Question of the Week: What is your favorite holiday memory?

+11 votes
729 views

Wishing a happy holiday season to all of you!

asked in The Tree House by Julie Ricketts G2G6 Pilot (254k points)
reshown by Chris Whitten
In 1973 when we purchased our first colored screenTV. Youngest son ran down the hall when he turned it on, shouting "dad, dad, the TV is broken"
When I was around 8 years old, we lived in a big farmhouse. The bathroom was downstairs. As I crept down the stairway and to the mid level landing , I saw my Dad carrying a hobby horse from the garage to the house. He looked up and saw me watching him and put his finger to his lips to shush me, grinned and waved me to go back to bed! I ran to the bathroom, then back to my room.  As I lay there, it dawned on me that there was a Santa, and my Daddy was his helper!
We had a tuff Christmas one year back in the 80's. My Husband was out of work and Money was running low. My Son was 4 years old at the time and I worried I would not have anything to give him for Christmas. A good friend happen to come by and gave me $5.00 to get my Son something from him.  Even in those days you couldn't get much for $5.00 but at least it was something.I headed to the store to look around. Just then it hit me,. My Son was always asking me for a piece of tape. as I was staring at the display of Holiday tape on sale for $1.00 . Then I spotted a disposable flashlight and some Santa Marshmellow candies. The total at check out was $4.85. On Christmas Mmorning my Son opened his gifts and his whole face lit up. All day he was busy crawling around the dark places with that flash light.Under the bed he was using it to color some pictures that he promptly taped to the refrigerator door. Then he says to me "Mom, this is the best Christmas ever!"
Discovering over 50 years later the incredible secret of the massive Meccano set Mum and Dad gave me one Christmas, despite the family having hardly any money.

Both are now dead but Mum told me only a few years ago they had bought a very worn second-hand set then sanded and repainted every single piece by hand, hanging them on a string across the room to dry after I'd gone to bed each night.

I never questioned why it came in an unbranded wooden tray (Grandad had been a cabinet maker) or why the nuts and bolts were in throat sweet tins but I will always remember it.

18 Answers

+8 votes
Wow, no answers yet?!  My best holiday memories are going down to Penscaola, FL to spend Christmas with my mom's side of the family with all the cousins, aunts and uncles, along with all that yummy food! Especially cherry pie filling in mini graham cracker crusts.  Christmas morning at home once mom gets home from work we have a lot of different cheeses with summer sausage and egg nog to eat before we start opening presents. :)
answered by Charlotte Shockey G2G6 Pilot (917k points)
+10 votes
The first Christmas of our newly combined family, Preston-Wheeler, '69...

I got a 50-n-1 electronic kit from Radio Shack, and my new older brother help me build a working "radio station", then he hooked it up to the speakers in his room (my dad had wired speakers into every room in the house for his stereo system). Then we kids would broadcast our own "radio show" throughout the house -- until our dad got mad at us, thinking we would ruin his stereo system.

Such fun.
answered by Dennis Wheeler G2G6 Pilot (356k points)
+11 votes
I must have been 4 that Christmas.

Before Christmas we went to the department store, and tried out a number of "pedal cars" to see which one fit me best.  I was SURE I was getting one for Christmas.

Our Christmas tradition was a "Christmas Post Office".  You went up to the "Post Office" (usually constructed of old moving boxes covered with Christmas paper) and rang the bell ( a goat bell my father had found in the Alps when he was 2).  Father Christmas (usually my father or his mother) would come up and say "Can I help you"  and you would  ask "Do you have any packages for <your name>.?"

Sometimes the answer would be "yes, here you are", and sometime the answer would be "there is nothing now, but try again later"..  But NONE of them were the pedal car.

After we ate our Christmas dinner, we were disassembling the "Post Office", and discovered that one of the boxes WASN'T empty, and it was my pedal car.

I remember that far more vividly than I remember "driving" the pedal car, though  I did have a lot of fun with it.
answered by Janet Gunn G2G6 Mach 5 (57.6k points)
edited by Janet Gunn
Later (I was in high school), and "Christmas season" rather than "Christmas Day".

There was a famine in Biafra, and active fund raising going on. About a half dozen of us decided it would be a good idea to go caroling to raise money for Biafra.  Then the fact that we were not really very good singers would not matter.  We went to several houses (4 acre zoning, so some distance between the houses) and were well received, getting reasonable contributions.  One place invited us in to sing while they played the piano.

Then they gave us small glasses of sherry.  We sometimes had a small sip of sherry at home, and liked it, but the others did not like the taste.  My sister ended up drinking SEVERAL glasses from the others.  When we left, we had a long and icy road to walk back.  My sister slipped and fell a couple of times, and then decided to just slide down the hill.

Good memories of singing together, for a good cause, combined with the funny story of my sister sliding down the hill.
+11 votes
The last Christmas spent with our mother sitting on the fireplace hearth watching and enjoying the grandchildren and family before she passed away.
answered by David Selman G2G6 Pilot (523k points)
+8 votes
I'm going to share a few of them. The first was when I was around 7 or 8 years old, I think. I had been wanting a bunk bed for a long time, despite being an only child. On Christmas morning I woke up, and the ceiling seemed awfully close. I looked around and realized my bed was high up in the air and I had no idea how to get down! So I did the only thing I could. "Mom! Dad! Help!" Dad had built me a "bunk" bed with no bottom bunk, so I could use the lower area as a play space. During the night they had managed to assemble it in my bedroom and lift me into it without awakening me!

