Each year there is ONE person I am MOST excited to watch open gifts.
And that’s grandma.
If she gets diamonds from pap, he always asks her what it is (lol)! And she always makes sure to mention she must’ve been really good that year! Even though he still says she’s on probation.
But the way her face lights up never disappoints. Nomatter what she’s given. I think one year it took her the longest to open gifts just because our entire family waits to watch her and just bask in the JOY that always come streaming across her face. I swear it’s better than any kid on Christmas! Really, she’s kinda like that all the time. Not just when gifts are involved. She’s one of the most expressive people I’ll ever know. Honest, blunt, loving, and so so funny.
This Christmas was the first time my Dad’s side of the family packed up and spent Christmas night and a few days after in a cabin in Deep Creek, MD. I was skeptical at first. Just because I was so used to spending my holidays the way I knew ever since growing up. And that was at grandma’s house. But I was open to the idea and looking back, that Christmas holds some of my favorite memories with my grandma especially.
She likes to play cards. They tried to teach us poker but honestly, it was too complex for me and even my sister and cousin. So instead our go-to game is called Shanghi! It’s such a fun game. Long, but fun. And you have to stay pretty alert to be able to “Shanghi” someone! The goal is to have the least amount of points at the end. Points coming from cards you were still holding when someone went down each round. I’m pretty sure it’s close to gin rummy, and we play it differently every time 😉 but it’s our favorite thing to do with grandma. She’s SO FUNNY! She’ll either get the rules wrong or (toot) like she did the last time we were playing. Seriously, we all burst into tears laughing. But really at this cabin, there wasn’t much more to do. Of course it didn’t snow like we’d hoped, so we couldn’t go sledding or skiing, so we stayed inside and out of the rain.
We played cards A LOT! One night, it was just her, my sister, my cousin Abby and me up until 1-2 in the morning. Just talking, carrying on. She can talk and she may have passed that down to us. We also watched some home movies while we were there. Which maybe I’m just sentimental, but every family should do that more. Especially to just see the looks on your elders faces as they watch you during a time you can’t necessarily remember. Seeing them relive those moments with us is really special.
This holiday throwback although having some sad times in the mix that year, was brightened by my grandma. She always finds a way to do that. She’s always down for a selfie. Always down to catch a bite to eat. She will always make you laugh. She might sometimes make you question your outfit choice or hair style/color decision, but she’ll always do it with love. I’m grateful for all she’s taught me and all the joy she reminds me to find all the time.