33: Wishful Thinking

33: Wishful Thinking

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: It's Christmas!

Wishful Thinking

What a bargain grandchildren are! I give them my loose change, and they give me a million dollars worth of pleasure.

~Gene Perret

It was Christmas Eve, and the last order from my custom embroidery and apparel decorating shop had been delivered. Numerous fabric scraps and tails of thread still clung to my pants as I flipped the door sign to read “CLOSED.” I scanned my workroom with a feeling of satisfaction. This was where I often provided daycare for my grandchildren. They had spent many hours with me, watching as I made clothing for my customers. Their play area shared space with bolts of fabrics, cones of thread, and boxes of garments awaiting decoration.

Now I was joining them for Christmas. My oldest son Eric and his family had invited my husband Rick, my daughter Kathy, son Adam and me to join him for what I hoped would be a new family tradition. We donned our warm jackets and drove the short distance to their home.

The air was thick with excitement when we arrived. Kile, age five, and Cavanaugh, age two, dashed through the house. They squealed with delight as each family member walked through the door. We removed our coats and the grandchildren grabbed my hands to hurry me into the front room. I exclaimed over each special ornament that hung on the glistening tree.

The table had been transformed to a Christmas wonderland. It sparkled with heirloom dishes, crystal goblets, and golden cutlery. Oyster and sage colored linens adorned all the surfaces while festive glass bulbs hung from the chandelier. Kile and Cavanaugh’s special place settings were appropriately decorated with snowmen and penguins.

Eric and his wife Trela had outdone themselves. We had homemade lasagna, bread, salad, wine, and, of course, Trela’s family ritual of “British crackers.” When we finished eating, still wearing our colorful tissue paper crowns, we cleared away the bits and pieces from the crackers.

Kile bounced up to me.

“Grammie, I know what you are giving me for Christmas tomorrow.”

“You do? What do you think I am giving you tomorrow for Christmas?”

“You’re giving me pajammies or something like that.”

“Why do you think I am giving you pajammies or something like that?”

“Because you make things and you always give me something you make.”

A pregnant pause followed, and then a wistful sigh. “Grammie, I wish you were a toymaker.”

~Mona Rottinghaus

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