My grandma used to visit my mom’s for Christmas every year and her stay was usually about two weeks. I know she looked forward to this trip all year long because she would ask me if I was going to be back for Christmas every time I spoke to her. I was living across the country in California at the time and only made it back once or twice a year.
I remember fondly of watching my grandma as she would pull up at the airport with my mom. She had such a big smile for such a small lady. We would visit just about every waking hour to cram in our time together. I would always ask her what she wanted for Christmas every year and I always got the same answer “nothing.” She was a big crochet designer and the only appropriate gift for her was more yarn. So that’s what I got for her. I enjoyed watching her face light up when she opened up her gifts of yarn even though she would say as she opened her present, “you shouldn’t have gotten me anything.” I knew she loved getting her yarn though!
My grandma passed a few years back and Christmas hasn’t been the same without her. I have since moved my family back east to be near my folks and when we visit my mom’s place, my little girl and I end up sleeping in “grandma’s room.” I always ask my mom if grandma visits her and she has told me that on occasion, she does. My mom describes it as a peaceful and gentle presence around her. I have never felt her presence let alone anyone else in my life time.
This Christmas season I received a special gift. On Christmas night, I was in “grandma’s room” lying on the story rug reading a book about Christ’s birth to my little girl. When we had finished, I popped up and walked over to the other side of the room where the bathroom was and all of a sudden, I smelled her! Not her perfume but her scent. I could smell her as if I was leaning in for a hug like I used to back in the day. It was so strong that I ran out of the room and yelled for my wife to come up to see if she could smell it. She ran up the stairs as if something was wrong and immediately noticed it to.
We marveled at her mere presence for a moment as I said hello and wished my grandma a “Merry Christmas.” Within an instance, her scent was gone. It was a gentle and peaceful presence just as my mom had explained. My grandma had come to visit and enjoy watching her grandson read the story of Christ’s birth to her great granddaughter. That was my Christmas Spirit.