Christmas with the Grandparents

By Summer Hanford

Growing up, every Christmas meant dinner at Grandma Lil’s and Grandpa Ken’s. Their house was a strange and magical place for children. They were those kind, forgiving sort of grandparents that let little kids run wild and free through their home. Mind you, we were the sort of children who rarely broke things, so this likely helped.

They had a box of toys from long before we were born, made into treasures by how rarely we had the opportunity to play with them. More coveted than our daily Sesame Street figures or Legos was the old white dialup telephone on wheels with moving eyes and a red plastic receiver, or the ancient wooden blocks that only came in faded primary colors, and a confusing game of transparent plastic rings that sort of stacked, but didn’t really.

Even better still were the piggybanks. In a spare room up a dangerously steep set of steps on which even children didn’t dare run, Grandpa Ken had a collection of very old, iron, piggybanks. And they moved. Not when children tried to pick them up, as they were quite heavy, but when you put a penny in them. Pennies were all they took, and the trigger for ancient animatronics to make them move. An apple would slowly open, a worm slide out, and the penny be dragged away. Or a soldier would raise his iron arm, bearing an iron flag, and the penny would drop down into his horse. They were a wonder to behold.

Then, the adults done lingering over a dinner that always ended in homemade cheery pie topped with store bought cool whip, we would all sit in the living room and open our presents, which were always new hats, gloves and mittens knitted by our grandma. And we didn’t mind that the gift was always the same. In fact, we liked them. They would be our scarves, hats and mittens for that winter, made to fit our small but always growing little heads and hands, each mitten pair connected by a knitted cord. They were expected and appreciated, and even though I know they wouldn’t fit me, I wish I still had them.

Have a Merry Christmas everyone! May Santa be kind to you and may you have a wonderful and cheery New Year.

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