Memories of Colonial Williamsburg and a Holiday Wreath Give-Away on Black Friday

Urban Life — By on November 11, 2012 6:29 am

Williamsburg  Wreath

Several months after my father died, when I was 13 years old, a girlfriend of mine and her family invited me to travel to Colonial Williamsburg and I found it cathartic and an emotionally warm Pallensmith Wreathexperience to see how others had lived life and survived tragedy during the Colonial era of our American history. Somehow it made me feel like I was not alone in my grief. We toured Kitty Hawk and stayed on the East Coast for two weeks.

While I was there I was fascinated with their year round natural decorations. Even during the summer they have amazing natural wreaths decorating homes and doorways. Later in my life I visited Colonial Williamsburg in winter and became obsessed with their winter wreaths and holiday displays which often focus on incorporating fruit into the wreath design.

You can imagine how excited I was when the P. Allen Smith team contacted me and asked if I would like to have a contest giving away a fruit-laden wreath from the Berry Family of Nurseries Williamsburg Collection. Above is the amazing wreath I’m giving away. I think it would look lovely on almost any urban gate or front door. There are other wreath selections on the Garden Home Website you can go and check out as well.

If you would like to enter to win the holiday wreath, simply follow the rules below. The winner will be randomly selected on Black Friday and the wreath will be shipped out immediately for your holiday celebrations!

HOW TO ENTER THE CONTEST TO WIN:

It is easy: Simply leave a comment below – tell me a story about holidays with your family when you were a child.

I am so excited to hear all about your childhood holiday experiences!! Thanks for entering!!!

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126 Comments

  1. Susy says:

    Christmas was a family event. When I was quite small, we spent Christmas Eve at my Aunt’s house. We were allowed to open one gift, sometime during the evening Santa would stop by- I was sure he was the real Santa because he always knew my name and remembered what he had brought the previous Christmas!
    Christmas morning we opened gifts at home and then went to my Grandparents house for Christmas breakfast, Breakfast always included broiled grapefruit. There were more gifts to open and then we had to get back home because Christmas dinner was at my house, and we had to get the house ready for the whole family to show up. It was a happy, busy time!

  2. Theresa N says:

    Holidays at my grandparents house as a child where always filled with activity. Thanksgiving meant FOOTBALL in the days before computer, on the one TV and on the radio. Christmas meant fireworks that would have made a lot of cities displays look small.

  3. Shawna says:

    Thanks for the lovely memory!

  4. arly says:

    X-Mas Eve is when the whole family gathered at our house. It was a big house but still it was difficult to move around amoung all of the sweatered bodies. When I was about 10 yrs old the front door bell rang and I ran to open it, expecting to find a relative that I saw only at this time of year. Instead it was him – Santa Claus!! He was authentic, right down to the twinkle in his eye and shiny black boots. Of course I opened the door wide and let him in. He gave me a big Christmas hug. He ate, drank and was jolly to everyone, passing out a gift to each of the kids before remembering that he had a busy night ahead and departed. A couple of days later my mom mentioned to my dad that it was a wonderful surprise, but who was the Santa? Dad looked shocked, “I thought you had arranged it?.” Yep, we allowed a total stranger into our house and through our home just because he was dressed as Santa – with no idea who he was. I doubt that would happen today.

  5. Pam says:

    The holidays won’t be the same this year as mom just recently passed away. Memories is something though that you can take anywhere you go. I especially loved our Christmas Eve celebrations where all the family would come over. Later at night my sister and I would try to stay up and see Santa. Our bedroom door faced the Christmas tree but with all the excitement we quickly fell asleep and a though this holiday will be so different without my mom our memories of her when we were little will remain in our hearts for ever.

  6. carol yemola says:

    When I was a youngster, I would pretend that I was one of Santa’s elves each Christmas Eve. I would waken during the night and put up a small display next to the tree to surprise my parents. One year, I purchased a small tree and decorated it with all handmade ornaments and strung popcorn. Another year, I made a fireplace out of cardboard and hung stockings on it. It was such a nice addition to the holiday festivities!

