Gifts at Christmas

This year my budget is small for Christmas gifts. I would love to be able to buy gifts for each and every grandchild. Having fifteen grandchildren, gifts for each is quite expensive. Instead I purchase a gift for the family. Christmas should not be about gifts only, but memories as well.

There is the phone calls to talk to each grandchild on or before Christmas Eve. Christmas day is so busy for the families, it is best to talk before the family Christmas festivities start. Connecting and letting each one know we are thinking of them while miles apart.

The gifts I have sent this year are to the whole family, games. Yes, my children and grandchildren love to play board games. The challenge is finding a game they do not already own. I find games that fit the age and number of children in the family. Playing games together helps to build memories and family bonds as well as teach children to win or lose graciously. Some games are memory games others strategy or role playing games.

In today’s technology era where digital games are common. It is still nice to sit around a table, no television or phones, and play a board or card game with family.

My children grew up without television. We had a VHS and some VHS movies and cartoons. I think my children learned the scripts to all of them. We played a lot of board games. First our Christmas board games started with Candy Land and Sorry. As the children grew up, our favorite was Monopoly. Monopoly is a very competitive game, taking us a week to complete one game since I would have to take breaks for cooking and cleaning, plus sleep. Then there was Risk, turnly a cutthoat time war game especially if alliances were formed. But not all games were as competitive.

We also put together jigsaw puzzles. A new puzzle each Christmas. First the puzzles were easier, few pieces. Until the finally years the puzzle was 1000 pieces with intricate pictures to form. These puzzle would be placed on a table out of the way of traffic and worked on as each of us wanted. Before the children would have to return to school, the puzzle would be finished.

Card games were popular such as Uno or Skipbo. We went through several decks during the years. Each Christmas I would get a new game of either Uno or Skipbo depending on which game cards were most worn.

Today, the families still enjoy Uno and Skipbo, but also Phase 10. The grand children are also learning to play poker. I am not good at poker as I am not good with having a poker face.

The important part of Christmas is spending time with family. Talking, sharing and having fun in creating memories.

Make memories this Christmas.



“I’ll Be Home for Christmas”

Growing up and the majority of my lifetime I lived where having a white Christmas was part of the Christmas decorations created by mother nature. Around Halloween the first snow would arrive, large feathery snowflakes whirling slowly downward in the still and quiet night arousing the Christmas spirit for the year. My favorite time of the year.

By Christmas, there would be several snowmen taking up residence in the yard. Birds and mule deer would wonder in curious about our new temporary residents and to check out the food stored in the barn for the horses and chickens.

Since moving to Texas, I have very rarely seen snow. The opportunity to make a snowman has occurred only once, and not around Christmas. I work at creating my own Christmas wonderland. Instead of mule deer wandering into the yard, I have lighted metal framed deer to remind me of years past. There are plenty of birds who visit, and cardinals. Growing up the area I lived in had very few if any cardinals. I decorate with artificial trees in the yard creating a forest where my artificial deer hide. The lights are hung on the house eaves and the trees lighting up the area I have decorated with a manger and various other seasonal decorations.

Yet, I miss the guardians of Christmas past, the snowmen. Each year I purchase one new Christmas decoration for my collection. This year I was planning on the purchase of a snowman and snowwoman. But money has become tight, so there will be no snow people in my Christmas yard.

Each year when I am writing Christmas cards with letters for each person on my list, I think of Christmas at “home”. Like the song, “White Christmas”, I will be home for Christmas if only in my mind. And perhaps just a Christmas wish for a white Christmas this year in Texas.