As I write this, my grandsons are running all over the den playing some kind of game that involves swords, hide and seek, and lots of noise. Classic rock radio is blaring “All Night Long” on the Alexa device and the last of the breakfast dishes are resting in the dishwasher covered with the syrupy remnants of Hawaiian bread French toast—powdered sugar is sprinkled all over my counters as evidence.
This morning we had French toast because my kids remember how I made it for them when they were growing up. It was a special request. The Hawaiian sweet bread is a new twist—something I came up with when I wanted to create the “Nonna Special” for my oldest grandson.
I am nestled in my office a short distance from the kitchen listening to the chatter of my daughter and daughter-in-law as they whip up the cookie dough for the cookie baking festival that will take place shortly. My youngest grandson, who is only three, has not experienced a real dough-rolling-cookie-cutting-baking-decorating experience at Nonna’s yet. Today is his indoctrination.
And today, we will plant jelly beans in the flower garden for him, sprinkle them with Nonna’s “special fertilizer” and come back later this evening to find lollipops growing. It’s a tradition in our house. Today is the little one’s indoctrination into Nonna’s magical flower garden.
The Christmas tree is twirling and decorated with Mickey and Minnie and the stuffed Disney characters stand by the tree watching the lights twinkle. Thanks to Alexa, we can turn this magical wonder on and off at will—“Alexa, turn on the Christmas tree”—“Alexa, turn off the Christmas tree.” She’ll leave it on all day today and tomorrow and Christmas Day—way into the night.
We want the tree to add to the magic of the room when Santa arrives.
The grandkids got busy this morning and wrote their Christmas letters to Santa. Even my grown daughter wrote hers. All of them went in the special mailbox sitting by Nonna’s back door.
There is talk of milk and cookies for Santa—hence the cookie baking festival that is about to commence.
There is joy in my house today—pure magical joy.
It’s the sound of the mixer running in the kitchen. The voices of little kids. The pitter patter of their feet running across the floor. The dogs barking with excitement. The timer going off for the oven. The music blaring on the new “music machine.” The “Ho Ho Ho” of Santa on the movie “The Christmas Chronicles.”
Genuine, bellowing laughter.
And a little voice quietly saying, “Nonna, Nonna, . . . “ and tugging at my sleeve at breakfast. “I love you, Nonna.”
There’s magic in my house today.
It’s the magic of Christmas.
And to all of you, with your own special kind of magic swirling around in your house—
I wish you the Merriest, Brightest, Most Joyous, Most Blessed . . .
Christmas Day Ever!
—From My House to Yours