  7. Anne Larson says:

    With a family of six kids, Christmas Eves at the Larson household were loud and chaotic. With kids ranging from 2 to 20, there was a lot of wrapping paper and conversations to navigate! The maelstrom would continue until my Dad would grab his double reflex camera, ask my Mom to take the center seated position in front of the Christmas tree, and we kids would arrange ourselves around her. Then for the traditional moment, when my Dad would ask us to pick up a verse or two of “Silent Night.” Invariably, we looked like little cherubs with our round “oooo” mouths when my Dad clicked the shot. Once photos were taken, chaos resumed in the living room until the following year. What I realized after looking back through photo albums all these years, is that the man with the camera was never to be seen at Christmas!

  8. Amy Orvin says:

    We always celebrated the holidays together. I loved helping with the decorations and the tree. It was nice because my mom always let me decorate the way I wanted.
    We always opened 1 present on Christmas Eve and saved the rest for Christmas day. We always got up so early to open presents. That was the life back then.

  9. Shawna says:

    Wow. What a cool experience!

    Shawna

  10. Christy Kenzel says:

    Christmas time was a huge part of my child hood! We had a family tradition that I passed on to my daughter…The Christmas countdown on a felt calendar. Each day had its own pocket and in that little pocket was a tiny candy cane…Starting December 1 we got to eat one little candy can each day until Christmas Eve…then on Christmas Eve we got to open one present! I made one for my daughter and I was able to give that to her….It was such a great part of my Christmas…We always spent Christmas at my grandparents house. They are all gone now, but the memories will last forever!! Every time I spell pine/cedar it reminds me of those years! Oh the memories!!

  11. Thea Mateu says:

    Christmas was not an especially happy time in my family. I often wished I could have family gatherings like I saw on television. As an adult I love making the holiday my own and I especially love being able to share the gift of hospitality. I know what it’s like spending holidays alone so I am very invested in making the holidays a celebration for others, and through that for myself!

    • Shawna says:

      I’m sorry you didn’t have a happy holiday time as a child, I certainly understand what that is like. I adore that you are making your own and NEW traditions now!

      Shawna

  12. Barbara Melone says:

    Everyone gathered at our house on Christmas Eve in Pittsburgh. My mother cooked all day making nut bread and a ham, as well as a very simple Slovkian dinner of navy beans in a gravy, and a meat combo of sauted kielbasi, veal and pork. My sister and I were given one present on Christmas Eve to open which was always new pajamas that we wore that night so that we would look nice in the photos the next morning! I carried on that tradition with my children, too. On Christmas Day we would visit my aunts and uncles, going to a few different houses. It was always fun to play with my cousins and share our new toys.

  13. Mary Walker says:

    Every year, i got a present my mom made usually clothes and we always strung up pop corn to decorate the tree.I always loved the smells coming out of the kitchen.

  14. Holly Jones says:

    we always got to open one present Christmas Eve then the rest on Christmas Day. We had stockings stuffed with fruit, nuts and candy! Then we spent the day together cooking, baking and playing with our toys!

  15. Naomi says:

    This sounds odd but I really don’t remember holidays from my childhood as being such a big deal. I was an only child and my parents were divorced when I was 10, so holidays were spent with friends and neighbors. I want to start creating more traditions for my kids!

  16. Will Fann says:

    I love Christmas so much that when I was a kid, my mom would catch me up late at night, with the Christmas tree lights on and me laying underneath looking all the way to the tree top! I was mesmerized by Christmas and it’s meaning and the color’s of the tree lights!

  17. Kristin Troska says:

    The day after Thanksgiving, we always went as a family to pick out a Christmas tree. After decorating the whole house, we would do the tree. Then we would order pizza and sit in the living room to eat it and drink pop and admire the tree. It was the only time of the year that we got ordered pizza or ate in the living room. Really nice memories. Thanks.

  18. Jackie Isler says:

    Hi there – We were never allowed to put up the Christmas tree until Christmas Eve…. What a hard thing to wait and watch all the other kids get to put their tree up early. Now my tree goes up in early December!

  19. francene says:

    when my sis and I were in early gradeschool, my parents STILL held off putting up and decorating our Christmas tree until we had gone to bed and fallen asleep. They’ve told us we would awaken SO WIDE EYED and INCREDULOUS at finding the tree and the gifts under it – How Did They Get There If Not For Santa Claus ??? !!!

