Home Country: The treasures of Christmas

Published 9:23 am Thursday, December 23, 2021

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By Slim Randles

Mabel Adams was sitting in the day room at the Rest of Your Life retirement home when the children came in. She smiled and so did all the others in the room except for two who didn’t know what was going on.

The old-timers in the home knew the kids were coming and had put up Christmas decorations around in the day room and on the doors of their own small apartments and on themselves. Mabel had been reminded several times by the staff that morning that the kids were coming over, this being necessary as Mabel’s memory isn’t what it used to be. And she put a sprig of imitation holly in her hair and tied a red ribbon on the other side.

The little girl smiled and walked over to Mabel.

“Are you a grandma?” she asked.

“Why, yes dear, I am.”

“I brought you a present, Grandma,” she said, handing a box to Mabel. Mabel opened it and was delighted at the sandalwood-scented hankies inside.

“Why thank you so much, Honey!” she said. “And what is your name?”

“I’m Candice. I’m four.”

“Well, Candice, merry Christmas to you. Have you been here before?”

“Well … no, I guess. Mom said this is where the grandmas are and we can have fun bringing presents to the grandmas.”

“I see,” Mabel said. “Well, Candice, come over here, dear and let me give you a hug. There!”

Sometimes, it isn’t the cost of the hankies, or the fun wrapping them up. Sometimes it’s just a child’s smile and a small taste of love that makes us treasure Christmas.


Visiting residents of a rest home this time of year sounds like a worthwhile project. Tell them hi for me, okay?