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Picture Book
Christmas with Grandma

Blue, green, yellow, orange, red, and white lights twinkle on trees and around windows, reminding us that it is Christmas time. Snow falls, landing softly on the browning grass, blanketing it in whiteness.

Inside the house, warm and secure, Nelson and his sister, Kira sat in front of the fire. "Tell us a story about Christmas, Grandma," Nelson begged. "Tell us about when you were a little girl."

His grandma smiled. "Nelson, when I was a wee lass, we didnít even know what Christmas was. Did you know that until the 1960ís it wasnít celebrated in Scotland, so I canít tell you about Christmas in my days. When your dad was a wee lad, we started enjoying Christmas."

"No Christmas?" Kira said softly, in disbelief.

"No, my wee hen. It wasnít like it is today. I didnít have a tree with colored lights. I didnít know who Santa Claus was, and I never had any presents. I didnít even know Christmas existed," her grandma explained.

Kira and Nelson looked at the tree. He loved how the colored lights sparkled and made the ornaments prettier. "Tell me, Kira, what do you like about Christmas?" Grandma asked.

"I like everything," she said. "I like Christmas trees."

"Did you know that the idea of a Christmas tree came from Germany? When I was a lass, in the wintertime we decorated our house with mistletoe and junipers. They were symbols of life during the cold months," Grandma explained.

"What about you, Nelson? What do you like about Christmas?" she asked.

Nelson looked into the flames of the fire that was roaring in the fireplace. "I like the Yule log," he answered.

"Did you know in Scotland, the Yule log should be cut from a birch tree?" Grandma said.

"I didnít know that, Grandma. What does a Yule log mean anyway?" Nelson asked.

"A log was put in the fireplace to remind us to keep our hearts warm and filled with good thoughts," Grandma explained. "Thereís a lot of tradition with Yule logs, but right now, I want to talk about you both. You know what I love about Christmas now?"

"What, Grandma?" Kira asked.

"I love the food and having my family together. Remember last year when you came to my house? We had a big feast. There were meat pies, and fresh salmon and trout, roasted goose and beef, venison, pheasant, lamb and grouse. We also had roasted apples, bridies and pasties, and hot bannocks. Pine logs burned in the fireplace, filling the house with a sweet smell," she reminded them. "I think there was enough food on that table to feed an entire village for a year." She chuckled.

"I remember that, Grandma," Nelson spoke. "I remember the clootie dumpling. I found ten pence in my piece."

"I liked the shortbread and tablet," Kira said, licking her lips. "Oh, and the plum pudding. I remember it being on fire."

"Youíre right, wee Kira. It was a feast. Now, itís time to tuck you in. Santa Claus will be coming tonight when you are fast asleep and leaving you some gifts," Grandma said. She took them upstairs and tucked them in. ""Goodnight, my wee bairns," she whispered and went back down to the fire.

She sat quietly, remembering the days when sheíd help her father cut mistletoe from high in the trees and tie branches of juniper trees, covered with little whitish-green berries, with big red ribbons. A smile lit her face and glowed as brightly as the roaring fire. Merry Christmas.

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