This has been the most magical Christmas in my recent memory. Instead of racing around to retailers all by myself, I've been busy expanding Christmas by taking my most special ones shopping or on other outings, one or two at a time. This sort of began when one niece came to stay with us during her sabbatical from teaching and continues even today.
It continued through days and nights with best friends, a few at a time; shopping adventures with my son, his wife and their children; waking with Richard all by ourselves on Christmas morning; dining with and delighting in other nieces and nephews; de-decorating my dear friend's tree with her as we catch up in our pajamas; and languishing in the love of my daughter and her darling girls.
On Sunday, my daughter and I spent the day chatting and seeing a play together; it's the most marvelous thing having an adult child as a friend. Her sixteen-year-old daughter and I spent the next day arm-in-arm, doing about a dozen stores. What fun we had as I watched her pirouette in front of the various mirrors, like she didn't do when she was a toddler; she was much too busy putting things in order. I loved watching her be a fairy princess.
Today, the twelve-year-old and I will hit the mall and a nice Hallmark shop that is going out of business. While her sister is quite the bargain hunter in building a wardrobe, I'm not sure what kind of shopping we'll do today. I do know that this granddaughter loves to peruse gift items for others. She can usually wile away a few hours laughing along with me at the silly and sweet sayings on the cards and cute gift items on the shelves. This is also a more gourmet granddaughter, and much more easily embarrassed by public shows of emotion. I don't expect arm-in-arm camaraderie, but I hope for lots of laughs -- and more than likely a good meal.