Around the Island

Richard’s Almanac: The joys of shopping for grandchildren

COURTESY PHOTO | Presents under the tree.
COURTESY PHOTO | Presents under the tree.

“Why can’t every day be like Christmas?”

I was listening to Elvis singing that song last week while my grandchildren decorated my Christmas tree. They had a great time. And when they were finished, we went to Bella Vita and picked up a pizza. While they placed the ornaments in the best locations, they sipped hot chocolate I bought earlier at the Eagle Deli. 

Their hot chocolate machine does everything. And a quick microwaving makes it piping hot when the kids are ready to drink.

I made an antipasto with red peppers, celery, lettuce, salami and anchovies and other tasty foods. I’m the only one who ate the anchovies. I do not know why so many kids dislike these flavorful fish. Oh well.

But getting back to Elvis. Everyone does seem to be in a much better mood at this time of the year. Regardless which holiday people are marking, spirits seem to be elevated. That’s a good thing.

We’ve all heard about Christmas truces in wartime — a cessation in fighting on that day. I never could understand why the fighting could not be stopped on all the days if the powers that be could stop it on Christmas.

I do enjoy getting presents for my grandchildren — all six of them — but it’s a very involved process. I do not like shopping off the Island, so I have to plan my gift procurement very carefully. I do some mail order but mostly rely on our local merchants.

The kids range in age from 3 to 13 and their interests are as diverse as their ages.

My 13-year-old granddaughter — she’s the one who raises chickens — wants a Mac laptop and is asking for donations from her relatives to achieve her goal. I’ll contribute.

I also picked up an antique sign for her that advertises “fresh eggs.”

My 11-year-old grandson who plays the drums wants some kind of double pedal. I found a place in Fort Wayne, Indiana and they fixed me right up. People in Indiana are so nice and helpful.

But they’re not as helpful as the merchants on this Island. Mary Lou at Cornucopia gave great advice about stuff for my 3-year-old grandson who loves anything with wheels — a rubber stamp kit on transportation by Melissa and Doug was perfect. I also ordered him the newest Hess truck.

Mary Lou also directed me to a magic set for my 9-year-old granddaughter.

Camille at Jack’s Marine along with Dana helped me select a couple of craft and book packages for my 8-year-old and 5-year-old granddaughters.

And at Jack’s and Cornucopia they wrap!

I rounded out some more shopping at the Shelter Island Hardware Store and at Bliss’.

I never feel that everything is done until Christmas Eve. I can always fit one more gift in the stocking.

I decided that each of the girls should have a new dress from me. I took advantage of Amazon and have new dresses for them.

And I guess that’s why the letdown after Christmas is so intense because the elation of Christmas is so strong.

Have a great holiday!

God bless us all both great and small and send us Christmas cheer!