The power of children at Christmas

Sherri Gardner HowellBlount, Farragut, Kitchen Table Talk, West Knox

Children not only believe all the fantastic, miraculous aspects of Christmas, they have the power to create some magic of their own.


My grandchildren have certainly done that this year.

First, the anticipation of getting to spend some time with the Seattle family this year has spurred me to become an Organized Shopper. I told you last week about the five types of Christmas shoppers, explaining that I had, at different points in my life, been all five.

Thankfully I reached my word count limit before I had to confess that 90 percent of the time, I am the Procrastinating Shopper. I am often running out on Christmas Eve day to grab a last minute this or that. I am always wrapping gifts until well after midnight on Christmas Eve. There have even been times when a Weigel’s run was necessary (stockings) at 6 a.m. Christmas morning.

This year, however, the anticipation of spending some time with my grandchildren in the days leading up to Christmas was all the motivation I needed to become an Organized Shopper. As of today – don’t hate me – I have marked everything off the “to buy” list, and every gift is wrapped and under the tree. The icing on the Christmas cookie is that everything that has to be mailed has been mailed!

We have a few local deliveries to make. There is still a grocery list to compile and buy. Still, all those things I never have time to do – such as make my own sugar cookies for the kids to decorate – have a fighting chance this year.

Truly a Christmas phenomenon.

*A heart warmer to share:

Grandson King is the king of costumes. He loves getting in costume, whether it’s Spider-Man, an astronaut or a dragon. I have accompanied Iron Man to the park to play, sat in the woods while an elf looked for a new magic tree, and I have been eaten by a dinosaur. He has an incredible imagination.

King Howell, age 5, visited Morning Point in Franklin as “Santa” to spread Christmas cheer.

One of his favorite costumes was his Santa suit. This year, the suit was way too small, so Gigi got him another one just a week after Halloween. He often wears it if he goes shopping with mom and dad or to Cheekwood Gardens to check out the reindeer and lights.

Last week, however, he wore it to the assisted living and memory care facility near their home in Franklin. Kinsey had contacted the facility, asking if they could do anything to offer some Christmas cheer for the residents. They responded with a heart-felt, “Yes,” explained their safety precautions and set a time.

King, like any 5-year-old boy, can be shy. His parents left it up to him. He said he wanted to go so Santa King could spread some Christmas joy.

He certainly did that. Especially heart-tugging was the visits to the windows of the people in the memory care unit.

Watching the videos, Gigi’s heart, too, was filled with Christmas joy – and a lot of pride.

Sherri Gardner Howell has been writing about family life for newspapers and magazines since 1987. She lives in West Knoxville, is married to Neville Howell and has two sons and three grandsons.

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