  20. Evon Pleasants says:

    When I was about 5 years old, I begin to have doubts about whether Santa really existed. That Christmas Eve our family went to visit my grandmother and while we were gone Mother and Daddy had arranged to have our neighbor, Miss Annie, come over and put our Christmas presents under the tree. When we arrived back home, Daddy hollard that he saw Santa running out the back of the house. He grabbed up a stick and ran around the house, saying he was going to get rid of him once and for all. Of course he missed him and when we went into the house, all our toys were under the tree. He convinced my sister, who was two years older, and me that Santa was real. My older half-sister, that was ten years older, said she was almost convinced herself.

  21. Sharon says:

    I am from East Texas, every year when I was younger, we would go out in the woods and cut our Christmas tree and get live holly and mistletoe to decorate our house. It was wonderful to go out as a family. I miss that so much.

  22. Shirley Hunter says:

    My favorite memories of Christmas was not the toys but my parents and the food we always had as a tradition each year. My Mom made Christmas Log – like fruitcake but MUCH better and the Christmas meal she made was wonderful. She could make the best dressing in the world. Both parents are no longer here and I miss them very much but I have kept the traditions going every year and hope my children will as well.

  23. Betty says:

    Hi Shawna,

    I grew up in a small southwestern part of VA, (Harman), a coal mining community near Grundy, VA with two sisters. On Christmas Eve Santa and Mrs. Claus would visit each of the homes bringing old time stocking filled with candies and fruit for each child. In those day’s no one had much and there wasn’t a lot of gifts, but a lot of love. Although times were difficult my dad would go to the Company Store (most likly charging it) to get food for others that were in need,going through snow up to his knees. Although most everyone had very little, my dad and mom tried to reach out to others who was also in need of a bit of holiday warmth. These memories taught me to give and reach out to other’s, to give freely and not expect anything in return. The joy you feel inside from helping other’s is all you need. With Warm Regards, Betty

  24. andrea worley says:

    Being an only. Child I can remember my mothers sister & family coming for Christmas day. The first thing my mother would do to prepare was go out & find a good hen. She would chase it down catch it. Ring it’s neck throw into a hot water bath after cutting the head off over the clothes line. Then she started the proccedure of cooking it and making poultryseasonn dressing tum. I was in charge of the fruit salad. Apples. Oranges piineapple bananas real whip cream that has a touch of pink from the machinio cherries. BUTTERMILK PIES. PUMPKIN PIE. AND FRESH COCONUT CAKE PUT IN MY Grandmothers cake plate. The greatest smells from all the foods & a clean home. Oh those were the wonderful days. Great memories. Thanks for asking

  25. Rebecca Meshell says:

    That is a gorgeous wreath. I would love to hang it on my front door. We never had a wreath when I was growing up. We did go out in the woods and cut our tree and we always had stockings filled with nuts, fruit and candy.

  26. Lana walls says:

    I remember going to Granny and Papa Bushs’ in the hills of Arkansas where my papa would always go out and cut a cedar tree of the pasture fence row. It smelled so good. And all the food was from their summer garden. What great memories

  27. Brenda D says:

    I was born and raised in Indiana until I was 12, and then moved to Mississippi. My Christmas memories are at my Grandparents house. We would spend Christmas Eve night there and get up the next morning to Santa Clause. Then all my aunts and uncles and cousins would come, we would cook and eat and enjoy each other the whole day!! Am trying to do the same with my grandchildren. Will never forget those Christmas memories in Indiana!!!

  28. Joan Iva Buchinski says:

    We had a huge family reunion with many cousins at my grandparnets home. But we waited for Santa to come which was after my dad and brothers were done milking tne cows in the barn. We planned our celebration around the busy schedule of my parents .Being dairy farmers we had a busy but great life. I remember one christmas I got my brother Gary a crow shoot game because I wanted one for myself Needless to say I had many hours of fun using the crow shoot game for my enjoyment.

  29. Jackie Conley says:

    I hold Christmas near and dear to me. When we were children one Christmas, my father was starting to follow a different religion. One that did not believe in Christmas. My mother was sad and so were we. We were not going to have Christmas. Well, we went to bed Christmas Eve with no hope of having a Christmas. Christmas morning we walked down the steps to a warm glow of pink Christmas lights on a Christmas tree! There was a train set up and running! It was the most beautiful sight! The tree was so beautiful and the smile on my siblings faces. My father changed his whole life the night before. He accepted Jesus as his savior through watching a Billy Graham special on tv. I and my sister and brother will never forget! And ever since we love Christmas…I thank God he changed my father.

