It’s a challenge when you have 1 grandchild and you have to share holiday time with 3 sets of grandparents (and a set of great grandparents) who all live in different parts of the country. Welcome to the modern world!

Looking at this I have so many relatives through the eyes of a child is pretty exciting because it guarantees lots of holiday gifts. But for the frazzled parents, whose time off from demanding jobs is limited, trying to make time for all the relatives takes some very creative planning.

Just as I finished lighting candles last Friday night (the first night of Chanukah), the phone rang. It was my favorite oldest son a.k.a. the Father of the world’s greatest granddaughter! “Happy Chanukah, Mom. I have great news. I’m coming in with the family to see you in just a few weeks!”

Jason went on to describe how he and Laura had orchestrated all the visits this holiday season. For Thanksgiving, the family drove up north to have dinner with his Father’s entire family including my granddaughter’s only surviving set of great grandparents. On Christmas, he planned to travel south to see his wife’s Father and all their relatives. Then, since my son’s 36th birthday falls just a few weeks after the holidays, he would make our side of the family his final destination.

Minutes later, my granddaughter called to sing me her rendition of “I have a little dreidel” (6 adorable times) and then we got down to serious business. “Don’t forget to bring your heaviest jacket when you come to visit me, I suggested in my most grandmotherly voice. It’s very cold in the mountains.”

“Bubbi” (Grandmother in Yiddish), she answered very politely. I only have one jacket so that is the only one I can bring!” Of course my little granddaughter knew when she said that, I would be hitting all the after Christmas sales to find the cutest, warmest and pinkest (her favorite color) winter coat in all of Western North Carolina!

“Bubbi” she added, “I’ll bring my bathing suit so I can go swimming in your pool at the clubhouse!” One thing about six year olds, they still don’t quite understand that you can’t go swimming in 30 degree weather. “Sweetie”, I replied, “the pool is emptied for the winter. There’s no water in it. But we’ll have a birthday party for your Daddy with cake and ice cream and lots of goodies. And I’ll have all your holiday gifts waiting for you!”

After a brief pause in conversation, when she realized that swimming wasn’t an option, but eating sweets and getting lots of presents was, she started screaming, “I’m coming to see you Bubbi…I can’t wait to see my Bubbi!”

Those precious final words (that warmed my heart on the first night of Chanukah) will go a long way! My family knows that this “Bubbi” will spend that much anticipated weekend showing her son, her daughter-in-law and the world’s most perfect granddaughter, how they saved the BEST visit for last!!

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