Sunday, December 25, 2011

The Night before Christmas or How to Survive the Gifts

                The big event every year is the Christmas Eve party at Granny’s house, followed by the New Year’s Eve party given for the grandkids and their friends. The parents are free to party with their friends on New Year’s Eve and the kids, left with me and their grandfather, get to do their own celebration.  There is a plan to this madness, which I’ll go into at the end of the post, but let’s start with Christmas Eve.
                Unfortunately only seven of the grandkids make this event, the other two live in Wyoming, but it sounds like all nine are here and it can get a bit loud. As each family arrives, gifts in hand, I direct them to the basement where the gifts are placed on the pool table. While I try to get the food on the table the youngest follows me around, playing the game “20 questions”.
                “Were you able to find that game I asked for, Granny?”
                “What game?” I reply, trying really hard not to laugh.
                “You know the game for my X Box.”
                “I don’t remember,” I reply, and chuckle to myself as he walks away shaking his head.
                The youngest always gets me in trouble with his Mom, my daughter. While she was on her second honeymoon, I blogged about this, Nathan asked me to get him Gears of War for Christmas. He’s pretty slick for nine. Happy to have an idea on what to get Mr. Finicky, I went shopping. After purchasing the game, I called my daughter and told her what I bought.
                “What did he ask for?”
                “Gears of War,” I reply, quite innocent of the rating system.
                My daughter let out a yelp. “He can’t have that game, it’s X-rated. You have to bring it back.”
                So back I went to the store to return the game. The salesperson was very helpful in showing me the rating system and how it worked, and after I picked out a new game, I called my daughter from the store.
                “My daughter wants to know if this game has any sex, curse words, or bloody decapitations?” I asked the poor salesman.
“No, it’s safe,” he replied. The game passed the “Mom test” and off I went a much wiser granny. 
When it was time to open gifts, we had the youngest go first. Nathan was happy with the Nerf dart shooter, clothing and gift cards, I gave him, but he was looking forward to the final package.
“I got you something a little different,” I said, and waited for his reaction.
Wrapping paper torn away, he gave me a sheepish smile and said, “I really wanted this one.”
I had succeeded in finding a replacement for what was asked, but not right for him. It was a flight simulator, with lots of action, but no blood and guts. I had succeeded in pleasing all seven grandkids, points for granny.
On New Year’s Eve, all the grandkids come over with their newest board games. They’re allowed to bring friends, and everyone brings a sleeping bag. Parents are not allowed to pick them up until the next day around, midafternoon. We spend the night playing board games, eating, playing WII dance, eating, and any game we can make up on the spot. The ages run from nine to twenty three, but they all get along great, and if there is a disagreement, it is settled quickly.
I’m worn out by the time they’re all asleep, but there is a payoff. The next day, after they’re given a good breakfast, they help take down all the Christmas decorations, inside and out. Not a bad deal, if you ask me.   Have a happy, safe, and healthy New Years.


  1. It's great that you get to have such a close relationship with your grandchildren. Great post. Merry Christmas, Marie!

  2. I hadn't been getting your updates, and decided to check in today. I found three posts I hadn't read. I tried re-submitting on the email subscription thingee, so hopefully I'll get your updates going forward. I love your posts.

  3. Fox, please let me know if you were able to suscribe to my site.

  4. You sound like a terrific grandmom!

  5. Thank you Glenn. It's just that I'm still a kid at heart.