Christmas always makes me think about the past, friends, family and often my Grama Bagley. She was chubby and plump (a right jolly old elf) like I have become. She had gray hair most of the time although I do remember her having a tinge of blue or pink when that was the Grama trend. She wore dresses and aprons, and nylons rolled at the knee so they would stay up without a girdle, and she wore black grama shoes with laces and stacked heels. She was definitely soft and squishy like a giant stuffed toy.
I remember going to her house at Christmastime to bake sugar cookies. She had really cool cookie cutters and she'd roll out the dough with flour on her kitchen table and then I got to cut the cookies out. While she transferred them to the cookie sheet, I'd eat the scraps. Scraps from dough that has already been rolled out is even better than the actual cookies! She decorated them like an artist. She even used paint brushes, and her Santa Claus cookies had coconut covering the frosting for the beard. She used red hots, and silver ball candies and sprinkles, and the frosting was made with real butter so they tasted as good as they looked. Grama could decorate cookies very fast, and my feeble attempts usually left me disappointed and impatient. There was a room behind the kitchen that wasn't heated and was used to store old furniture and boxes of clothes. That is where Grama set up a table with a big marble slab where she would dip chocolates. She made the fudge, caramel, divinity and nut centers first, and then smeared some melted chocolate on the slab. She quickly rolled the center in the chocolate and made a tiny swirl decoration on the top to indicate which center was inside. It was fun to watch her at work.
In the living room a quilt was usually set up. The furniture was pushed back to line the walls of the small room and the kids would play under the quilt while Grama and her friends sat around chatting and quilting. Their legs all looked the same from that vantage point, with the rolled stockings and clunky shoes, knees apart as they reached under the quilt to stitch. I learned who was "expecting" and what that implied while I was laying underneath the quilt staring at the pattern of stitches. It looked so different from the design being created on the top, with all the pieces of contrasting fabric telling stories of log cabins and sunflower girls and building blocks.
It occurred to me that looking at the quilt from the bottom was like looking at life while we're in it. Heavenly Father is seeing the beautiful pattern from above, and knows how it will all turn out, while we're wondering if anything worthwhile can come from the pokes and knots we see from our perspective down here. I'm the age Grama was when I was little. It would be so fun to visit her as she was then and as I am now. I really think we would be good friends. Maybe thinking about her this way is a way to visit her. Merry Christmas, Grama