Here are some holiday memories from our 2013 November print issue as well as some extra submissions that we did not have room for. Feel free to add your most memorable holiday experiences in the comment section below.
Holidays bring new traditions
My favorite holiday memory was last year’s Christmas day. My grandmother cooked like she always does. She makes the best homemade food. We all stuffed ourselves with food and brought presents for each other. We always have the same tradition on Christmas. Then, we went somewhere we have never been before. That night, we went to my grandmother’s church and watched her youth group act out “The Christmas Story.” They did an amazing job, and I’ll never forget the play.
The most memorable holiday memory I have would be my 15th birthday/Thanksgiving. Every four to five years my birthday falls on Thanksgiving. That year seemed as normal as any other Thanksgiving in sunny California and everything was great. Even though it was my birthday, I wasn’t expecting anything really. I was surprised later that night with a living room full of friends, family and an awesome two layer cake. My best friend and family planned a surprise for me. It turned out to be the first year I actually enjoyed having my birthday fall on Thanksgiving.
Johnathan R. Herring
Raining cats and stars
The most hilarious event happened three years ago on Christmas. My cat, Jenny, climbed all the way to the top of my Christmas tree and started to lose her balance. She clamped onto the star on top with her paws and began meowing for my help. I got a ladder and helped her off. She let go of the star in the process and it shattered on the floor below.
A white Christmas; sometimes dreams do come true
Christmastime is a very exciting time for our family, but the most memorable Christmas experience was a few years ago when it snowed on Christmas day. We woke up early Christmas morning to have breakfast and open presents with the family like usual. The weather man was calling for snow and we were crossing our fingers it would come, and it did! My family and I were able to play in the snow all morning. It was one of my favorite Christmases.
My favorite holiday is Christmas. My family might as well be the Griswalds because we go all out, from tacky plastic chimney Santa’s to candy canes lining the driveway. Our whole family comes to pile up in our house, and we all participate in every cliché holiday festivity. We string popcorn, have ginger bread men decorating contests and most importantly, we all decorate the tree. Every year we try to outdo the tree before in height, ornaments, etc. This particular year, we got a tree that was a little shorter and fatter than the tree from the year before.
My early Christmas present was a kitten. We lost her for hours, and we were all looking for her. Right in the middle of the hunt we heard a big boom and my great grandmother was in the room where the loud noise came from. Thinking it was my great grandmother, Nana, we all ran to the living room. When we got there, the tree was on the ground with ornaments crushed and rolling everywhere. My older cat had a very guilty look on his face, so we all assumed he did something he wasn’t supposed to. My Nana then told us my kitten had climbed to the top of the tree and settled herself in the branches. (Right after she picked her up out of the top branches of the tree that was now lying on the floor.) When the older cat tried to climb up there with her, he weighed too much and the tree went down. My youngest cat still climbs into the tree every year.
Kacy J. Hawkins
The birth of a Christmas tradition
Before I was born, my family had to buy a Christmas tree for the upcoming season. They did not want to fuss with a real Christmas tree so they bought a fake tree. They were pleased on how the Christmas tree looked. For the past 25 years we have used the same fake Christmas tree! The tree is older than me! Now the fake Christmas tree in itself has become a tradition in our household.
Barbie and Ken didn’t expect this
When my daughter was four, I encouraged her to “ask Santa” for a Barbie airplane, mainly because I’ve always been intrigued by miniatures and the tiny ice cubes which Airline Attendants Ken and Barbie had at their disposal were too much for me to resist. On Christmas Eve, after my daughter had gone to sleep, I eagerly tore into the airplane’s packaging so I could assemble the aircraft and its accouterments (for her to enjoy the next morning, of course, not just for me to play with, uninterrupted, for three-ish hours).
On Christmas Day, 9 a.m. came and went, and I couldn’t contain my excitement any longer, so I did what most any eager parent would do: I turned-on my tripod-based video camera, walked down our silent hallway, woke my sleeping preschooler and guided her toward our bedazzled Christmas tree. I knew she was uncharacteristically listless, but I was ready for that magical moment the big reveal and no hint at illness (low-grade fever, lethargic pace, grey complexion) was interfering with my agenda.
As my child shuffled towards our tree, I opened the plane’s bi-fold fuselage to reveal the myriad of miniature amenities awaiting us. As I’d anticipated, my daughter responded with intensity just not the intensity I expected. Instead of imaginary coffee, soda or tea filling the plastic passengers’ tiny tumblers, projectile vomit christened the newest plane in the Barbie fleet.
If only I’d thought to purchase the optional airsick bag…
Associate Professor of English
Grandad Santa saves the day
Every Christmas my family drives around town looking at Christmas lights. One particular Christmas was different. We were driving through a neighborhood when my granddad spotted a house that had smoke billowing from its chimney. The home owners appeared not to be home so my granddad decided to act. He grabbed the nearest water hose and climbed his way up to the roof. He was about to put this “fire” out when we suddenly heard “Santa?” come from a child that just walked with his mother up the drive way.
An almost picture perfect Christmas
This was only funny later…
A Christmas, many years ago (about 11-12 years), I bought my son an expensive digital camera (very, very expensive for me at the time – almost $700!) at the day after-Thanksgiving day sale at Sears in Rome. (That was the first and last time I ever got up early for the after-Thanksgiving day sale. It takes a lot to get me up before six am on a day off!)
So, I get this fancy camera, at what was a good sale price at the time, for my only son who is very into photography. Being a single parent of very modest means, I am so excited to have this wonderful present to wrap and put away for my teenage son until Christmas arrives.
Christmas morning my son unwraps his present. He looks in the box; he takes everything out of the box; he looks in the box again. There is no camera. He says, “Mom, was there supposed to be a camera?” I am perplexed. Then, I panic. We check out the box again– nothing. There was the manual and the accompanying cords, battery charger, and such, but no camera. My heart sank. I realized that I may have brought home the display box, which had weight to it because of the supplemental items in it, but no camera. I basically wrapped up a $700 box.
The next morning when Sears opened, I was in the parking lot. I literally ran to the door. Thankfully, when I showed the Sears associate the box sans camera, she was able to figure out what happened and gave me our camera. All ended well, but it sure was a stressful Christmas and one I would rather not repeat.
The things we do and go through for our kids!
Joan Ledbetter, M.A., M.Ed.
Student Support Services
Beagle blesses Butterball
It was supposed to be a banquet.
My in-laws and blood relatives were driving hundreds of miles to spend Thanksgiving with my family in our new home. I had cleaned every grubby handprint from my six children off every surface. The table was set with Galway crystal, Beleek china and my grandmother’s damask table cloth. The table was laden with turkey, ham and sumptuous sides. As we gathered in a circle to bless the meal, a huge crash came from the dining room. With horror, I watched my beagle racing down the hall with my beautiful Butterball turkey. Daddy followed after, blessing the dog in an entirely different way.
When the pandemonium was quieted, we did finally and thankfully eat the remnants of the meal. The memory that made me cry, now always brings a smile now.
Psychology and Education