"Grandpa?" "Yes Honey." "You said we were gonna decorate the tree different this year. What did you mean by that," said Lucinda.
"Well", Grandpa said, "I feel we need to decorate the tree with our intentions for this coming year." "What?" said Lucinda who was about seven years old.
Grandpa said, "Let me show you the decorations." He pulled out the beautiful glass globes on which one side was flattened and there were tags on some of the globes. The ones that were labeled each had one word on them. They read - honor, respect, appreciation, kindness, benevolence, generosity and understanding. There were also some that were blank but there were tags on there - just nothing written on them.
Lucinda said, "Grandpa, what about these? The ones that don't have anything written on them." "Well I wanted you..." said Grandpa, "...to decide what you would put on them yourself." "Ohhh," said Lucinda.
"Let me set you up at your desk." Lucinda's Grandfather had a little desk set up not unlike you might find at a school. Lucinda got comfortable at her desk and her Grandfather put the decorations in front of her with a selection of crayons so that she could write on them or if she wasn't sure how to spell the word she would say the words or feelings and Grandpa would write them on. Lucinda decided that she'd rather have Grandpa write the words.
"Well," she said, "I feel it's important this year for people to be patient with each other because there's been a lot of changes going on and I've noticed that it's really hard especially for older people..." she glanced up shyly at her Grandfather and then quickly back down again "...to um change easily. So I think - patience would be a good one. Could you write that for me Grandpa?"
Grandpa said, "Oh yes, I'll write that down. What color do you want me to use?" She said, "I think yellow would be a good color." "Oh yes I agree. Very good color," Grandpa said. And Grandpa wrote patience on one.
"And I've also noticed..." Lucinda continued slowly, "...that a lot of people including my friends families when I go over to their houses...when their moms or dads say, 'I love you dear' it's kinda quick and well...my friends told me that they don't really feel anything there and their mom and dad doesn't always pick them up or hug them as much as they used to. So I think - hugs would be another good one."
"Oh that's very good. What color should we write it in," Grandpa said. "I can write that myself,"said Lucinda.
She picked a brightly colored orange crayon and she very carefully wrote - hugs. You could read it pretty good because she was a good writer. "Very good," Grandpa said.
"Here's another empty one Grandpa. Could I..." Grandpa said, "Oh yes that's another one for you. What do you want to write in there this time?"
Lucinda thought for a while and then she said, "Grandpa I feel that there's so many people in the world and they don't always hear each other even though people are talking all the time aren't they Grandpa?" "Oh yes, they certainly are," replied Grandpa.
Lucinda went on, "I think maybe people are talking so much they don't always listen and try and understand." "Yes, that could be," said Grandpa. "So maybe we ought to include - listen," Lucinda said.
"That's very good," said Grandpa, "I'll write that in or would you like to write it in?" Lucinda said, "Can you write that in Grandpa?" Grandpa said, "What color crayon should I use?" "Well...how about green," said Lucinda. "Oh what a wonderful choice," Grandpa said. He wrote in very carefully - listen.
"Here's another one. Can we write that in too Grandpa," Lucinda said. Grandpa quickly replied, "Oh yes, lets."
"I feel there's one more thing that people have to do besides hugging in families more and listening to people..." Lucinda said. "And what's that," said Grandpa.
"Well...I feel that people don't always say what they mean because they don't know how to say things - and I don't just mean kids like me," said Lucinda. "No?" said Grandpa, "What do you mean honey?"
Lucinda said, "I think that sometimes when grown-ups talk to each other they're sometimes shy. They don't know how to say things and so sometimes they either don't say things or they don't say what they mean. Do you understand Grandpa?"
"Yes." Grandpa said pausing to think about it for a while and considering whether he might do that sometimes himself when he was shy and didn't want to really say what he wanted or needed. "What a wise little one,"Grandpa thought.
"Is there enough room to write in something longer Grandpa?" "Well we might have to use a colored pencil for that so we can write a little smaller," Grandpa said reaching for the box of colored pencils. " "Well...I think it would be good to say - be honest and be clear," said Lucinda.
"Oh my, that makes a lot of sense,"Grandpa said. "What colored pencil would you like?" "Well," Lucinda said, "lets use pink." "Oh my, that's very nice," Grandpa said.
"Would you write that in Grandpa," Lucinda asked. "Oh yes I will," Grandpa replied. Grandpa wrote that in slowly and carefully so it could be read easily.
"And there's one more I'm thinking of Grandpa but lets make a game out of it." "Oh good," Grandpa said. "Well lets see, what's the first letter," Grandpa said.
"Okay, the first letter is - L." "Mmmm," said Grandpa with a studious look on his face, "I wonder what it could be?"
Lucinda laughed and said, "It has four letters." "Oh my, I wonder what that could be? I'm completely stumped," Grandpa said knowing full well what the word was.
"The last letter is - e," said Lucinda happily. "My, my. I just can't figure it out," Grandpa said enjoying the game. "Oh Grandpa," Lucinda said, "you know it's love."
She reached towards her Grandpa. He picked her up carefully from her desk and gave her a big hug and said, "Honey, love is what our family is all about." They hugged each other and looked at the tree and got ready to hang all the decorations.
What decorations will you put on your tree?