Tag Archives: Grandparents

An Adult Child’s Perspective on Christmas

As a kid, Christmas was always a big deal. In fact, everything was a big deal. A good report card, a promotion, birthdays, we celebrated it all. This celebratory style I grew up with followed me into adulthood.

As I’ve gotten older, buying Christmas gifts has become one of my favorite pastimes. It’s a fun feeling of both excitement and joy, when a loved one unveils the perfectly curated gift. Yet, finding the perfect gift for my parents and grandparents always feels like mission impossible. What do you buy for the people who have everything?! Year after year, I’d struggle with Christmas gifts and try so hard to keep up with my parents, who are supreme gift givers. This year, I rethought my approach.

My parents could care less what they opened on Christmas morning. Sure, I asked them and ended up with one bigger gift that was actually something they needed. They want things that money can’t buy – all of their kids in the same place, to cook together and for us kids to spend time with our grandparents. Looking back on this holiday season, that’s exactly what I gave, time.

Each year as I stepped further into adulthood, I tried to conjure up ways to give back what my parents gave to me. At the end of 2018, I can say I’ve stopped trying. There’s no way in the world that I could repay them for all they’ve given me. And are still giving as I sit on the beach in Florida at my mom’s house while my dad and stepmom diligently wait for the call to pick up my car for me. As they say, a parent’s work is never done.

So, my fellow adult children, stop worrying about the perfect gift for your parents. Instead, show up on holidays and birthdays as much as possible, take them to dinner and put your phone down during the meal. I think about my Nana and the many Saturdays I spent with her. Those were some of the best conversations I’ve had and she thoroughly enjoyed hearing my stories and watching me live my life. I sit with my other grandparents now and see the same joy fill their faces merely because I’m spending time with them. Highlight of the holiday season? Taking Grandma to see the Donna Summers musical on Broadway and dancing alongside her to ‘Last Dance.’

Don’t overthink it, my fellow 20’s somethings, who I’m sure are navigating this much like I am. Talk to your parents, grandparents, everyone in your life so you can co-create these memories together. They will sustain you during the longer, harder stretches of your life.

Family Fridays: Young At Heart

For most people, today is just an ordinary Friday filled with fear of snow. But, today is a very special day for me. Today is Nana’s 86th birthday.

Nana is my mother’s mom who had lived with us for about ten years. She is 86 today but doesn’t look a day over 65. She is addicted to Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune and usually is humming Frank Sinatra from my kitchen table. I have become Nana’s hair dresser as well as personal driver over the last few years. They’ve been the best jobs I’ve had yet.

nanaNana has shared a lot of pieces of advice through the years. Most are fun little quips but one has stuck with me for a while. Nana always reminds me to stay young at heart, to work hard and be serious but to also have some fun. She used Frank Sinatra’s song to reinforce her message. For me, it was an important lesson because I typically over think things and obsess on every detail. Nana’s message helped me to loosen up, laugh at the messes life makes and smile at the chaos.

I am beyond lucky to have my grandmother still with me today. She has seen all of my life milestones including my college graduation. It was such a big deal for me to have her there that day and in turn, she couldn’t have been any prouder. Sometimes it’s hard to remember that Nana is older and cannot do everything on her own. I have at times lost my patience, something I always end up regretting. Today, I am reminded how much of a blessing my amazing Nana is.

Happy 86th Birthday Nana!

 

Introducing Family Fridays!

Anyone who knows me knows that my family (and friends) play a large role in my life. Collectively, they have molded me, challenged me and taught me invaluable life lessons. That’s why, from now on, each Friday will be dedicated to some story or lesson from the crazy bunch I call family.

For starters, you must realize how expansive my family is. I suppose the reason for that is I don’t consider just my blood relatives family. Of course they are my family, but I’m happy to say the title of family is extended to so many others who are in my life. You see, there is my mother’s family, my father’s family and my stepmother’s family as well as my best friends who have earned their spots within the crazy crew. For me, family isn’t defined by blood. It is defined by who consistently and happily shows up. Most of the time, that includes blood relatives but sometimes it doesn’t. I’m blessed and proud to say that in my world, my family grows and changes all the time.

Today is my grandmother’s 83rd birthday. Grandma Dee is the epitome of honesty. Gained a little weight? She’ll notice it. Accidentally burned dinner? She’ll let you know. The woman does not hold back and at 83, who would? It’s very easy for people to get offended by her honesty. Who really wants to be reminded that they gained weight?! But, I’ve learned to love her honesty. I go to her when I need a brutally honest opinion but prepare beforehand for the harsh truth. It is refreshing to have someone in my life who is upfront and does not sugarcoat things. Too often, people hold back and don’t share their true feelings at the risk of others being offended. While there is a time and place for bluntness, I’m glad Grandma holds nothing back and is straight with all of us. It takes some getting used to but she doesn’t mean any harm. I am so lucky to still have my grandparents are a constant part of my life especially my extremely honest grandmother!

Happy Birthday Grandma!!

Grandma Dee & Papa Buddy :)

Grandma Dee & Papa Buddy 🙂

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