  30. Bit says:

    We were poor so we did not have a lot of presents. But the smells. I remember waking up to the smell of turkey or ham pies and home made bread. I will never forget the smells on xmas morning. My mother never had a cook book and she never used a recipe but she was the best cook i ever knew. My kids never knew my father he died when i was 19. They knew the smells coming from my mothers kitchen. She was eighty two and still cooking. Bless her heart there were 12 of us kids.

  31. Nancy Carper says:

    I come from a family of eight. Six children, 3 boys and 3 girls. We lived in a small 2 bedroom home so there weren’t many places to hide gifts. My parents put our presents in the trunk of the car. One Sunday morning when we came out of church to go home the car had a flat. Guess what? The gifts were in the trunk and we saw them. The best I remember, it did not spoil anything for us. We had many happy times together.

  32. Margaret Witt says:

    I have been with my Mother at Christmas for my 72 years and this year she is in nursing no e with Alzheimer’s . It will be so hard not to have her with us but she is getting good care. She always loved the wreath on our door and this one would be so nice? Good luck to everyone and happy holidays.
    Maggey

  33. Tram says:

    As a child growing up in a Buddhist family in South Viet Nam, I did not have any real Christmas celebrations, but Christmas is always one of my favorite Holidays. I really want my kids, my Vietnamese/Irish boys to totally embrace the Christmas spirits.

  34. Sharon says:

    Everyone getting together to celebrate the spirit of Christmas, sharing the joy of family and love. Really miss those times.

  35. Joan says:

    When I was small ( I’m now 82 ) we were very poor but That didn’t stop us. My dad went out to the woods and cut down a small tree, we put stringed popcorn, small colored paper circle rings and my mother use to beat soap and water until thick and put it on the ends of the tree branches to look like snow. Our meal consisted OF a very small chicken and a few veggies grown in our backyard, my brother got a hand made wooden truck and I got a handemade rag doll. we had a wonderfull christmas.

  36. Jo Northagen says:

    On Sunday afternoon after church and lunch Dad would bring in the Christmas tree and we would decorate it, tie it to the wall so the cats wouldn’t knock it down, hang streamers from ceiling, and around the columns. Always finishing with the tinsel on the tree and singing carols.

  37. Esther Ashley says:

    We did’nt have much like a lot of folks then, but we always had a tree, which we went out in the fields or woods and cut, and we had a few decorations which we kept for years. We made fudge with black walnuts and Mom made raisin filled cookies and sugar cookies , she made so many we stored them in the old blue enamel canner. We did’nt get many gifts, but we thot it was a lot then. Grammy always made mincemeat pies and lots of homemade candy and she bought a few kinds of candy and always gave us a dollar. That was a long time ago. I am 70.

  38. Anna Pinkerton says:

    When the farmers started the tobacco barns to smoking I knew it was time for the holidays. My heart would leap with joy because from Halloween through New Years was always my favorite. Mom and dad werent big on gifts money was always tight, but they did a wonderful job. My dad would tell us every story he could think about Christmas and really make us appreciate the think we had. On Christmas morning we always knew there was a stocking with an orange and apple and hard candy in it. Then we would go visit the rest of the famuily. We loved it. As I became a mom and grandma, I found me a garden knome and would start moving him all over the house everyday a different spot. Always before the kids got up. This started every year after Halloween and I told the kids he was santa’s elf watching to see who was naughty and nice. They looked everyday to see where he was and they miss him now if he doesnt come out.

  39. Deborah says:

    Need to take off the new posts from my email.
    thanks

    • Shawna says:

      Deborah – I’m not sure how to do this – you must have checked “notify me of follow up comments by email”. You could sign in and remove yourself from follow up emails. I’ll see if I can do it also. Thanks, Shawna

  40. Yvette says:

    Being an only child of divorced parents I didn’t have a lot of bonding moments with my mother because she always worked at least two jobs. Heck she just this year retired from one of them, but still works as a bus driver. Since I spent most of my days and many nights with other people mom made the holidays special times for me. At Thanksgiving we would always bake pies together and run off in the snow to deliver them to all those people who helped her by watching over me all year. At Christmas we would do the same thing but with tons of cookies. We didn’t spend hours baking. We spent days. The apartment smelled like a bakery for a couple of months during and after the holidays. She wasn’t able to give me a lot for Christmas, but I did have a few outrageous Christmas’ where I thought the presents took over the room. She would have me help her decorate the whole house. Even the bathroom. The lights outside were out of control like the movie National Lampoon. That was mom, she made up for the whole year in a couple of months. lol I cherish those times the most.

