Most mothers have to wait months and sometimes years, after a son or daughter marry, to get grandchildren. I’ve always been one to make my own rules and forge my own path. Getting to become “Gram” was no different!

When our son married my amazing new daughter (notice I did not say, “daughter-in-law”), we automatically got grandchildren (laughing). I’ve heard people say it and never really understood, how you can love your grandchildren with every fiber in your being… now I get it. Don’t think there is anything I wouldn’t do within my power for Jenna, Channing, Parker, LuLu, and Collin. Anything! They are amazing, well adjusted, appreciative, and accomplished young people, ranging from age 26 to 9. Another time, I’ll fill you in on all the details. Right now, I want to talk about my first Christmas with (some of) my grandchildren (laughing)!

When Dixson and Sissy told us they could come for Christmas, I cried… then I started making a list! Favorite foods I already knew from Parker and Lu coming last summer. Gift ideas and little surprises. Decorations. House and Carpet cleaning. Things to do on that Sunday after they arrived and Monday for Christmas Eve. I had a full page of things to check off. Excited doesn’t even come close. Oh, for sure I was glad to spend Christmas with my son and daughter… But!!!

On the Sunday before Christmas, I woke up before 6am, too excited to sleep any longer! Dixson, Sissy, Parker, and Lu were leaving Savannah after Dixson got off work at the restaurant where he cooks. They would arrive around 9am and I wanted to make sure everything was ready. Decorations inside and out… Check. The weeks and weeks of food cooking, cookies, cakes, and pies in the fridge for warming… Check. Pot of soup ready for dinner… Check. Waffle batter, bacon, sausage, and fruit for breakfast when they arrived… Check. Gifts wrapped under the tree and stockings hung… Check. Bedrooms fresh and decorated… Check. Pop (aka Thom) ready… Check. FINALLY the text that they were 25 minutes away came!!!

Hugs. Kisses. Tears of happiness. The moment they walked into the door, I couldn’t stop smiling. They were here!!

Breakfast Sunday morning, then Parker, LuLu, and I just “had” to go to Target to get “stuff”… without parents, of course (laughing). We had a ball! There was a new game just calling our name (they like playing board games as much as we do). Some slime had Lu’s name on it and some gummy worms had Parker’s. So did a few other things. We escaped Target with minimal damage done. Back home, Pop decided to take Parker and LuLu to Wild Willy’s Adventure Park to play laser tag (something he had never played), ride go carts, and play games in the Arcade. The three remaining adults crashed and took naps (lol)! Parker won laser tag, Pop won air hockey, and Lu won in the Arcade. We played our new game, Oregon Trail after they got back, then had homemade beef vegetable soup with cheese and crackers for dinner and watched a Christmas favorite It Happened on Fifth Avenue… highly recommend it. Off to bed for everyone.

Christmas Eve, we had breakfast, showered and dressed, then went to the Okaloosa Island Pier to look at the marine life down in the water below. Lu touched a mostly domesticated pelican that hangs around the pier waiting for the fishermen and women to toss him (or her) fish. Heading back, we just had to stop at the Splurge Trampoline Park! Dixson, Parker, Lu, and… Gram jumped! Pop and Sissy watched and cheered us on. LuLu bested me on the one where you have to jump over a spinning boom arm (laughing), after falling down on both of my tries, I gave up. But I won on the obstacle course!! We jumped on everything there while Parker organized a group of boys into a “HORSE” basketball game on another trampoline… he won! Tired, and hungry, we headed home to warm and cook the rest of Christmas dinner. We ate until no one could eat any more, then cleaned up and bundled into the car to go look at Christmas lights. Because they had to leave on Christmas morning, we opened gifts that night. Pop and LuLu took turns playing “Santa,” handing out packages and stockings. Paper and ribbon piled up. Lots of excited squeals. Plenty of thank you hugs and kisses. Everything I could possibly have wanted and more.

Christmas morning. Breakfast. Loading up a cooler full of food for them to take home. More hugs, kisses, and tears. Then, they were gone.

Grandchildren at Christmas are the BEST EVER. Maybe next year, all of them can be with us!

Christmas food, beverages, gifts, decorations, and stockings $$$... Gram’s First Christmas with Grandchildren, PRICELESS!!!

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