My grandson Eli who is two was having so much fun playing hide and seek with grandpa during our family Christmas this past Saturday. I had to teach Eli how the game of hide and seek worked and as soon as he realized what we were doing, he really got into it and didn’t want to stop. The fun of hiding from grandpa and hear grandpa yell “Where is Eli?” made him laugh and giggle in his hiding space. Then Eli tried to find grandpa, he went room to room giggling and laughing, then finally finding grandpa and letting out a scream. Making memories with my grandchildren is very important to me at my age. After I am long gone I want them to remember some good times with grandpa and grandma. It is Christmas and what a better time to have some quality family times to make memories

I can remember in the early 1960’s going to my grandpa and grandma’s in New Richland Minnesota at Christmas and the excitement and fun that it brought me. I remember my Grandpa Raymo reading the Christmas story next to a real Christmas tree that smelled like a forest. Grandma always had some big ornaments on the tree. Of course a ton of presents under the tree, and me wondering which present was mine. My Uncle Mike, along with my dad and grandpa play wrestling on the living room floor knocking over furniture and grandma yelling at them to be careful and to stop destroying things! After the serious wrestling was over my brother Greg and I would pounce on grandpa and wrestle with him. My grandpa loved wrestling and his claim to fame was beating the state champion in high school. Fun family memories for me. Now it is my turn as a grandpa to make lasting memories for my grandchildren and this past Saturday was a memory maker for sure.

Madison does a great job during the Christmas season offering many family activities. We started our afternoon walking from our house on a mild December day to Santaland at Heather Nursery in downtown Madison. It is an amazing place to take the kids to meet Santa and walk around a winter wonderland. It is hard to describe exactly what it is like, but the kids absolutely loved it, the lights, toy trains, the good and naughty list, play stations. Watching my grandkids faces light up with excitement is what brings joy to me. After Santaland, my daughter in law Katie and I took the kids across the street to the Grand Theater for a free matinee to watch an animated movie called The Star. What was funny I told Adelyn, Gretta, Eli and Zane that grandpa was treating and they could get anything they wanted at the concession stand. Well, they all took me up on that and gathered as much candy, popcorn, slushies and pop as they could hold. They thought that was pretty cool.

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After the movie we walked back home and took some selfies on the way home which the kids love to do with grandpa. After the traditional supper we sat around the Christmas tree and Adelyn read the Christmas story, and Zane and Gretta took turns reading a Christmas book. After presents were opened, I suggested to the grandkids that we drive around Madison and look at the Christmas lights. I made it a game, they were to pick the best decorated houses. Then I would tell them which homes got first place and so on. So we jumped in the Equinox, just the grandkids and me and drove around Madison looking at all the Christmas decorations on homes. I showed them the five homes that had won, but did not tell them which place they had received. I was amazed that Adelyn and Zane could correctly choose the correct places. They had so much fun doing that and so did I. I told them we will start a tradition doing this.

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I then took them to the Dollar Store and told them they each could have five dollars to spend. Gretta and Zane thought the whoopie cushion was worthy of buying and walked around the store activating the whoopie cushion in the isles and laughing hysterically. I pretended like they weren’t with me. Back home we played many  games of Crazy Eights. We then sat around the tv and finished the evening watching everyone’s favorite Christmas movie Christmas Vacation. I hope they are old enough to remember this Christmas with grandpa! Family really is everything!






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