The Thanksgiving Memories from the gang of us here seemed to go over pretty well with y’all…so we thought we’d do it again. We asked Silverline Creators: What’s your favorite childhood Christmas memory?
-Brent T. Larson
When I was a sophomore in college, my family and I drove from southern Arizona to Moab, Utah, to spend Christmas with my Aunt Mary and Uncle Mark. They loved life and the outdoors, and Mark led mountain tours for a living. One day we drove to nearby Arches National Park, a vast open space with these contorted monolithic rock formations. We practically had the place to ourselves. Soon it began snowing, and the only sound was the wind blowing eerily off the high desert. It was one of the few times in my adult life where I could feel magic in the air. It was a fun, intimate Christmas, moreso because it was the last time I ever saw Mark alive. A year later, he was leading a tour in the mountains when they were caught in an avalanche.
My favorite Christmas memory growing up was when my siblings and I all got coal for Christmas. My sister was crying, my brother was so angry and I was so excited. Even after my parents told us it was all a joke and gave us our real presents, I spent the rest of the day playing with my lump of coal… I was a weird child.
When asked to recall a fond holiday memory, I can’t help but think of two Hanukkahs that delivered disappointment after raised hopes. Like every kid in the 90s, both my brother and I bugged our parents to no end with our desire for a Gameboy. Up till that point, we were strictly a PC family. We had some PC ports of Nintendo and Sega games, but we still had a need to play on the original systems. Hanukah rolls around with the promise of finally getting that treasured Gameboy. We excitedly open our gift for the night. While most nights we get one gift each, there were some cases where we would get a shared gift (something to share that was usually a high ticket item). In this case, we knew we were getting the fabled handheld. And, lo and behold, upon opening the gift wrapping there it was. A SEGA GameGear…
Another Hanukah comes around and I am not missing an opportunity to let my parents know of a certain movie I want. About every other trip to Blockbuster results in me renting, among a couple of other VHS tapes, Tiny Toons How I Spent my Summer Vacation. I’m fairly confident that they bought me my own copy after showing how much I like this movie. Adding to my anticipation is them saying they bought me that animated movie I liked and asked for. I eagerly pick my present up and un-wrap it. I see the WB’s logo. The anticipation rises. I finish removing the wrapping. There, in all its glory is The Jetsons Meet the Flintstones…
These two memories may seem odd to fondly remember, but they just show how much my parents tried and did for my brother and me. They may have gotten some things wrong, but their love still came through. That is why I consider these two events good memories.
I do remember coming back from college during Christmas one year to visit my mother and she had the house all decorated just right that it really brought out the season for me. If that makes sense. I remember a lot of great decorations and the house smelling like ginger or something Christmas like. We watched some Harry Potter movies and just had a good time. So that is a memory that stood out for me. Hope this helps.
I was raised in a 2-story farmhouse in rural Iowa. There was a 1 story porch attached to the house with 2 parallel power lines that ran above the porch. One Christmas in the early 60’s, there was an ice storm a few days before Christmas. On Christmas Eve day, it snowed and snowed. At least 4 inches. That night, the air warmed just enough to make the ice clinging to those two power lines slip off the lines and fall in two perfect, parallel lines into the snow on the porch roof. On Christmas morning my Dad, coming in from doing the morning livestock chores, called for us to get our snowsuits on and come out. We raced outside to see what he was pointing at. There, across our porch roof, WERE THE SLEIGH TRACKS FROM SANTA’S SLEIGH! We were ecstatic as my Dad grinned knowingly. That Spring, while plowing up the field in front of the house, he unearthed a large, round, antique sleigh bell from some long ago horse drawn sleigh. He presented it to us, still dirt covered, as further proof that Santa had, indeed, been to our house that Christmas, left tracks and dropped a sleigh bell on his way to the next house. We believed for many years and, who knows, maybe it wasn’t a trick of the weather or a forgotten antique? 😉
I could share some Christmas memories but I don’t really have a big one. The holiday is a rather relaxed one over here. No big dinner nor turkey. It’s too hot to wear ugly sweaters or drink hot coco! But at least you can go try your brand new bike out in the street the 25th, hahaha. Probably the present I remember the most was the arrival of our dog and first pet. House went to chaos as soon as she arrived and started digging into my mother’s indoor plants!
