Three of our grandkids came yesterday to decorate our Christmas tree, as they do every year. They seemed particularly happy to do it this year, even more so than in the past. I can’t pinpoint why exactly, but they had a grand time and decorated the tree with great efficiency and speed. Maybe the gingerbread cookies helped a little. Along with me not making comments and reminiscing about each and every ornament as I tend to do. They made their own comments about them, making the conversation much more enjoyable. One ornament always manages to slip from little fingers, crashing to the floor in pieces every year and this year was no different. I always set aside the more valuable breakables for me to place on the tree, but this year, the oldest of the three (Mr. A, age 12) was granted the special privilege of hanging those precious ones. He appeared to be proud to do so.
After they were satisfied all ornaments were safely placed on the tree, we enjoyed racing Hotwheel cars on a multi-track to see which car was ultimately the fastest of them all. The park across the street called to them, so we enjoyed the last few rays of warm sun swinging, throwing footballs, climbing the mini rock wall, and running around the park catching our long shadows. After a short time, the temperatures were low enough to move the activities back indoors for some hot chocolate with marshmallows and more gingerbread cookies.
Mr. A is learning to play chess, so he wanted to teach his younger brother, Mr. D, to play. We were impressed by Mr. A’s finesse in setting up the board and explaining each piece to his pro·té·gé. Mr. D was willing to learn, but being only seven years old, his understanding of the game came slowly. He frustrated his teacher brother by calling the Bishop a ‘Disciple’ and tried to make up his own rules. Grandpa conveniently served as referee for the chess matches. Miss M, age 5, and I played our own version of checkers for a while and then brought out the Connect Four game. Miss M is a Tic-Tac-Toe princess, but Connect Four was a bit of a challenge for her. However, she eventually caught on enough to recommend where I should place my discs so she could have the advantage. Miss M eventually abandoned the basic game to place the red and black discs in patterns in the grid, keeping her contented and busy for quite some time.
This is how Sunday afternoons should be.