A Series of Personal Christmas Stories: Volume 1 

By: Cristin Coffey, Mon Ami companion

Hi, my name is Cristin and I am a college senior at San Jose State University. My family and I are from Southern California, so I only get to see them during the holidays. The family that comes together includes: me, my brothers, our partners, my parents, and my grandma. My grandma has been the only active grandparent in my life and she tries her hardest to make the holidays special. Come along with me through memory lane of four of my favorite holiday moments with her.

Memory #1: Baking Sugar Cookies

I know…sounds cliche, but let me tell you my grandma makes the best sugar cookies! We have been making them since I was young, and as I get older I try to replicate them still. Food is one of my favorite things to bond over, and those times in the kitchen will be irreplaceable. Teaching me how to roll the dough, frost properly, and be patient with the process are times that I will be able to replicate with my kids.

 

Memory #2: Skiing Down the Mountains

My grandma was always prominent with staying active no matter what age. She taught me how to ski and to appreciate nature’s beauty in the mountains. To this day she continues to go skiing during the winter holidays. I loved spending time with her, working on my skiing ability, “french fries”, “pizza”, “french fries”, “pizza”. Although, I did eventually change over to snowboarding, I will always be grateful for those ski lessons. 

 

Memory #3: Cherry Picking and Cherry Pies

 

This memory involves two things my grandma and I enjoy, the outdoors and baking. I remember one holiday season we spent two hours collecting cherries at a local farm for a pie, and when we got home our cherries had made the bag that was holding all of them saggy. When I went to grab it, all the cherries spilled on the ground. You could imagine my face in that moment. Nonetheless, my grandma kept her game face on, and pulled out a couple cans of cherries and we made cherry pies as if nothing happened. We were both happy to have just spent time together at the farm.

 

Memory #4: Playing Games and Making Crafts

 

My grandma was an art teacher for 30 years, so there was an endless amount of crafts we would do together during the cold winters of Christmas. Some things we would make are paintings, cards, and scarfs. She also had a variety of games that me and my brothers could choose from. We typically plaid monopoly or card games. Sometimes the simplest games are the most fun! Occasionally, my grandma would feel like spoiling us during the festive time of year and take us to Toys R Us and let us pick a new game for her house. 

The holiday season brings out a craving for wanting to make memories and be with other people. Seniors can be found feeling lonely these times of the year because life can get a bit busy for everyone. There are so many ways to connect with older adults, you could volunteer at an assisted living facility, become a Mon Ami companion, or send cards to a nursing home to wish them well. The gift of kindness will never go out of style! Don’t forget to cherish every moment with your relatives!