Sometimes it seems that grandfather’s don’t get enough credit. But it was a grandfather that started one of my favorite family holiday traditions 18 years ago.
Eighteen years ago, my son was only 4 and the only child in the family. This made waiting for holiday celebrations and meals like Thanksgiving and Christmas tough on a little boy who had better things to do but no one to do them with since Dad was watching football and grandma and mom were busy in the kitchen cooking a fantastic feast of turkey and stuffing, sweet potatoes and pie.
Grandpa decided to take action and loaded his grandson into the car to go see a movie. The really special part was that this time the little boy could pick whatever movie he wanted, within reason of course. This first year “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” was the choice. After a couple hours at the theater, grandpa and grandson returned home to a fully cooked dinner and an eternally grateful mom because she didn’t have to balance both cooking and cleaning with keeping her son entertained.
Each year after that for Thanksgiving and Christmas, Grandpa would pick the kids up and take them to a movie. The children were always the ones to pick the movie and each year Grandma and Grandpa would sit through movies with titles like “Power Rangers” and several Disney movies including “Beauty and the Beast.” After awhile, Grandma had to go too because four children can take a bit of effort at a movie theater. Over the years the movies may change from animated to action, but one thing stayed the same, the special time that the grandparents shared with the children.
Now they have 6 grandchildren, ranging in ages from 22 to 4 and this year, Grandma and Grandpa live 1900 miles away. While we will miss them on Thanksgiving Day, and it’s almost ok, because Mom is going to keep up the tradition, taking another little 4 and 5 year old child to a holiday movie showing of “Tangled” the new Disney movie starring “Rapunzel.” I’m not the grandpa or grandma, but hopefully 18 years from now she will look back and remember and say, “Hey mom let’s go to a movie today.”
What is your favorite family holiday tradition? Don’t have one? Then why not start one of your own? Holiday traditions you make on your own are the ones that will truly last forever.