Friday, December 3, 2010


Subj: Christmas workshop
Date: Sun Dec 3 21:54:54 EST 2000

What a delightful day. Kayla and Nikia Childs came to a "Christmas Guru" craft workshop this morning.

Elsa was dubbed the Christmas Guru by Leah Heinrichs Rose a couple years ago. She certainly was this morning.

A special treat was having the girls dropped off at 11:00 a.m. by their grandmother, Mary Parker Grubb, who looks like a girl herself. It is difficult to fully grasp that Mary is a grandmother. I have known her since she was in high school and she is still beautifully young - it shimmers from her. It was special to have a few moments to talk with her.

Kayla and Nikia are already dear to our hearts. The two of them came to Elsa's Christmas craft workshops last year. Elsa offers her workshops to any child, at no cost; for the second year in a row, the only ones to nibble at her offer were these two delightful young ladies.

Because there were just the two girls and they were not baking (that will be the 12/17 workshop), Elsa worked on the coffee table in the living room, giving me a ringside seat. She covered the coffee table with a giant piece of holiday wrapping paper, so it looked Christmasy as soon as you walked in. Today's workshop was on "angels."

It was a pleasure to watch Kayla, who is 9 and Nikia, who I think is 7, watching as Elsa gave directions on making an angel from a plain paper plate. Their eagerness to get started and in picking out color schemes and embellishments was something to behold. They worked side by side but neither got in the other's way. They respected each other's territory. I was impressed again this year that each girl has a strong sense of personal style. After they were done with their angels, which were both gorgeous, they cut out and decorated butterfly ornaments and made tiny colorful cardboard heart boxes. Those little heart boxes are amazing to me.

The rule of thumb at Elsa's workshops is that the children can do whatever they want As she said whenever one of the girls asked if they could add this embellishment or use that color, "You can do anything you want." Another phrase I hear her use time and again is, "Be bold!"

Elsa played Christmas music, Kenneth Coy's Seasonal Improvisations and lots of Boston Pops. The two hours flew by. I enjoyed it all so much, I wore myself out and nodded off for a few moments right there in the big chair in the living room.

Robin and Amy picked them up. It was wonderful to have an opportunity to get to talk to the two of them - I came to know Robin from when he was in Australia. I got to know Amy as an adult (she was in Elsa's third class when she taught 6th grade, way back when) in a very unusual way that I will share with you sometime. We came to know them as a couple last winter, through Kayla and Nikia. I remember Robin last year asking Elsa why they had been so lucky as to have her put on three or four craft workshops for their daughters. I still can hear her simple, unembellished reply, "They were the only ones that signed up."

I am sorry for the children who did not leap at the chance last year or this, but am so very happy that Kayla and Nikia did. They - and their parents - have been blessings in our lives.

A happy Grammie is heading up the wooden hill to bed, filled with happy thoughts of three generations dear to my heart. Love to all - Gocky

Reposted with love in celebration of the 05/14 centenary of Gocky's birth.

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