Christmas is a special time of year for many people and our Group is no exception. We’d like to share a few of our favorite Christmas memories!
For me, wonderful Christmas memories always involved my grandmother, Laura Marcy Askren. I think one of my favorites was going downtown to Rich’s with her to ride the Pink Pig. At the time, it was an enclosed suspension train, and not a regular “mini-train.” Then after the ride, “Nana” as we called her, would take us to the cafe in the store for lunch. My grandmother was the epitome of what a grandmother should be. She loved us all (me and each of my 5 siblings) and was very much involved in our lives. She always enjoyed scheduling fun things for us to do. I also fondly recall my sister and I going to her house to make fancy Christmas cookies every year. My favorites were the “stained glass” cookies that used sugar cookie base and melted Life Savers for the colored “glass.” She was an amazing baker and an overall excellent cook. I will always treasure the memories she made with us, and I miss her very much.
Every Christmas morning, we get up REALLY early and head out to my parents to celebrate Christmas with the family. Once Santa stopped stuffing our stockings, my sister and I made our own tradition, where we stuffed each other’s stockings each year. So, before everyone else wakes up, Nikki and I open our stockings together. Once the whole family is there, we start the fire in the living room and enjoy mimosas and breakfast together before doing presents. It’s so cozy and one of my favorite parts of Christmas!
I asked for a hamster EVERY Christmas for like, 4 years. I’d write it multiple times on my Christmas list so my parents would know how much I wanted one: HAMSTER, Tamagotchi, Skip-it, HAMSTER, Polly Pocket, Furbie, Troll doll, HAMSTER…you get the idea. Then one Christmas, I didn’t get the hamster. I never got the hamster.
Rob (Grab the tissues!)
We used to draw numbers to exchange gifts in elementary school. One year a friend of mine opened his, and stated, “A pair of socks?!? What kind of a stupid gift is this?” Then the older boy who had been held back two times reluctantly piped up, “My mom made me bring those. She said she would be grateful if I got a new pair of socks.” Even at age 8, it broke my heart. So, I told my Mom, and she got our church together, and on Christmas Eve, we took a carload of new clothes and toys to this boys’ home in the trailer park (back in the day you could ask the teacher for the address). I stayed in the car so that the kid would not be embarrassed, but I knew this is what God would want Christmas to be all about.
Our very first Christmas together as a married couple, living in a brand new home, we decided to get a B-and-B tree (balled and burlapped – a tree sold with their roots in soil wrapped in burlap and tied with twine or wire). We drove to North Carolina and purchased a tree that was about 4 feet tall. The day after Christmas, we planted the White Pine in our front yard. Today, 26 years later, the tree is a little too big for us to decorate as we did the first couple of years since it is now about 30 feet tall. It’s fun to tell visitors to our home that the tree was our very first Christmas tree.
My favorite Christmas tradition is our yearly ornaments. When I was a baby, my babysitter made me a felt ornament with a picture of me that year and wrote the date on the back. My mom did this every year from then on and it is fun to pull them out every year and see how much I’ve changed. We are now doing this for my niece and I hope to continue this tradition!
Steve (Tearjerker alert!)
My daughter, Emma, then age 11, came to us and said she wanted to “adopt” a girl and her family for Christmas. She told us she didn’t want any gifts for Christmas, but instead wanted to spend the money that we would have spent on her, and allow her to go shopping for this family. How could you argue with that? So we went shopping and bought a bike, toys, clothes, diapers, and food gift cards — something for everyone in the family. We went as a family and presented everyone with our presents. They were extremely appreciative and had even cooked us an authentic Guatemalan dinner. But instead of us joining them around the table, they served us the meal as their special guests. They spoke very little English, but it was an amazing evening of fellowship. I was so proud of my daughter (how many kids would give up Christmas presents), and our family was so incredibly blessed by the experience.
One of my fondest Christmas memories was a very special gift from Santa. It was a goldfish that lived in a bubble gum machine-style tank. When you cranked the handle, the light turned on so I, er-the fish wouldn’t be afraid of the dark. In college, I tracked down another one of those tanks and proudly displayed it in my dorm room.
When I was in elementary school my grandparents gave me a large chocolate-colored teddy bear for Christmas. I named him Brownie. I loved Brownie bear so much that his fur started getting very matted! The next summer I went to a weeklong sleep away camp and didn’t bring Brownie bear with me because he was too big. My mom mailed him to me so I was truly a happy camper!!
We hope you and your family make your own special memories this Christmas and every year there after. Share your favorites with us on Facebook and keep spreading the Christmas spirit!