Holiday Memories


Video by PDG Productions, 2010
Song by Pink Martini

One of my fondest holiday memories occurred Christmas of 1989. We were all excited as snow had been predicted all day. Where I live, this is a very unusual event. We all hoped for a “white Christmas.”

By the time, we arrived at the evening holiday church service; the “predicted” snow still had not showed up. While disappointed, we still enjoyed the service.

We sang holiday songs as candles twinkled all around the room. We said special prayers for those in need and gave what we could when the collection plate was circulated.

Finally, the last song was sung and it was time to leave. We collected our coats and in a large group headed for the doors. When they opened wide, so did our eyes.

In the church lights, pristine white snow sparkled everywhere – on top of trees, bushes, roofs, sidewalks and the ground. It was like we were stepping into a snow globe.

We all stopped and stared, even the kids! However, it wasn’t long before they were running and jumping into the snow. Holiday “dress-up” clothes were forgotten as snowballs flew through the air and children made snow angels.

No one wanted to leave. For those of us who don’t see snow often, it was a beautiful and magical moment and became a fond memory:~)

What about you?

Even if you celebrate a holiday different than Christmas, what is one of your fondest memories of a holiday? Briefly describe it in the comment box.


26 comments on “Holiday Memories

  1. Ken Winker says:

    Wishing you, your family, and friends the best for the holidays and the new year.

  2. Gerri says:

    I vividly remember my last Christmas with my Grand-Mother, “Nanny”. She was radiant and lively as ever…we lost her the following year, 3 weeks before Christmas.

    Happy Holidays to you. 😉

    • Sara says:

      @ Gerri — It’s nice that you remember the last Christmas with your “Nanny” in such a positive way. Hold on to that memory. If you can write it down somewhere with a much detail as you can remember. You’ve already started it with your words, “She was radiant and lively as ever…”

  3. Jean Sampson says:

    Thank you so much for the video and music and also sharing your snow story. It was so lovely.

    One of my memories of Christmas was walking with my Dad downtown (we lived about 10 minutes away) to the Sears store where “Santa” had told Dad that I could pick out a few toys. I think that was the year I got my “big girl bike” and I remember seeing it at the store. There was also a Princess SummerFallWinterSpring doll (remember Howdy Doody?) but I didn’t pick her out—-wonder why, since I was a huge Howdy Doody fan. I remember the feel of the cold air and how special it was to be walking with my Dad. I probobly was about 6 or 7 years-old at the time.

    Have a lovely holiday, Sara, and enjoy every minute of it!

    • Sara says:

      @ Jean — What a nice memory…walking with your Dad and getting your first “big girl bike.” I love reading these:~)

      I hope you have a very holiday with lots of laughter, family and friends.

  4. Lynn says:

    Probably the best memory is the last Christmas my father was alive. He loved Christmas – especially after we all started spending it at the farm in Jefferson County. When I got up that morning, my nieces were busy sorting packages into the respective “piles.” Daddy was watching them with an indulgent smile. I gave him a hug and he said, “Merry Christmas, sugah.” He wanted to take my picture and I let him, even though I was bleary eyed with bed hair still. I’ll always look at that photo and remember the love behind that camera. 🙂

    Merry Christmas, Sara! I’ll be in your neck of the woods next Saturday.

    • Sara says:

      @ Lynn — Wow. This one tugged at my heart as I lost my dad around the holidays, but ages ago. It’s nice that you have the photo to remind you of this special holiday memory and the love of your father. BTW I like the words you wrote about what he said, “Merry Christmas, sugah!” You got the Southern just right.

      Have a great holiday and a new year full of wonderful adventures:~)

  5. susan says:

    Holiday Hugs to you, Sara! My best Christmas ever was when my son made in home for Christmas after more than a year in Afghanistan! It was truly special and we felt soooo blessed he got thru two deployments and came home!

    • Sara says:

      @ Susan — This one gave me goosebumps, but in a good way. I can only imagine how great that Christmas must have been:~)

      Holiday hugs back at you.

  6. Talon says:

    Aww, what a lovely time that must have been, Sara. Pure magic!

    My favorite Christmas memory was my younger sister and I (we were seven and five) were sneaking around after bedtime on Christmas Eve hoping to catch a peek of Santa. Suddenly, we heard jingle bells coming and a thump on the roof. We raced back to bed, knowing Santa wouldn’t come in if he knew we were awake. Our older siblings teased us about imagining things, but we remained steadfast in our belief we heard the bells and the thud of reindeer on the roof. It was decades before my father admitted he was the one who had done it 🙂

    Wish you and JC and Aggie a beautiful Christmas, Sara!

