Long Distance Grandparents Combining Holidays for Double Joy: Thanksgiving and Christmas or Chanukah

ThanksgivingA long friend lamented that she was going to see her young (fourteen months granddaughter and four month grandson—yes, her son and daughter-in-law thought breastfeeding was enough birth control) for Thanksgiving and not Christmas.  I reminded her that long distance grandparenting means being creative.  I suggested that she bring out the Christmas tree during Thanksgiving.  After all, I bought her parents an ornament I knew they would like for their tree in September, when the stores already had Christmas ornaments.  I suggested that she buy Christmas presents early and celebrate Christmas during Thanksgiving.  I told her to tell the parents that she would buy the grandchildren’s Christmas outfits early so they could take Christmas pictures during Thanksgiving.  After all, her grandchildren are so little, they would not know the difference.  And, my grandma friend would have fabulous Christmas pictures and be able to celebrate Christmas with her grandchildren after all.

Thanksgiving is always at this Grandma’s house in Florida.  That means that once the grandchildren were old enough to go on a family vacation during winter school break, Florida was not the preferred location for the parents of our grandchildren to spend the holiday.  That is when this Grandma became creative and celebrated as many days of Chanukah as the grandchildren would be in Florida at Thanksgiving.  We light candles and sing songs and eat Chanukah food and chocolate.  Of course, the grandchildren get as many presents as the days of Chanukah we celebrate, not only from us but from GG and aunts and uncles and cousins.  It is a boom time for grandchildren and they love having up to 16 days of Chanukah instead of 8!  Combining Thanksgiving and Chanukah brings double joy for the grandchildren and pure joy for this Grandma.  Long distance grandparenting does not mean having to miss any holidays with the grandchildren.  It just means being creative as to when you celebrate them with the grandchildren.

Little did I know that 2013 is a very special year in and of itself.  For the first time in 124 years (yes, 124 years), the first day of Chanukah will actually fall on Thanksgiving Day this year!  And this will not happen for another 77,798 years (yes, that’s right, another 77,798 years).  This Grandma is always ahead of the times!

I am starting my Chanukah shopping in October with



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