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My kids when they were younger. Left to right in perfect stair-step: Jeremy, Bob, Janine and Christopher.

The other day, while talking to my husband, I bemoaned the fact that all of our children and grandchildren live so far from us and how I felt that distance even more so at Christmas. Christmastime is best spent with family and little children around. It's just not the same without the excitement of little kids.

One of the best things about being around children at any time of the year is hearing the funny things they come up with. I had the following conversation with my 5-year-old granddaughter, Amelie, on the phone the other day:

Me: "Hi Amelie! I was wondering what you want for Christmas this year from your Grandpa and I?" Amelie: "Oh, I want a Kindle!" Me: (surprised) "A Kindle?!"

At this point, I could hear her mom laugh and say, "That's news to me Amelie! You've never told me this whole time that you wanted a Kindle!"

I thought to myself, I don't know if I can afford a Kindle -- I've got seven other grandkids to buy for and what is a 5-year-old going to do with a Kindle? -- when Amelie said, "Well my Barbies have to have a boy doll to play with, so I need a Kendoll." Ken doll. Got it. My daughter and I had a good laugh over that one.

My grandson Erix is 11 and is the proud owner of a cellphone (which makes for some interesting texts). When he recently texted a list of gifts that he and his sisters might want for Christmas, he wrote, "Aurora and Kyia want Beanie Babies. Those are little cloth animals filled with beans." So cute that he felt the need to explain what Beanie Babies are -- they've been around longer than he has.

I miss having kids around -- my own who have grown up to become my best friends and my grandchildren, who I'd like to spend more time with. I will not despair, though -- there have been discussions back and forth about how we all miss each other and want to live closer to one another. I believe it will happen and it can't happen soon enough. That's what I want for Christmas, and it's a gift I'm willing to wait for, as long as it takes.