Home for the Holidays: Grandpa's House
He remained practical, trying hard not to let his voice betray his wish to travel with them. "Okay Honey, when you get there, my grandfather's apartment on the 7th floor will likely be the only door sporting a Christmas wreath. The others are too posh for such sentiment, but he doesn’t care what the neighbors think."
Craig wasn't too worried because his grandfather was true blue and Kelly, though reserved, was not really shy. She was smart and had a lot of experience with people. He was sure they would hit it off right away and become fast friends.
"He'll be ready and waiting to open the door when you knock since the doorman will let him know you are on your way up. Remember that he wants to make a ruckus while you’re still in the hallway by flinging it open to shout Merry Christmas! Grandpa's soft baritone will get the kids over their surprise, though. I promise they won't feel timid for long.
"I can see it now. He’ll seat them at the table so they can see the tree twinkling in its glory while they eat sandwiches and cookies--and so they can get a first look at his gifts. He’ll have cocoa waiting so he can visit with you after they go to bed. Be sure and get a good look at the skyline out the window behind the tree. It will take your breath away. I hope it's snowing for you!"
In part explanation and part wistful thinking, Craig spelled out the scene she would meet, "He’ll have everything they need ready that night and he’ll show the kids their room. Just let him take care of them and they’ll do fine. Let him show them where to wash up and help them get tucked in. You’ll see, they’ll love having him cluck over them like a mother hen.
"In the morning, you’ll wake up to the maid’s breakfast with fresh coffee. I bet it will be the best you’ve ever had. He’ll serve you with such a mixture of gusto and finesse that you’ll be giggling while you eat. The kids will be wide eyed–oh how I wish I could be there to see them!
"Then he’ll settle you around his big tree by the fireplace. The gifts will be spilling out everywhere, but he won’t say one word about them. He’ll want to take pictures of everybody by the tree and that’ll take a while, believe me. He’ll want shots of everyone together and then individually."
Knowing that the next bit would give her pause for thought, he went on carefully, "Grandpa will want you to sing with him after that, but don’t worry, you won’t even hear yourself. His baritone won’t be soft anymore. Well, he’ll start soft so as not to scare Matt and Arabella, but when he gets going their chins will drop to their knees. Just sing along and enjoy it. Make sure you ask him to sing “O Holy Night” for the kids.
"Then he’ll want to give everyone candy, but it’ll be high quality, not junk, and it won’t be too much. He won’t care if they are a little messy. Honest Hon, he won’t care. And anyway, he’ll be getting worked up over the presents by then. You’ll laugh watching him ease into his routine.
"Only he has the clues to which present belongs to who. He's so funny about keeping his list hidden in a different place each year. You won’t believe the love and care he puts into buying and wrapping them. His voice will ring like a bell as he calls each name over and over again.
Christmas Bells on Strings
"Don’t you forget to take plenty of videos for me! I might have to extend this little trip of mine if you forget the pictures. Oh hey-–I’m sorry, I'm sorry! Don’t cry, Kelly, you know I’m kidding. I’ll be home soon." Craig knew she was not afraid he would extend his tour, it was just hard to part again.
"Watch Grandpa's method while you drink your coffee. He’ll be real orderly about everything but he’ll have the kids in stitches. The best part of it all, Sweetheart, is that you’ll know that you are where you’re wanted.
"Remind the kids that not being with you guys for Christmas is why I’ll be home longer next time, and tell them to hug Grandpa for me. And tell them to be good for him. And tell them to tell him I love him at least a thousand times. Call me when they’re all in bed that night, please?
"Promise you won’t worry about anything but that you’ll just let yourself have a good time. He’s gonna love you, Baby. He already does, as a matter of fact. He’s been wanting to meet you for so long. You’ll have a great time. He can’t wait to give the kids the time of their lives.
"They’ll not want to leave him, so stay as long as you want at Grandpa's house. He wants you there for as long as you can stay, and the longer you stay the better you can check on him for me. That’ll be real good.
"And, when you’re ready, he’ll want to get the tickets for you to go to your parent’s house. Yeah, let him, or you’ll have a time of it. Grandpa won’t stop doing for you until you are out of his sight. He may even tell you to invite your dad and mom there for Christmas Day, but he’ll understand why they can’t come."
Kelly was quiet so his next words seemed awkward. "Listen Babe, I have to go now–it's time. Shh, shh...I love you, too.
"I’ll call you when we land, I promise. Honey–just think about how much fun the kids are gonna have at Grandpa's house. Go now. You hang up first. I love you."
From Cambridge Singers "Christmas Star"
Make Wreaths at Home:
More Holiday Stories
Check out the other story titles from this Home for the Holidays series by following the links below:
• Fostering Care -- Home for the Holidays, Number 8
On Christmas Day our gifts were nice, yet, that day I realized that no present on earth could ever equal what being accepted as one of their family members meant to me.
• Christmas Fudge -- Home for the Holidays, Number 6
There’s a small river between the woods and the main field that I want to get reacquainted with. He and I are old friends, and I need to hear his voice again.
• A Holiday Respite -- Home for the Holidays, Number 4
I’ll close my eyes in the safest place on earth, and open them again to familiar sights in the morning's light. Everything on this side of the world will be behind me--for a little while.
• A Change of Plans -- Home for the Holidays, Number 1
We'll promise not to let so much time go by before we see each other again, knowing all the while how impractical it is to bother to say it.
Wreath Making For Everyone!
Christmas is a Time for Joy
Considerations for the Holidays:
- Mountain Breezes from Amy Carmichael: A Gift Became A Friend
Carmichael's anthology makes a wonderful gift. Her poetry in Mountain Breezes encourages us to look to God as we make our journey through this life.
- Keeping Your Holiday Job: Merry Christmas or Not?
Sharing the traditional phrase "Merry Christmas" on the job can be an interesting experience. Such a simple greeting said with kind sincerity can provoke a whirlwind. What do you think about this true situation?
- Grandma's Christmas Candy-Recipes that keep on giving.