  41. Raynette says:

    My parents never trimmed our Christmas Tree until we went to bed on Christmas Eve..what a surprise when we woke up in the morning!

  42. Martha says:

    I am the third of five children. My dad was a pastor, and was out of town the week before Christmas. I was about 8 years old, getting very excited for Christmas. I “staged” a manger scene in my living room by going out in the yard and gathering a bunch of dead grass, which I spread all over one corner of the living room around a box in which I put a blanket and my favorite doll. My mom was definitely on edge after caring for all five of us for a week without my dad — and she was so angry for me for “making a mess” in the living room. When my dad came home and saw my “manger scene” he smiled and gave me a big hug. He had that knowing look in his eyes that said to me that he was glad that someone in his house understood all about Christmas.

  43. Rita. Porter says:

    As a little girl I remember christmas with lots of excitement that was the one time of year that was about us kids. there were twenty children in our family, so it was hard for monm and dad to have money to get us presents, But on christmas eve my dad would always put chains on the old big truck so he could make it to town to pick up the boxes and baskets that the community had collected for us. We were so excited to see what was in those boxes. There was always some money to buy baking supplies and oranges, apples and nuts. Dad always had to have chocolate covered peanuts. Mom would make chocolate, banana, coconut pies. Dad would make fudge! We cut a cedar tree and decorated it with paper chains and pop corn.I love decorating for christmas and the wreath is beauitful but I’ve read all of these stories and they touched my heart so that I would love to see several of these people get it So my gift in coming here to win this wreath, is getting to read all these special christmas stories. So I hope everyone feels the warmth of christmas this year and rembembers not only their christmases memories but also the reason we have this holiday every year. God Bless and Happy Thanksgiving/Merry Christmas

    • Shawna says:

      Thank you, Rita, for your sweet and touching message. :-)

      It has been wonderful seeing all these stories, hasn’t it?

      Happy Holidays!

      Shawna

    • Shawna says:

      Rita – YOU ARE THE RANDOMLY SELECTED WINNER OF THE WREATH. HOORAYYYYYYY!

      I will be contacting you via email and will have the P. Allen Smith team get the wreath out to you ASAP!

      Shawna

  44. Julie Martin says:

    Christmas at our home was the most exciting time of year other than our birthday! As the days drew near to time, we could hardly sleep! Christmas Eve was always at my grandparents tiny little house but oh what memories were made there! We helped her every year decorate her house, my sister & I. She had a 4′aluminum shiny tree with blue satin balls on it with the coolest color wheel. Oh, how we loved that neat tree. She also had a cardboard fireplace in which they bought from Sears & Roebuck on one end of the living room. Yes, we also thought that was awesome. We would eat, visit, & open presents from our grandparents, uncle & aunt, & cousins. After that we would eat my aunt’s favorite decorated Christmas cookies that were so yummy! But then, we were tuned in to see where Santa was on the radar to make sure we were in bed plenty early. We were just one mile down the road from my grandparents. The most important thing I remember also is that before we would have our blessing we would read the birth of the Christ child. That was extra special to me as I am remembering those wonderful years of Christmas as a child!

  45. Sandi Leonard says:

    On Christmas eve, Santa would fill our socks with an apple, orange, banana, and a box of Cracker Jacks. I did this with my children and my children now do this with theirs. Great memories.

  46. Sherry Lykins says:

    We always would open a present on Christmas Eve and everyone in the family would get new jammies to sleep in and wear Christmas morning. Something I still do with my kids!

  47. Holidays were always spent at my Aunt Nettie’s. When we went to spend the day, she always let me have the first piece of coconut cake while the rest of the meal was cooking. I’d sit under the table so nobody would see me. She’d move the tablecloth over so it was even harder to know I was there.

  48. Joyce Grigonis says:

    I love the Holidays, especially The Yule. One of my best Holiday Gifts was having my dad home for Christmas Eve, after he had his near fatal heart attack. (CPR for over 20 minutes with no heart beat in the ambulance on the way to the ER) He had been in a coma or almost a month, and then came out of it on Thanksgiving Day (and asked for Turkey Dinner!). A month later, his doctors let him come home for 36 hours. That was the ultimate gift that year…and ever. All I wanted for my present was to sit on his lap…and I got it!

