Angels on top of the tree

Mary Clare Bean

When it comes to celebrating the holidays, for most people, it’s an automatic thought that we will spend it with our family. Family, whether that means extended family, non blood related family or just your immediate family. The special aspect of the holidays is to spend time with your loved ones and friends. 

For me, my family does is we switch off holidays with both sides of our extended family. Thanksgiving with the Beans in Iowa, then Christmas with the Minnesota Mastellers etc. Doing it that way it guarantees we spend equal time with everyone. While sometimes it’s super hard to reach our aunts and uncles and cousins that live all over the place, we still find a way to contact them and make them part of our celebrations. I don’t think my mom has gone a single holiday without asking my Uncle John about how to make their mother’s famous turkey stuffing or trying to figure the right amount of time to cook the ham. On the other side of the family, figuring out what each person is making and bringing has become so much easier because we already know what people eat, what they don’t and what person is good at making what. 

While this year’s holidays have been different, I cannot imagine having another special holiday like Christmas without seeing either of my grandmas. With Covid-19 and taking health precautions, the chances of us seeing either of them is very low. We will miss out on having Grandma Judi Bean always being in charge of getting everyones drink order, leading us in our prayer before meals, or her bringing over her special fudge she makes for my parents. We will miss out on One Grandma (Grandma Masteller) folding the table napkins in her precise folds, bringing snacks and the Christmas ham, and all the recipes she’s gathered from all of her years. Having them be part of our hectic celebrations and food making means so much to both our family and them. 

My absolute favorite part of having them be able to come and celebrate with us is them being able to see the life and people they have brought into this world. The families they started, the relationships they grew, the success they see in their children, and grandchildren, the little habits and personalities they see in their children that remind them of an old friend or family member. They love nothing more than having all of their pride and joy in the same room. 

So, Grandma Judi and One Grandma, there is nothing in this world I want more than to have you celebrate fully with us. You guys make the holidays special and without you it would seem like just any other day. You guys are truly the angels at the top of the tree. Just like our tree topper, you both light up the room and you are the final pieces to our beautiful family tree. We miss you dearly and so wish you could be here with us, Merry Christmas Grandmas!! We love you with all our hearts.


Mary Clare + all your Beanie Babies