Grandparents: The Best Gift of ALL

The snowflakes were falling, one-by-one; no two alike in their intricate shapes and sizes.  Large, billowy soft, and no doubt slippery beneath the feet, they rapidly accumulated everywhere.  Gazing out the window of our fireplace warmed living-room, we shared in a mutual sympathy for the slow moving travelers as each one continued to ever so cautiously trudge forth amid the end-of-day traffic.  The growing darkness served to intensify their already treacherous journeys.

Grandma and grandpa had arrived at our home earlier that day to once again share in the children’s excitement over the decorating of the Christmas tree.  That process had always been a very special family one.  We had nearly completed the adorning of our majestically tall tree when our attention had been diverted by the lovely, whiteness of the new fallen snow outside; a snowfall that had arrived as if just in time to enhance our Christmas spirit.

Christmas TreeWe turned our attention back to the tree and placed the large, shiny silver star atop.  As we turned on the lights and  stood back marveling at the beauty before us, the “oohs” and “aahs” of the children could be heard.  Sharing in their Christmas joy, we grown-ups exchanged glances that conveyed the joy and gratitude from deep within our hearts at being blest, once again, with sharing this heartwarming occasion.

Suddenly, amidst the silence, a tiny voice could be heard singing a familiar tune.  There sat our five year old daughter, huddled close to the tree, singing “Silent Night”.  Inspired by her Christmas spirit, we all joined-in and sang along.  It seemed as though Grandma and Grandpa especially enjoyed the nostalgia of sharing the familiar carols of their many Christmas’ in years gone-by.   Singing the carols together had become a treasured family tradition.  As I sang along, my thoughts were carried back to the many years past when we’d sung those same, beautiful Christmas Carols on Christmas Eve.

Voices tiring at last, the children asked Grandpa to again recite Charles Dickens, “A Christmas Carol” for them.  Smiling, he gathered both children in his outstretched arms and beside him in the overstuffed chair they now shared.  This year, I, too, sat down to listen.  I soon found myself totally captived by his uniquely appealing story-telling voice.  My gaze became fixed upon that very special man.  The silver-greying of his hair, seemed somehow more apparent than ever before as the aged ring of his voice carried a noticeable, weary tone that hadn’t seemed to penetrate my consciousness before.  Had I just never taken the time before to listen and to observe him so closely?  Could it have been the deep surge of sentiment filling my heart as the children and I were so visibly captivated by his every word?

I wondered silently as my gaze became focused upon Grandma who sat across the room, deeply engrossed in her crocheting.  She was completely unaware of my gaze having become fixed upon her hands.  Those tender, loving hands that had grown wrinkled with age and the countless years of hard work she’d toiled away at in order to bless our family with the home we all, now shared.  I noticed her tired hands endeavoring to use that familiar old crotchet hook as adeptly as she once had.  Those lovely hands that, despite the wear and tear of the years, still managed to crotchet some of the most magnificent creations I’d ever seen.  I watched silently as my heart overflowed with love for her.

Filled with a warm, deep sense of gratitude, I became fully aware of the privilege of that evening together – the privilege of having them there with us.  For once again, they were filling their irreplaceable role in that very priceless, family moment.  Realizing the endless amounts of love they have bestowed upon two generations of children at this time each year brought a tear of joy to my eye; and I was reminded of how their presence there with us, was, truly, the best gift of all.

(Copyright 2014 by JC Fredlund) Copyright 1974 – 2014 by JC Fredlund (JC Eberhart, Past Pen Name): ©JC Fredlund and JC Fredlund’s Artistry Blog, 1974 – 2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to JC Fredlund and the link to blog is included with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


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