I finished up the Yaya and grandchild Christmas tradition today with my oldest grandson, Dayan. However, we broke the new tradition of sharing a meal and shopping for family, reverting back to a tradition that Dayan and I practiced for years when he was younger…making Christmas gifts.
I love that my 17 year old grandson, a senior in high school, asked if instead of shopping we could be creative. Of course, I said yes! Dayan was my only grandchild for years. When he was four, he made the connection between other people having birthdays and celebrating holidays, and giving them gifts. He embraced this idea with the whole of his big little heart, discovering it was as fun to give as to receive, and I began taking him shopping to buy gifts for his family. As our family grew, it became more economical to make gifts together, rather than purchase them.
Dayan and I have been very creative over the years, and the time spent together making gifts was precious to me. Returning to this practice, after shopping for gifts last year, felt nostalgic and right and brought joy to my heart.
Today we took a simple idea and duplicated it to create cookie wreaths for his family members. The results were wonderful, and we were quite pleased. We played Christmas songs by Pentatonix as we worked, as we both love this a cappella group. And we had fun as we made batches of cookies, laughing and chatting.
Our conversations today were quite different from those we had when Dayan was a little boy. This intelligent young man discussed world events with knowledge and competence, sharing with me about recent occurrences around the globe. I appreciated that I could ask him about the refugee crises in Syria and get an in depth answer that helped me to better understand what’s happening in another country. Dayan’s compassion for others and his desire to make a difference in the world were very evident as he spoke.
I am well aware that Dayan will be headed to college next fall. Knowing he will be venturing out and embarking on his own journey soon creates deep love and pride for my grandson, and a sense that such times together, making things, is coming to an end.
Or are they?
As if reading my mind, Dayan said he would come home from the university next Christmas, and we would make gifts together to give to family. Yes, I agreed…yes we will. My heart sang!