God bless us, everyone…
You recognize that quote, right? It is exclaimed by the saintly Tiny Tim at the end of the Charles Dickens’s classic “A Christmas Carol.
We have tiny people around our house often these days, our grand-kids: Gavin 3, Hunter 2, and Guinivere 1. Our tiny ones have yet to declare “God bless us, every one,” but they are bringing great delight to our hearts in the glow of the tree this Christmas season. And oh, we are blessed by them!
Gavin knows what a cotton-headed ninny-muggins is… (do you?) Gavin, who has watched “Elf” at least 47 times in the past few weeks and made us watch along many times. The best was last night, though, when he reached over to gently hold my hand. As we watched this silly grown-up, pre-school-ish Buddy the Elf character played by Will Farrell, I apparently began to nod off. Gavin whispered, “Don’t go to sleep, Nonna, watch with me,” and then he reached over and hugged me and held my face for a moment to look into my eyes, making sure they didn’t close again. Melt…
When I suggested maybe he would also like to go to sleep, he politely whispered, “No thank you.” I stayed awake at my post, holding his hand and watching “Elf.”
Gavin’s mommy and daddy are making sure he grows in his understanding of Christmas and God’s great gift to mankind. His Jesus-awareness has increased. I found this out recently as he responded to my inquiry “Is there anyone in this car who wants french fries?’ as we hit a Wendy’s drive-through. Gavin piped up, “Yes, Jesus does!”
Hunter is picky about his Christmas confections In spite of the fact that when Hunter discovered, just this past Wednesday, that he did not like chocolate-covered-cherries and flailed the partly chewed brown and red gooey ball at me in utter disgust, he is pure delight! At 2 years old, this little prince is destined to give that Tiny Tim a run for his “God-blessing-quoteable” money.
Hunter loves to lift his hands and “praise Jesus!” He sometimes seems reserved, almost contemplative (not the usual description of a boy at 2), but I suspect there may be a hell-fire and brimstone preacher coming. Even now, he powerfully gestures and declares and holds an audience spellbound. At a recent CD release party, Hunter was heard singing, with all his little might, “Fire fall down…fire fall down on us we pray...” with his arms raised into the air as high as he could get them.
Hunter’s recent “discovery” of “Toy Story” and Woody and Buzz Lightyear has made that movie new again. The other night when just he and I were hanging out, he was rummaging through our basket of Christmas movies and with great joy informed me, “Nonna, look – it’s ‘Woody 2!’ ” No, I don’t believe he was saying “it’s Woody, too…” I am certain he had heard rumors there was a sequel and knew he had found it. He gets the movie numbering system. That’s the kind of mind he has.
Guinivere is the princess. She says, “Hi,” a lot and very brightly, like she really means it. “What’s that?” is her favorite question. And there is a lot of other jabbering, too, which seems to be her own secret language, but is spoken fluently by big brother Gavin and cousin Hunter. Everyone in the family thinks that Guini loves them best (although I am sure in my case, it is true) because of the way she comes up to me and raises her arms like I am the answer to all her prayers. She wraps them tightly around my neck while pressing her chubby cheek to mine. Then she’s off, spreading the love, making others think she loves them the most.
Then this happened…
Seeing Santa Claus A few days ago, their mommies and aunts and I packed up Gavin and Hunter and Guini and took them to a small room at United Power, where it was rumored that Santa Claus would be making a visit. We all acted excited about it, so the kids humored us and got all enthused about it, too. There were hordes of beleaguered parents and ornery kids being forced through the room in a tight maze created by tables. Up and down the aisles we went, like cattle being led to slaughter, all for the treasured keepsake photo of our little ones with Santa Claus.
Some families had all 2.3 children dressed in matching reindeer sweaters and were perfectly coiffed, with shoes shining and teeth straight. Others had kids with snot running down their faces and their hair standing straight up due to static electricity, with one shoe untied (is this fair – should the kid with snot have to have static in his hair, too?).
Getting all the way to Santa Claus was long and arduous. How did we keep their eyes on the prize? Because across the room you could see the man in the elf hat with a plate of cookies and a table full of candy canes. So we stayed in the line with 238 people in front of us, 867 behind. Guini waved and said “hi” quite merrily throughout, even though it was just the same group of people over and over, up and down the maze. She thought everyone was there to receive her love and friendship.
Finally, it was our turn, our moment with Santa. It was the moment I would get the perfect picture of my 3 adorable grandchildren, sitting atop the Claus’s knees, smiling, delighting him with their gift requests. I daydreamed how I would show the picture to all, the symbol of our perfect Christmas 2006. And soon, the icing on the cake: cookies and candy canes.
replace this image
photo taken a split second before Guini began pummeling Santa to within an inch of his life
And now, in this corner, weighing in at only 21.5 pounds… Well, when Tara put Hunter on Santa’s knee, he began to cry. Big, wet, grievous tears spilled from his face. Gavin got less thrilled about the whole thing the closer he got to this big furry-dressed man. But he politely smiled and stood close, but not too close to Santa’s knee, refusing to even look at the gentleman. At this point he was wondering why we had all been so excited. Guinivere, “Miss Friendly”, let out a bone-chilling scream of protest when she was placed on Santa’s lap. All the people squished in to that room, including Santa’s helpers stopped dead in their tracks. We held our breaths…
The photographer looked panicked, but was somehow able to snap the fastest kid/Santa photo known to mankind just a split second before Guini turned around and began beating Santa in his big, fat, acrylic, fuzzy, fake beard for all she was worth. They had to call security. But doggonit, we didn’t leave without our cookies and candy canes. So, you know, it was worth it. Tiny Tim has nothing on my grandbabies!
NOTE TO SELF: Watch with them, pray with them, squish cheeks with them…get cookies and candy canes with them by any means available! And remember – Jesus is in the car with me. And He may want fries. :)