Granny’s breath whooshed out of her when Lisa flew into her lap.
“Thank you, Granny!” Lisa warbled. “This has been the BEST Christmas, ever!”
“Your welcome!” Granny gasped as Lisa dashed off to play in the Little People’s Kitchen she had set up beside the Christmas tree. It had taken Granny all night to sort through the instructions and get it put together. But the smile on her granddaughter’s face made it all worth it.
“Mom, are you alright?” Karen asked with a smile of her own. Used to Lisa’s exuberance, Karen hoped she did not damage Granny any.
“Oh, yeah. “ Granny took a sip of coffee and carefully set it on the table next to her. Just in case, Lisa ambushed her again. “I’m so glad she liked her present!”
Karen watched her daughter in the play kitchen. “I’ll never get her out of it! And it’s all your fault!”
“Me?” Granny feigned shock. “Why me?”
“All that time you two spend in the kitchen together.” Karen settled deeper into her chair. “My work schedule keeps me from doing anything like that. Its good that she gets cooking lessons. It’ll make it easier when she grows up.”
Granny wisely kept quiet and took another sip of coffee.
“Did you like your present?” She asked instead.
Karen picked up the box that held a lap top computer in it. State of the art, it could fit into a manila envelope. “Yes, very much! It is just what I need for my job.”
“I’m glad.” Granny laid her head back on her easy chair and looked around the room.
Cozy and warm, Granny had decorated it with Lisa’s help. All the old ornaments she had collected over the years overloaded the tree. Lights twinkled here and there deep in the branches. Her Nativity Scene stood safely on the mantelpiece over a cheerful fire in the hearth. Wrapping paper stood at least a foot deep all over the floor.
“Are your husband and brothers still outside?” Granny hadn’t heard them in awhile.
“Yes, they are driving the four-wheeler on the back roads.” Karen sighed. “Mom, you spoil us, too much!”
Granny laughed. “It took me this long to be able to!”
Karen chuckled in agreement. “I remember!”
“Do you remember when you were five?” Granny’s eyes misted over in memories.
“You were five, Gary was still a baby. None of your other brothers had been born, yet. We were hurting, financially. I mean, we could not even afford a tree. We wouldn’t have had a Christmas Dinner if it wasn’t for your grandmother.” Granny sipped her coffee and continued. “Your father and I didn’t give each other presents; we only bought one gift for you, and one for your brother. Didn’t have enough money even to wrap them up. We just laid them on the dining room table for you to find in the morning. Do you remember that?”
Karen was silent for a moment, thinking.
“Mom, that is my fondest Christmas memory.” Sighing, she turned to her mother. “That was the best Christmas I ever had.”
“Really?” Granny could hardly believe her ears.
“Yes. Because even then, so young as I was, I understood the sacrifice it was to buy me that ‘dress up set’. It showed how much you and Dad loved me. And, isn’t that what Christmas is all about? Love?”
“Yes, Karen, it is.” Granny watched Lisa stirring a pot on the ‘stove’. “Ever since then, I have tried very hard to make sure that your Christmas’s were special.”
“And they are!” Karen protested. “You make them very special for all of us!”
“And yet, your fifth Christmas is still the best?”
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