  49. knitterevans says:

    When my children were growing up, we didn’t always have a lot of money, especially at Christmas, but even when mommy and daddy couldnt get them a whole lot, santa always, always brought them something. (usually the more expensive gift they really wanted).
    As they got older, my son tried to tell us there was no Santa, but I told him, no santa? no santa present. he shut up… he knew… but he shut up…

  50. Martha Wilson says:

    I remember when we were growing up we would always have a live Christmas tree and the smell would last for months, because some of he needles would manage to hide under carpets and in corners no matter how hard we tried to sweep them all up after the tree was taken out. I still love the smell of pine, and it still brings back happy memories.

  51. I grew up in an all immigrant Italian community in Milwaukee called THE THIRD WARD. My Grandfather Joe DiMaggio would always have large gatherings of people, not just family, over for hoildays. Many community people would come to the house all the time. Even my Birthdays would become 30 to 40 kids!. Later in life I found out that he was virtually feeding them and keeping them alive. So for me giving is not just one day of the year but from the heart all year round to those people in need. He will always be my idol and roll model. Angie DiMaggio

  52. patricia chandler says:

    That renewed feeling inside, that came with all my loved ones being snug, safe & warm , all under one roof, waiting for little baby Jesus to be born,snuggly warn inside, nose pressed up against the cold glass of the window of my room,watching the snow come down, and the ice turning my orinary world into a true Winterwonderland. Dean Martin singing Christmas Carols, shopping for JUST THE RIGHT PRESENT for someone special, everyone, no matter the hussle and bustle in their lives, being a littkle nicer to each other, kinder, gentler.Singing carols door to door, shoveling snow out of your neighbors driveway, not for money, but because it was the right thing to do.That feeling that everyone on earth, at the same time, was feeling that special something in the air with their own families, that Santa COULOD go to all those houses in one night, always BELIEVING IN MAGIC, no matter how old you were, all over the world, that we were all ONE, in o0ur wishes for peace on earth and good will towards men. Finally, Midnight Mass, the Chjrist child revealed to us all, that the world would now be redeemed, and we were all, truly, brothers and sisters, no matter where we were. That was how Christmas did and still does, make me feel. Magical, heavenly, one world full of LOVE.

  53. Jennifer Essad says:

    My parents left Ohio and moved to Michigan when we were very little, my dad made new friends at work and they were of Jewish faith, they did not have any families so they would come to our house on Christmas Eve. After our dinner my mom and the lady friends would dress us up in our pajamas and put on our winter coats, boots and mittens and they would drive us around the city looking at all the Christmas decorations, the snow was on the ground and sometime even falling, everything was beautiful. When we would arrive back home we would find that SANTA had arrived! We didn’t have a basement so everything had to be put in the attic. The packages were cold when we opened them so we really believed that Santa had come. I appreciate having such wonderful memories and the friends that my family so enjoyed being with, realizing the impact of getting to know people of different faiths even in the 60′s.

  54. Jaime Roberts says:

    It was the year I turned 10. My belief in Santa was a little shaky. My mom tried everything to convince me he was real, but I wasn’t interested. On Christmas eve, we attended the midnight mass. I remember specifically that my mom let me be the last one out the door. A wonderful surprise awaited my return! The lights on the tree were softly glowing, there was fire in the fireplace and Christmas carols were playing quietly on the stereo. And the presents! Oh my, Santa had come while we were at mass! I never doubted again. When I asked her years later she still denied it was anyone but Santa. I have a few theories, but in the end it doesn’t really matter, all that is important is sharing that magical, warm feeling with my children every year because even with three children of my own, I still believe.

  55. Terry Herman says:

    With seven of us, there wasn’t much of anything; we’d put the scrawny tree up on Christmas Eve. Christmas Day was a time to go to church, singing religious carols and then opening up the one or two gifts (if we were lucky) that Santa had left for us after we returned home from church. My aunt, uncles and grandpa would join us for a late lunch and we’d have a fabulous turkey feast; the most food any of us saw at one time on the just-for-company table. After eating, we’d open the gifts the relatives brought. We loved our “Uncle Tom Big Egg” (he was bald) because he always gave each of us an entire box of candy bars and real money; sometimes as much as a whole $5.00 bill. One Christmas when I was about seven or eight, Uncle Tom gave me the most precious blonde hair and blue eyed doll I’d ever seen (next to my first doll, of course; I still have both of them). I named her Tomasina, after him. Christmas was a time for family and church; the gifts weren’t that important. It is the same today as back then. God’s blessings to you all and Merry Christmas!

