Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Most Priceless Gift ...

Granddad and I went to a wonderful Christmas Open House tonight.  This is my 2nd year going while he has attended for several years (usually headed directly from work).  Business colleagues and other associates mingle throughout the few hours with light refreshments and lots of chatting.  It always amazes me to see Granddad “in action” and be able to meet people that he knows outside of our personal world.  I talked for awhile to Bob, while Granddad was discussing business with Andrew.  You know, we grandparents can pick each other out in an instant, and our eyes light up when we start talking about our “grands”.  And Bob is just as proud of his granddaughter (who is in college) as Granddad and I are of our little Lucy.

During this festive season, I (as well as many others) can get caught up in searching for that perfect gift to give to someone.  In the past, I know that I have traveled hundreds of miles back and forth across town just for a "perfect” gift".  I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with that.  Matter of fact, I believe in putting thought into the gifts I give to others.  And truth be told, just the other day I traveled across town to one specialty store just to come away with Lucy 3 plastic boats for bath-time.  (In my defense, we have searched every store from Target to Wal-Mart to Dollar Stores just to be told ‘it’s seasonal’). The look on her face was priceless when I gave her this early Christmas present.  As she knelt down to make sure those boats were real, she whispered “Thank you Nanny” still with astonishment.

But, those boats are not Lucy’s “perfect Christmas gift”.  I could get her as many boats as I could find, as many princess accessories (because every princess needs accessories), as many Disney movies, baby dolls, stuffed animals … an endless list of “stuff”.  But the perfect Christmas gift can’t be wrapped in the perfect paper topped with the perfect bow.  Nor can it be bought.  Because spending our time with Lucy is what she needs.  And that’s what Granddad and I need as well.

Bob talked tonight about how his granddaughter had lived with him and his wife for awhile, and now that she is in college, she spends every break with her grandparents.  This reminded me of how Lucy’s Mommy would spend school breaks with her grandparents – my parents.  She even lived with them for a semester during college and commuted daily to class.  Mrs. ‘Joe always loved going to Grandma & Grandpa’s house for Christmas break, Spring break, Thanksgiving, weeks during the summer … And even though we moved several hours away from my hometown, a lot of vacation time was spent going to visit family and developing relationships. 

I grew up in a different time and place.  My aunts and uncles and cousins (as well as my family) lived around my Granny.  My parents and I lived with Granny and my Aunt K until I started 2nd grade of elementary school.  Granny had her grandkids around her all the time – and we loved being around her!  Memories of sitting with her on the back porch and talking about her childhood memories, or her vegetable garden, her flower garden, or just about anything … We weren’t poor by any means because we had something that money just couldn’t buy. 

Bob talked about that "something" tonight.  The gift of spending time with a child is priceless.  The relationship that is built will carry on for many more years than we even imagine.  When I spend time with Lucy, I’m showing her that she is the most important aspect of my life. Our little world could stop spinning at that point in time.  And as she gets older, she will pass this on to her children and grandchildren, and they will pass it on … and the relationship cycle will never end.

Building relationships takes time ... time that you can’t get back or have a “re-do” … time that is very well spent on what really matters in life.  Granddad & I are so thankful for our time that we spend with the ‘Joes … and especially for our time with Princess Lucy.  Yes, there are still a few Christmas gifts that I would like to find to wrap and place under our tree.  But the most priceless gift of all won’t be found in pretty paper under our tree.  

This gift can be found through our relationship with our 2 year old princess … 

Christmas picture with Lucy, Granny & Granddad


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