I love Christmas, but it just isn’t the same for me as when I was a kid. I don’t know if you ever saw those Christmas Cards with pictures by Currier & Ives where families were having the perfect holiday? That was my childhood. Something seems to be lost from those simpler days. I would like to give my grandkids special memories like that, but they don’t seem interested. Any suggestions?
Based on your reference to Currier & Ives, are you also familiar with Bob Dylan’s song “The Times They Are A-Changin”?
Do you remember the days when the old guys would sit around the courthouse, or in the country store and talk about the good old days while they played checkers? That was real. I am a grandmother too. Do we really want to be like the old guys re-living days gone by, or do we want to be able to adapt to this new and strange world we live in?
I think as grandparents we have a choice to make. We can be stuck in the “good old days” or keep an open mind, and look for positive things in the changes around us. It is good for grandparents to share things about the past with their grandchildren, (if they are willing to hear it), but grandparents also have the opportunity to support building character in the future adults of the world by listening to them and having meaningful conversations about their grandchildren’s interests and what is important to them. Grandparents have a unique bond with their grandchildren that gives way to special moments together. When you look into the eyes of your grandchildren, you are looking at your past, present and future. Be open to the future.
Here is my suggestion. Ask your grandchildren what they enjoy most about Christmas. You might be surprised! Is it the presents under the Christmas Tree? Is it the family time together…playing with cousins…eating Aunt Jo’s Pumpkin Pie…decorating Christmas cookies with you? Whatever their answer is…the fact that you talked with them about it opens doors for Christmas magic to happen.
Now get on your I phone, take a selfie and text it to your grandkids! Make sure to say something groovy!
– Sue Ellen