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Getting It All Wrapped Up
Marg-Ins 12-20-23

As we get ever closer to the end of another calendar year, it again reminds me how fast time truly does go.

My granddaughter will be turning two in mid-January and even though I understand that concept, it still takes me by surprise that somehow, we are already moving toward potty training and looking forward to her first dance recital.

She loves music, loves hockey (that’s my girl!), is fascinated with cooking and loves the opportunity to help out mommy and daddy in the kitchen, whether it is dumping the measured-out ingredients into the bowl to help make cookies or assisting with rinsing the dishes to load into the dishwasher.

Watching the growth and development as a ‘Mimi’ is a totally different perspective than watching it as a mom. There’s less to worry about and more to enjoy as a Mimi and I get to share in some of her milestone moments.

She basically has one speed – fast – and days when I get to watch her, she does wear me out.

And there’s something about looking at the holidays through the eyes of a child that gives it a different meaning.

She is mesmerized by the twinkling lights on the Christmas tree in my daughter and son-in-law’s living room and, for the most part, has been good about leaving the tree alone. Probably because there aren’t any presents under it yet. She also knows how to switch the lights from the single color to the tri-color and she is much more a fan of the red, green and blue lights than the plain white ones.

She loves her Santa Claus pajamas and will give a hearty ‘Ho Ho Ho’ when you ask her about Santa. I think her favorite, though, is gnomes and there are several holiday themed ones out there. I had her with me on a recent trip to the store and told her she needed to stay seated and belted in the shopping cart. She listened so well, I told her she could pick out a treat and, of course, it was a little wooden gnome, dressed in a Santa hat and holding a Christmas tree.

There has been no shortage of holiday events around our communities this month. Her favorite may have been the Christmas on Main celebration in Escalon, especially when Santa Claus himself passed by on the big shiny red fire truck, waving from atop the engine. She smiled and waved and called out to him … it was a bit of a different story when we went to meet him in person. She wasn’t really in the mood to pose for a picture; he was a little bigger than he looked on the fire truck and – like her own mom many years ago – wanted nothing to do with Santa face to face. On the fire truck, just fine, but no photo with Santa this year.

She also left the parade with a special gift; the Ed and Betty Bracco family was at it again, collecting stuffed animals throughout the year and then pulling a huge wagon of them along the parade route, handing them out to youngsters all along the way.

As I was taking photos, Mr. Bracco asked if my granddaughter was there and when I told him she was, he picked out a plush stuffed animal for me to give to her. I knew she was sitting with her cousins – the three of them arrived within a three-month span, from November 2021 through January 2022 – and I mentioned that to him. He promptly grabbed two more for me and made all of those wide-eyed toddlers very happy; each one hugging their new stuffed animal as the rest of the parade rolled by.

I know a lot of people focus on gratitude during November, the month of Thanksgiving, but I also like to wrap up the year looking back over the past 12 months and counting my blessings; family, friends and co-workers among them.

I also wish you all a joyous holiday season and look forward to the possibilities that 2024 will bring.


Marg Jackson is editor of The Oakdale Leader, The Escalon Times and The Riverbank News. She may be reached at or by calling 209-847-3021.