This is another tough one for me to narrow down. I’ve been surrounded by love from my family, so my memories blend together as a happy assortment of gatherings, meals, gift-giving, laughter, hugs, music, snow (mostly), and countless other cheerful happenings, so it might be easier to recount a favorite tradition, rather than one event. Our family tradition for stockings was that our parents would sneak into our rooms and place them near our beds. I’m not sure if this is common, or has roots in a larger tradition, but I’m positive it was a way to keep us quiet and in our rooms for a few minutes longer. My older brother was usually awake first, and he’d get me up by jumping on my bed, and we’d immediately tear into the tiny presents. Each year was similar: matchbox cars, Pez dispensers, Hershey’s Kisses, the plastic candy cane filled with cheap chocolates, and always an orange. I know – and I knew then – that this a tradition from the Great Depression, during which fresh fruit in the winter was a luxury, but we couldn’t resist turning them into weapons by stuffing that orange into the foot of our stockings and whomping on each other. After that was out of our system, we’d sneak out into the living room to peek at the gifts and wait for everyone else to wake up for a wonderful day.
-Mike W. Belcher
Best Christmas. This one is kind of hard. I was truly blessed growing up. I had a very good Christmas every year. Maybe the first time that Kerry was a part of our tradition. She didn’t have grandparents growing up and going to my Mamaw and Pop’s house was truly a gift to her. Watching her be the center of attention and how happy it made her was a great thing to see.
I’ve had a fascination for toy figures since way back when. Growing up I remember watching the Roy Rogers TV, then unaware Roy and I share a birth date, Nov. 5 – But I digress. I was 10 the year the Sears giant wish catalog showed up in early Nov and as soon as Mom let me see it, I went straight to the toy section. My to my amazement, offered that year was an entire Roy Rogers Double R ranch set complete with Roy on Trigger, Dale on Buttermilk and Bullet their German shepherd dog, Pat Brady in his Jeep Nellybelle, the ranch house, barn and various animals. It was simply mind boggling and I spent the next few weeks letting it known this is what I wanted from Santa.
So come Christmas morning, 1956, me and brother George are up at the crack of dawn and race downstairs to living room to find tons of brightly wrapped gifts under the tree. But my eyes went straight to the Roy Rogers ranch pieces all set up among those gifts. Dad had opened the box they came in and set up all the pieces before going off to bed that night so they’d be ready for me.
I never forget that wonderful Christmas surprise.
It was the year my younger, by one year, sister and I began suspecting Santa wasn’t real. My Dad got wind of this and told us a story that on Christmas Eve he’d seen a little plump man in a red suit carrying a bicycle into our across-the-street-neighbor’s house. Now, our Dad was not a very good lie teller so we were nearly convinced it was true. Then, a few days after Christmas we saw that neighbor boy riding a shiny new bicycle down our street (southern Missouri where I grew up seldom got below 40 degrees most days, so a jacket or coat to ride a bike in December wasn’t out of the ordinary). That convinced my sister and me to continue belief in Santa for at least a couple more years.
Much later we learned the true story. The little plump man was the High School Band Director who lived across the street from us for a few years. We didn’t know it at the time, but he was notorious for his maroon business suit. So it was not a complete lie…
Ever since I was little, I wanted to snowboard. I saw it once on TV and knew that I had to do it. My mother, out of fear for my life since I was just barely out of my toddler years and, as the doctor would say, a total spaz, decided we would take it slow until I got older. In order to find a compromise, she decided we would go sledding instead. I was not eager to relent on my need to get pitted on some powder, so in order to appease my want for adrenaline, we didn’t just go sledding down the back of the foothill we lived on. No, we went to a mountain proper with a slope groomed just for sledding and tubing. One day she woke us up in the dark, and we got into our warmest clothes and we drove 2 hours to Saddle Mountain. I’m not sure if this is still the case but back then when it snowed, the hiking trail was converted into a small snow park. We rode the trail all-day and I loved every second of it despite the spills, bumps, and snow snakes. On the way down, we stopped at a logging camp and got dinner at a cabin style diner. This is where the memory gets a little sour, so I’ll spare the details. In essence, the mac and cheese, that I had devoured to recoup precious calories, was transformed into a Pollock painting spewed forth my small face onto the interior of our van. Even with that hiccup, this day is still the one I hold responsible for developing my love of snow and the mountains. Though my mother did not let my 4 year old self ride a snowboard, I now do so every year from late October to April and didn’t suffer any spinal injuries as a minor, so I guess the compromise worked.
I have a lot of great memories of Christmas with my family at home, and then making the trek to Arkansas to visit with grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. Most of my memories include me waking up on Christmas day before my sister and being so anxious that I had to wake her up before checking out the tree. One Christmas, I don’t remember exactly how old I was, but I as probably not more than six, I awoke extremely early and got my sister. We peeked at the tree to see presents there waiting for us. We went to wake our parents, excited that Santa had come…but my Dad yelled “Go back to bed!” It seems I had gotten up about three o’clock in the morning and our parents hadn’t actually been IN bed all that long. I joined my sister in her room where we sat and giggled in anticipation of what Santa had brought us until the approved time we could get up. At which point in time, we promptly woke our parents!
Merry Christmas everyone