  56. Lynn McEntire says:

    One year over 45 years ago. My parents took us to our grandparents for Christmas. My grandmother waited on me to get there to decorate the tree. She had sent my granddaddy to find the “perfect tree” for us. We were used to a cedar tree. My grandaddy came back with a holly tree. I had never seen a holly tree, much less used one for a Christmas tree. I tried not to show my disappointment, and decorated the tree with lights and ornaments and tinsle. It was beautiful and to this day I can see it in my minds eye. That was the only year we have ever had a holly tree. I won’t ever forget it.

    • Shawna says:

      My grandmother used to go up the angling road and pick out a bare tree that was just sticks and limbs. She didn’t use lights, but instead hung gorgeous glass balls from the 1960′s all over the tree. Still to this day I think of it as the most beautiful tree I’ve ever seen. I miss her and the trees.

      Shawna

  57. My family Christmas was going to my Grandma and Grandpa’s home in a small town close by, there we gathered with all the family, we are of German ancestory and so we had sauerkraut and pork, or sausage, dumplings, mashed potato’s and apple pie or pies for dessert. Afterward we had to do the dishes, there were no paper plates either then. We never got gifts because ther never was money to buy them but we had each other for company and then later we motored home.

  58. Nancy says:

    A funny Christmas holiday memory I’ll never forget was waiting up for Daddy to get home from a late-night call out for his job. Mama and my two sisters and I started playing Monopoly and played for a really long time until the wee hours.

    At some point in the night my oldest sister woke up crying in her sleep. Mom came in to the room to see what was the matter and she said, “Oh, Mama, Mama, my back is killing me from carrying all those houses around.”

    Loved the holidays, being able to stay up late, and playing board games with the family.

  59. Amber Brad says:

    When I was a child my sister and I would listen to Christmas music and wait for Santa to come. We twirled around and threw our dolls in the air. My dad would always miss Santa because he was at the store buying camera film. It took me quite a few years to figure out my dad was Santa. My dad still dresses up as santa for Christmas Eve for all of the grandchildren. Nobody gets a present unless you sit on his lap!!

  60. Virginia says:

    Our Christmas was always special. We had a wonderful mother who made sure we had stuff from Santa. Our Christmas dinner was so good. Mon died when I was 14 years old. I still miss her at Christmas.

  61. Michelle Welliver says:

    Being a child of someone in the military growing up, we always had new surprise guests that would join us each year during the holidays. My dad would invite sailors from his ship that were unable to go home to be with their families, to come and share in celebrating the holiday with our family. It was a wonderful feeling to be able to reach out to others and make them feel as close to home as possible :) This tradition has carried on with my own family, having married a sailor as well!

  62. Cathy says:

    My family owned a flower shop and greenhouses. Holidays were very busy with Dad making wreaths from scratch of greens we cut at a farm. Mom and we girls kept busy wiring pinecones, berries, bows, etc for decorating them..that was before hot glue guns. When the poinsettias arrived we had to carefully take all the papers off the plants…Dad set the temperature alarm in the greenhouses so they wouldn’t freeze if the heat went off. We made lots of roping to decorate the churches and decorated ‘blankets’ of greens that people bought to put on cemetery plots. We didn’t decorate our own house tree until Christmas eve, when all the work was done.

  63. Stephanie O says:

    A family memory is…. when I was young my brother and I used to make a plan that whoever woke up first would wake up the other. We would get up and look at our stockings, sort all the present and wait until we could wake our parents up. We would open presents as a family and then go to my mom side of the family and have dinner.
    Shuttermom77 at gmail dot com

  64. Terry Herman says:

    When I was five I was taken to see Santa for the fist time. He was beautiful and giving out huge candy canes. I asked my mother if I could sing for Santa. When it was my turn, I asked Santa if I could sing. He said yes; I sang “Silent Night” and then asked him for four candy canes. He asked why I wanted so many and I told him so I could give my brothers and sisters one.

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