FOREST CITY | Grandparents and their grandchildren spent some time together Dec. 1 as part of a fourth-grade holiday tradition at Forest City Elementary.

The fourth-graders invited their grandparents to a Christmas tea at the school. 

After a program in the cafeteria, the children took their grandparents back to their classrooms and served them refreshments.

Tammy Callahan has twin grandchildren, Addy and Max Aitchison, who are in fourth grade.

"They have been talking about it (the Christmas tea) since the beginning of the school year, she said.

Callahan said the children have been practicing for the program for a long time.

The students took turns introducing all the songs they performed during the program, which included an Austrian carol sung both in English and in German, a selection from the Broadway musical "Dear Evan Hansen," and more familiar holiday tunes.

The fourth-graders wrote all the introductions to the songs. 

Jean Peterson, Max and Addy's Aitchison's great-grandmother, also came to the Christmas tea.

"It's just fun to do things with them and see how life progresses," she said.

"I can't believe how big the classrooms are," Peterson added, noting when she attending the tiny school in Scarville, there were only six or seven students in each class at the most. 

While the children ate treats with the grandparents, they asked them questions about what life was like when they were in fourth grade, including how much things cost.

One of the fourth-grade teachers, Lacy Jerome, said even when the kids see their grandparents often, when they bring then to their classroom some of them get shy and don't know what to do.

That's why the teachers give them a list of questions to ask, she said.

Peterson's interview with her great-granddaughter  sparked a lot of stories. Peterson told her about riding a passenger train many years ago.

Kevin Swanson said his granddaughter, Ella Urbatsch, raised her eyebrows every time he and her two grandmothers, Carmen Swanson and Pam Urbatsch, told her something cost only a nickel when they were her age.

Ella said the best part of the morning's festivities was "that I don't have to do schoolwork."

"That's exactly what I would have said," Pam told her.

Cadence Sletten, who had both her grandmothers, LuElla Mueller and DeAnn Sletten, at the tea, said she learned "things were way different than they are now."

"It's great that they did this," Mueller said. "It's a great idea."

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