One evening last week, I was sitting on the old rocker, delicate, hand-knitted afghan (not my clumsy fingers, but somebody with talent and an eye for tasteful design) tucked over my denimed lap, wondering why somebody hasn’t invented marshmallows for diabetic cocoa, digging on the whole bein’ a Granny thing, John Lennon quietly musing in the background “…so this is Christmas…”; kitty purring on one arthritic knee, grand daughter, Lexie, perched on the other.
Random flurries of snow passed by our window, reflecting the glow from nearby holiday house lights; such a gentle, peaceful Hallmark moment, this genuine “Tender Tennessee Christmas” about which our friend and neighbor Amy Grant so beautifully sings.
“This is so way cool,” I thought to myself. ”Wouldn’t this be just the perfect time to read Lexie Christmas in the Barn or Olive the Orphan Reindeer or maybe even Why the Chimes Rang.”
Pulling out a dingy storybook from my own distant childhood and settling the bifocals firmly atop my nose, I shooed the cat down and cuddled Lexie closer. “There was once in a faraway country…”
That’s as far as I got before the Horrible Childe demanded a very serious discussion about all this Christmas stuff she’s been seeing and hearing at her nursery school and while on play dates, a veritable potpourri of religious and secular, apples and oranges, champagne and Koolaid.
“How come Santa lives in the North Pole, Nana? Who tells him who’s naughty or nice? Was Jesus ever naughty? What happens to kids who live in houses without chimleys? If the three wise men were so smart, how come they had to follow a star to find baby Jesus? Didn’t they have a Tom-Tom? Why did they give a little baby gold and Frankenstein, and who was Merv? What if Jesus wanted a pony; could he write to Santa? Does Santa read all his mail? Nana, what happens to kids like me who can’t spell too good? How come candy canes are red and green? Did Mary really put a letter “M” on a kitty cat’s head ’cause it kept baby Jesus warm? What about kids who don’t know about Jesus? Why does egg nog taste like you forgot to cook the eggs? How come YOUR egg nog tastes different from mine, Nana?” the little girl babbled.