Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Christmas at Gramma's House

When Grandmother sees us come,
She will say, "Oh, dear, the children are here,
Bring a pie for everyone."
Over the river, and through the wood—
Now Grandmother's cap I spy!
Hurrah for the fun! Is the pudding done?
Hurrah for the pumpkin pie!
(Child, Lydia Maria, Over the River and Through the Woods)

 Bundled up in snow suits, hats, gloves, and thermal underwear, we headed out the door to our annual visit with Gramma for Christmas. The snow-covered ground reflected coloured lights that shone brightly on the faces of homes up and down the quiet streets. It looked like a scene that Norman Rockwell might have created for the cover of a Saturday Evening Post.
On our way we sang songs and laughed to keep ourselves warm.
As we approached the house, I could hear the voices of young carolers nearby, adding to the fairy tale essence of the heart-warming experience of Christmas at Gramma's house. A warm smile greeted us at the door. She had been waiting for us to arrive.
"Come in and give me a hug." she said as she shuffled us in, one by one.
The aroma of fresh-baked cookies filled the house, mingled with the fresh scent of pine. There was a fully decorated tree in front of the window, each ornament with a story of its own. My favorite was the set of small sconces, that held real candles. They came from when her grandfather was a boy. She told us about the way they did things before they had electricity, and how those candle ornaments had been the way they lit up the tree, way back then. Excitement boiled inside of me. The cake, the carols, the warmth of family togetherness, I loved it!
First we would put the star on the top of the tree. Then settle in on her couch and read Bible stories to one another. She would tell us that it was Jesus' birthday, and she always baked Him a cake. After we had thanked Jesus we would each eat a piece of cake, and sing Christmas songs together. Sometimes we would harmonize, but mostly it was just fun.
She had a way of making people happy, by sharing a deep, penetrating warmth. She was a writer, a historian, and good at telling stories in a way that would render you motionless, in awe of the content to come. We always listened closely, as she turned out her never-ending tales of Christmases past. She was the perfect fairy tale Gramma, and I miss her still.


  1. Are you sure you aren't a Rockwell heir? What a lovely Christmas memory. What a lovely Gramma you were blessed to have.
    Merry Christmas. ♥

  2. Thank you Jo. She truly was a wonderful Gramma. When my son was in Kindergarten (he's almost thirty now), her house was halfway between school and home. Every day he would go there first. She would have fresh warm cookies waiting for him and a cold glass of milk. After he enjoyed a few moments with her (and the cookies;-) he would finish his trek home. I was blessed... and still am with many wonderful memories.

    Merry Christmas :-)

  3. oh wow..i heard every crisp step through the snow an i think i smell the cookies!! WOW talk about warm this!!!!!

  4. Great story, K. ..... You are spreading your wings.... Yay!

  5. :-) With a little help from a "momma bird" who pushed me gently out of the limbs!


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