30A Locals Share their Favorite Christmas Memories
My most cherished memory: My mom was a single mom of 4 girls and I was the baby. She was a waitress her whole life and we didn’t have much….but we had what we needed. But, she knew there were kids in our schools that had less. Every single year the principal gave my mom a list of 20 kids who wouldn’t have a Christmas or a “good” Christmas. She took us 4 kids to go buy presents for those 20 kids. They weren’t expensive gifts or the most popular gifts of the year, but they were gifts. Then we would take them home wrap them up while listening to Christmas music and give them to the kids. She taught us the gift of giving, caring, & compassion. My mom is no longer with us, but I am blessed for the way she raised us 4 girls and will forever cherish this memory. P.S. – we always seemed to have the best Christmas mornings too!
My brothers would sometimes buy me gifts that they actually wanted… so they could have them later lol… I always loved the afternoon of Christmas growing up, when we would get toys, etc. and we would go out into the front yard/field and play all day.
Since meeting Fantasia, the past years have been spent crashing on the living room couch (very close to the Christmas Tree)… her younger sisters (actually nieces) would ask me if I heard Santa at all… Often by the time I woke up, the girls had very sneekily gathered around the tree — so when I woke up, they were there to say good morning.
Christmas has always been my favorite holiday since I was a kid. That feeling of excitement waking up early on Christmas morning to see what Santa put underneath the Christmas tree will always stay with me. Since having my son, I get to be Santa and to me, it’s even better than getting Santa, seeing your little one just as excited like you were on Christmas- is the best joy ever!
It has always been a family tradition (like Hank says 🙂 ) that after we eat, we all watch, ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ together. To remind us that we are so very blessed, not with riches but with love of family and friends!
Christmas is my absolute favorite time of the year. It wasn’t always. I think having children of my own changed that for me. My father passed away when I was six just three days before Christmas. That alone changed the holiday for me for quite some time.
We didn’t have much but we did have each other. My siblings and I grew closer while our mother struggled to take care of six children. There was one Christmas when we couldn’t afford presents let alone a tree. I remember my family and I driving up to our home to find a beautiful tree out front along with bags and bags full of presents. Our church did that for us. That was one of my most favorite memories, not because I got anything I loved (I hated Barbies and got a bunch of them) but that I felt so loved. It was the true spirit of the season right on our very doorstep.
As far as traditions go, the day after Thanksgiving is when all the decorations go up. Forget black Friday – I want to decorate! There is one main tree in our living room and then the kids get a little one in their room. One of my most favorite traditions is picking an Angel from the Angel tree at Walmart to shop for. We have a lot of fun shopping for them and enjoy doing that together as a family. Last but not least, we always watch “A Christmas Story” on Christmas Eve. “You’ll shoot your eye out kid!”
I have several great memories of awesome gifts that I have received and fun stories about baking Christmas cookies, but there is one Christmas that has always stood out. I was 11 years old and my grandma came from Kentucky to visit us during our break from school. Gooma Pat was always a very strict grandma and didn’t put up with a lot of our crap, but she was so thoughtful.
I woke up Christmas morning, 1999. As I ran to the Christmas tree, I looked outside and saw snow covering our front porch and the hand rails. It was sprinkled on the top of the plants and our porch swing. I bypassed the tree loaded with presents and ran outside because I had never seen snow before. As I reached down and grabbed a big handful of the “snow”, I realized something. It wasn’t cold. My Gooma Pat had gotten buckets of beach sand and created a white Christmas just for me and my brothers and sisters. It was so beautiful to see and so exciting!
I love Christmas so picking just one memory is hard. As much as I love Christmas everyone knows it can be stressful trying to get your whole family together. I would have to say my favorite memory by far is the Christmas I spent in Kodiak, Alaska. It was my first true white Christmas. We had the best time. It was very low key with only my aunt, her husband, and their two boys and myself. We had no time restraints and we got to ski and hike it was the most relaxing Christmas ever.
My most memorable Christmas was my first tropical Christmas. I was in the United States Air Force and one of my Duty Stations was at Andersen AFB in Guam. This small island is a tropical paradise in the western Pacific Ocean. I was invited to spend Christmas day with a civilian and her family. It was 85 degrees, sunny and clear. The dinner was mix of traditional and local food, some of which I had never seen before (like purple sweet potatoes with a coconut glaze). We ate outside and spent the day sharing stories.
Growing up in Northern New Mexico, it was always cold and snow would be all over, so this new experience was quite bizarre but one I will never forget.
I have many great Christmas memories. My Mom always does everything she can to make sure her girls have a fabulous Christmas. When we were little, my mom would buy gifts for my sister and me to exchange. Before Christmas, my sister convinced me that we should secretly tell each other what we got each other. Me, being younger and naive, told my sister exactly what my gift for her was and in return she told me what she got me. However, on Christmas morning, I was shocked when I opened my present from my sister and it was NOT what she had told me. I was not happy with her for tricking me but it was still a great Christmas!
My favorite memory from Christmas mornings is sprinting through our house to beat my younger brother to the Christmas tree to find out what Santa Claus had brought us. We always woke up WAY earlier than our parents hoped and ran through the house yelling Santa was here!!