Christmas Shopping with Joey

Today it was grandson Joey’s turn to have a meal with me and go shopping for Christmas gifts for his family. When I talked to Joey earlier in the week, after Oliver and I returned from his excursion, he hoped we could spend a long time together. He didn’t want to have to rush his decision making process, and he sweetly said he wanted the one on one time with me to last all day. 

Joey’s wishes for more time together came true! His school ended up having an early out today. I was able to pick him up and start our Yaya and Grandchild time two hours earlier than we had planned. These are important lessons to experience, that what we sincerely desire with a whole heart can create shifts that birth our hopes into reality. 

Joey was hungry when I picked him up from school, so our first stop was at Chili’s Restaurant in Joplin. While we waited for our lunches to arrive, we played Monopoly on the table top device. Joey loves this board game, and it was fun to try out an electronic version, which moved at a much faster pace than the standard version. 

I did so well rolling the virtual dice, and rolling in pretend money, that Joey and I joked about making our next stop the casino! Truthfully, gambling isn’t something I desire to teach my grandson about. But we laughed over my accumulating stash of electronic funds and discussed what we would do if we had that kind of cash. Joey, who is so compassionate, said he would buy everyone bigger presents for Christmas!

Joey knew exactly what he wanted to purchase for his family, and where he wanted to shop. After a leisurely lunch, we planned our route and began shopping, making stops for the desired purchases and making sure we included a pit stop for a cold drink. 

I enjoy following the kids around as they shop. Each child puts a great deal of thought into the gift selection process. Contary to when I take them out for their birthday dinners and shopping trips, this time of year, it is all about thinking of others and what they like. Not one child asks to buy anything for themselves. The focus is on what would light up a parent or sibling’s face and bring them joy. I am grateful that I can be part of allowing the kids to do something special for their families. 

Shopping completed, Joey made quick work of wrapping the gifts. I was delighted, watching as he wrote on the gift tags. He didn’t just write the typical To: and From:. He added words of love, underlining them for emphasis. 

The boy does have a sense of humor too. While helping me pick out extra gift bags at a store, he found the perfect one for his brother’s present. I suddenly noticed that the bag was flawed…the word JOY was upside down. When I pointed out the mistake and reached for another bag, Joey claimed the misprinted one instead. “It’s perfect for my brother,” he laughed. He defended the bag to the clerk who rang us out, and wanted to replace it. And grinned as he slipped Oliver’s gift inside and made sure the name tag hung in such a way to call attention to the upside down JOY. 

His joy, upside down or right side up, was obvious…and contagious. I’m still smiling about it, and my day of shopping with Joey.