“…because you gave it to us…”

So, it’s Christmas. We are down to just one at home. Our main focus is on our grandchildren, for major Christmas shopping. And as we think of each one (we have 6 so far) we just smile and get all excited!!! We set off, determined to please each child.

We are not Icelandic, although it is the sole place I am dying to visit – there is even a cruise you can take through Iceland. Bucket list!! Anyway, there is this amazing tradition we adopted a couple of years ago, called Jolabokaflod! Or, Book Flood. And we decided that, as grandparents, our kids can provide toys for their children. We will provide books and chocolate. I mean, who doesn’t like chocolate?? LOL. And we can add to their reading library. So much of the joy of giving, is to hunt for that perfect thing. My husband and I found ourselves up against it because of his work schedule. And we chose to do a shopping marathon prior to his flying out and being gone for a week. And we sort of had fun. It is like our date night, only it began after Church and a visit with mom in the Assisted Living home, and lasted through into the night. We even stopped and had coffee and cookies, to just take a breath.

Scanning through kids’ books is an exercise in patience. Especially at a bookstore, at Christmas. Kids running all over, frazzled parents, staff trying to make everyone happy. And then, a staff member walks up with coupons for free cookies with coffee. Well, this is not our first season as grandparent-shoppers! We jumped on that coffee/cookie thing! LOL! And we came home, excited and happy with our choices. And today, grandma gets to do the entire wrapping thing.

The fun part is finding books that we know each grandchild will enjoy. We look at them, and we think of each child, one at a time. And we try to match selections with their personality. This year was no exception. And as we proceeded to go through our choices, we were feeling more and more confident that we chose the right thing for the right child. Giving brings such joy to us, especially when we picture each child receiving what we picked for just them. This summer, when we visited our granddaughters in Southern California, nothing brought us as much joy as a granddaughter walking up with a book, asking us to read it to them. The icing on that cake was them telling us, “We love this book because you gave it to us.” The fact that they know we chose the book for them just warmed our hearts. Did they recall the chocolate with each book? Nope. They loved the book – which is the point. The chocolate brings sweetness to enhance that reading experience, all cuddled up with a book. And I love that the feeling of cuddling and reading with grandma and grandpa had endured throughout the year.

We were tired, driving home through the snowstorm amongst all the people in the ditches and spun out on the highway. We got home safely after a few slips and slides ourselves, pleased with our day. And now, I cannot stall any longer – my wrapping table awaits!

Think about changing things up this year…give the gift of books, reading, cozy and warm Christmas Eve’s in quiet firelight and the sound of pages turning!! Happy Jolabokaflod!!!



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