The Holiday season is squarely upon us. And if you’re anything like me you’re feeling the pressure slowly squeeze the joy right out of your heart. Cue the perfectly timed pictures of my darling little granddaughters under their just decorated tree. Ahhh….that’s better. Let’s face it, it’s the tiny angelic faces that surround us that keep us sane during the season. And quite right too. The wonder and awe in those innocent eyes remind us why we rush around throughout the month of December. For some of us though, those faces are far away. We can find that in addition to feeling the normal stresses of the holidays, there also lurk feelings of sadness and even jealousy.
Many grandparents have grandchildren who live far from them, but live close to the other set of grands. This can set one up for the green eyed monster in the best of circumstances, but the holidays have of way of intensifying those feelings. Just remember you are unique. While those who are close do spend more time with the grand kids, you offer something no one else can. First, when you interact with your grandchildren, they have your undivided attention. The time has been scheduled just for them. This is a priceless gift in our very hectic world. Don’t underestimate that. Second, for your grandchild, seeing you is special, kind of like it’s own holiday. Pretty cool! As your grandchild grows older you will find a special passion that the both of you share. Right now, my oldest granddaughter loves to read and write stories, so we can talk about that for hours, long after those who see her every day have had their fill. Undivided attention along with unconditional love is always the best gift you can give a child, and that can come from any distance.
In my situation, my granddaughters live with their parents quite separate from any other family. For the last four years they have traveled across the country to visit both sets of grandparents, great-grandparents, and assorted aunts, uncles, and cousins. Quite an exhausting and hectic trip, not to mention expensive for a young family. This year, they have opted to stay put, and while my initial reaction was sad, I find am grateful they will be able to be in their own house with their beloved kitty cat soaking up the California sunshine, free to be and react however they want. No weird food they must politely eat, no schedule arranged by some family member they don’t even remotely know. We will Skype and we will be blessed to see the excitement and joy. But the real blessing and gift will be seeing the love on their faces. And that is the point. The love. The gift of Christmas.