It May Look Bad, but I Don't See It that Way


I tend to celebrate Christmas much the way I do my birthday--eight thousand times.

My first Christmas celebration this year was in Missouri on December 23.

I watched the weather forecast all week and was afraid I'd be driving in a storm if I left Friday night, so I decided to leave early on Saturday morning. This, of course, ended up being the wrong decision. I ended up driving most of the five hours in either snow, ice, slush or rain.

And yet I still beat my parents.

It was an enjoyable twenty-four hours. I got in some shopping and a lot of talking. I even managed to do a little listening.

Grandpa has scanned a bunch of old family photographs and we looked through them. He told me stories about people I've never known. I'd never seen photographs of most of the people until that day.

He pulled up a picture of three children. Although my great-grandmother had labeled each with an initial (R., H. and W.), Poppy couldn't remember who they were.

"Oh I know!" I said. "That's Robert, Henrietta and Winifred!"

"I remember, now!"

I turned around to look at Grandma. We both agreed that I must be psychic and knew the names.

Poppy brought down our excitement with one word. "No."

He then went on to explain how these children were related to him. Then he told us their names.

"This is Robert . . ." My hands shot high in the air. I knew I was right!

" . . . and Hazel . . ." And back down my hands went.

" . . . and this one is Winifred."

Yes! Two out of three! We all were amazed by my brilliance. I'm the next John Edward!

Sitting with us in the den were the gifts Poppy had made for the great grandchildren. There was a line of wooden elephant pull-toys, each with a name painted on the side. I didn't see my name on any of them.

So of course I complained. Loudly. Like the big baby I am.

"You're not one of the great-grandchildren."

"Yes I am!"

"Well, not one of Grandpa's great-grandchildren."

"But I'm a grandchild who is great!"

I thought my reasoning was quite sound.

The next morning, I was ready to open presents and had trouble gathering everyone. "Where's Mom?"

"Putting her face on."

Couldn't she have done that before I got up?

"Where's Poppy?"

"I think he went out to his workshop for a bit."

Now why would he be out there when he could be in the house, spending time with me? And more importantly, watching me open presents?

"Where's Dad?"

"Helping Grandma with breakfast."

Come on people! There are presents to open!

Finally everyone came around and we got to the best present.

You see, last time I was in Springfield, my aunt's husband, Coy made us pancakes. They were quite tasty and even healthy; full of berries and flaxseed and whole wheat. But they looked scary. For some reason, they didn't come out round and looked more like he threw the batter onto the wall to cook.

So for Christmas, Coy got a pancake mold. Now his pancakes can be perfectly round as well as perfectly delicious!

Oh come on. It's not that bad of a present! It was definitely a surprise and it's useful!

And it's the thought that counts, right?

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