The other one was when I was in high school. My tastes have always run to the vintage, and by high school I was dreaming of an antique wind-up Victrola. But I knew what they sold for in antique shops, and was certain it would be many years before I could get one. On this particular Christmas, I opened present after present of old 78 rpm records. There were close to a hundred of them in all. "Now I'll have to get a Victrola!" I laughed, because my record player was from the early 1990s and couldn't play 78s. Mom did a pretty good acting job of "Oh no! I thought your record player could play these!" Later, when we had finished opening presents, Dad sent me to the garage to grab some more kindling for the fire. With complete tunnel vision, I grabbed the wood and turned around to head inside. But someone said my name from the middle of the garage. I turned around, and there was Mom pointing the video camera at me. Right next to her was a beautiful full-size Mahogany colored wind-up Victrola! It turned out the parents of a coworker of Dad's were downsizing and had sold it to my parents for a price they couldn't pass up. I spent the next several hours playing each and every one of my new records. And the Victrola still stands proudly in my living room.

Those are a couple of my favorite specific Christmas memories. But even though those are both about presents I received, what I really value about Christmas is the traditions we developed: Squeezing orange juice with my parents early in the morning before the guests started arriving; the small ceremony we created for putting Baby Jesus into the manger of our nativity scene; the annual family dart gun fight...
answered by Amber Brosius G2G6 (7k points)
wrong place
+6 votes
My favorite memory of Christmas is the smell of the Christmas turkey freshly arrived from the local butcher and Dad coming home from work just before Christmas with his pockets full of money from tips he had received. He would dump the contents of his pockets out on the kitchen table before our admiring eyes and Mom would count the bounty. We were very happy because at that point, and that point only, we knew we would have a very happy Christmas indeed. Dad had done it again!!!!. Simple times, simple pleasures, but oh how I long for the old Christmas feeling to come again.
answered by Frank Walsh G2G Crew (790 points)
+5 votes
The year I was 7 and my mom, my grandpa and I went to the store to get my GRANDMOTHER a sled.  She was so tickled by it!
answered by
+5 votes
Our family never went on vacation but one year dad piled us in the car and we made a circle of New Mexico historical sites. Chilly Christmas Eve in Santa Fe with luminarias, small fires on the sidewalk to light the way, and drum sounds from nearby pueblos.
answered by
+4 votes
The year we cut our own tree and decorated the outside door with the branches that were cut off the tree. Added lights and the doorway lit for all the neighbors to see. I was 6 yoa at the time. I thought that was the most beautiful door ever.
answered by
+5 votes
My favorite was the year my 10 year old nephew asked for half a bike thinking his grandparents
Would go in with me for the rest. Well I couldn't pass that up. We bought a used bike and cut it in half. Wrapped up half in a big box.  Christmas morning the look on his face was priceless.
answered by Kathi Mesloh G2G Crew (340 points)
+4 votes
The year was about 1950. My Christmas present was a Red Ryder BB gun.
answered by Mark Anderson G2G2 (2.1k points)
did you shoot your eye out?
the truth: my father did tell me that he had a friend that did. maybe to slyly make  the point.
+4 votes
my best memory?  At my grandparents home, throwing tinsel up on the tree (I needed to reach the top branches) as she patiently draped each individual branch while enjoyed my antics.  ;-o   Miss them... loving them still.
answered by Cheryl Skordahl G2G6 Pilot (145k points)
+2 votes
Our country school Christmas concert   When all the neighbors came to watch the program. The school was full to the door
answered by Wilma Andrus G2G Crew (600 points)
+2 votes
Some days before Christmas 1956 or 1957 my father told me (as a boy of 14 or 15 ) to get a pheasant for our Christmasdinner about 15 kilometers by bike because I was the only one who could do this. My parents and sister were too busy in the hairdressing salon and the other children were too young to ride such a distance in the middle of the winter. So I did.

After some hours of suffering cold I came home with the meal.

On Christmas Day the hole family visited church and enjoyed the good time playing board games together and waiting for the united dinner.

In the middle of a game my mother jumped up and cried: "Oh, the pheasant!!!!!!!'  We all followed her to the kitchen but we didn't see a pheasant anymore, we saw only darkblue smoke, even the casserole was invisible!!!!

Totally collected she said: "Next time better".
answered by
+2 votes
When I was 4 0r 5 at Christmas or Thanksgiving dinner my father carried my grandfather's sister to the dining room table.  At least I always think it was at a holiday dinner.  She was the only relative of that generation I ever saw.

A more recent memory. Is a new tradition of having Christmas lunch with a former classmate.
answered by Ed Poor G2G3 (3.1k points)
+2 votes
We would often go visit my mother's brother's family, and her father during the holidays. One of the things I enjoyed most about these visits were the old family photo albums that my uncle had. I'd get my grandfather or uncle or mother to go through them with me, and tell me stories about the photos and the people in them. My mother was a good storyteller, primarily stories about her childhood, and stories her parents and grandparents told her, so I got an interest in genealogy early.
answered by Alison Gardner G2G6 Mach 2 (25.2k points)
+2 votes

Favorite Christmas memory, 1962 my grandparents lived in the country in a really old house. The fireplace was huge because that is where they cooked their food. My grandfather decided they needed to build a new house with indoor plumbing, no more trips in the cold air to sit on the old truck tires. I was 4 years old that year at Christmas, with the Chicken Pox living in a Chicken House. 

answered by David Moore G2G1 (1k points)
0 votes
Going to my grandma Leinen's at Christmas.  All of her children, and all of their children would be there. All of her rooms would be full of family.  We had to spread out in three rooms, but it didn't matter.

After dinner, the kids would go down in the basement and play pool.

WHen we got tired of that, they would take us to the bowling alley.  Those are memories that will never go away.  No matter where my cousins are now, or if they are getting along with one another, I will always fondly remember those days.
answered by Cheryl Hess G2G6 Pilot (127k points)

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