    • Sara says:

      @ Talon — That’s a funny one! It’s amazing what parents will do to keep Santa alive:~) I remember we’d write our Christmas lists and then throw them in the fire for Santa to read the smoke. Even after we realized Santa wasn’t reading “smoke,” we kept up the tradition.

      Happy holidays back at you and all of your family:~)

  7. Linda says:

    Merry Christmas, Sara.
    I don’t have one in particular. Every Christmas was good with my parents, both as a kid and an adult. There were always yummy treats and that was the one day of the year that Daddy was always home (at least for most of the day) and that made them even more special. Since they’ve both passed, Christmas has lost some of its sparkle for me. On a brighter note, though, last Christmas we had 6 inches of snow on Christmas day. That was beautiful and rare here as well.

    The happiest of Holidays to you and your family!

    • Sara says:

      @ Linda — I understand what you mean about the holidays losing some of the sparkle after your parents died, especially since it sounds like you were really close to them. I think we all have to find ways to readjust Christmas in our heads as our lives change. It’s not always easy. For example, we celebrated Christmas early this year as my eldest was in town and my youngest is lucky to make it home for two or three days, given work and school. Still, we had a good family time and that’s what counts.

      I envy you the snow. I know there are other readers who would cringe at that statement, but I’ve only been in snow four times in my life and so, it’s a special treat!

      Have a merry one; tell each other silly jokes and let the cats purrrrr in your lap:~)

  8. Valerie says:

    We were living in the tiny town of Alfred, New York, and on Christmas Eve-probably around 1997 or so, we were seated in the tiny community church waiting for the Christmas Eve service to begin. A man asked if we would save a few seats, and we said we would be happy to. Soon, the actor Robert Forster came and sat next to Amy-who was around 2. During the whole service, he smiled at her and she at him. He was so kind, and kept her entertained. He was in town to accept an honorary degree from Alfred University, and we were thrilled to be so up close and personal with a celebrity-and a genuinely nice guy too:)

    • Sara says:

      @ Valerie — I love that there is a town called “Alfred.” Now, that’s a town to set a story in!!! Then again, this memory you shared already makes a fantastic story. What a special experience for you and your family.

      Happy, happy holidays:~)

  9. Patricia says:

    Happy Holidays to you Sara and all of your family too…

    As a child I often hoped for snow on Christmas, but we usually had foggy cold morning breaking off to sunshine…even the stats show that, although most people think it rains here.

    I think that we used to get snow so rarely here, that it should automatically be a school holiday – save all those dollars of daycare and bus service – no work either….just enjoyment and hot chocolate. I always let my girls stay home – except February birthday girl hated missing school on her birthday – which she did because there was so much snow on Feb 12th 7 times!

    We are getting more snow here now then ever before.

    I can not think of a magic moment like that on a holiday…except one mature woman student when I was doing campus ministry discovered she was full of cancer…I went and spent Christmas day with her in the hospital and we sang all the Carols I could muster from my memory banks. She died before her children could get there…so I just stayed…A lasting memory that warms me every time the season rolls around. My best solo performance

    • Sara says:

      @ Patricia — That’s a very touching memory. Not many people would do this and while I know if was your job; it still shows a kindness and compassion that expresses the meaning of these holidays.Thanks for sharing this memory.

      Should I wish you a white Christmas or not? In any case, I hope you have a wonderful holiday with your family:~)

  10. Ginny says:

    The Christmas I remember most is my son’s first Christmas. As most young couples were back then, we didn’t have a lot of extra money but I was so excited buying his first Christmas outfit. I thought he was the most adorable baby ever (don’t tell anyone but I still do). It was a very special Christmas.

    I love this question Sara. Thank you for asking. I hope you and your family have a wonderful Christmas and a very Happy New Year.

    • Sara says:

      @ Ginny — That’s a nice memory. What did the outfit look like? A baby’s first Christmas is always special for the parents, isn’t it? Now, you have another grandchild to share Christmas with…that’s pretty cool. Congrats to your son and his wife, by the way!

      Happy Holidays back at you….I hope the new year will bring you and yours health, happiness and harmony:~)

  11. In 1977 when we woke Christmas morning, there were keys hanging from the wagon-wheel light shade near the tree. Santa had left them for 2 Moto-ski snowmobiles.

    The memory was of my brothers running out barefoot, still in their pj’s and jumping on the Moto-skis in the snow. 🙂

    And darling lady, I am about to re-send that “Mary” mp3 to the following email addy…

    [email protected]

    Hope you receive it.


    • Sara says:

      @ Jannie — Wow, that’s a fun memory. I hope you got to ride those Moto-ski snowmobiles! Perhaps you were a bit wiser and put on your shoes first…hmmm…probably not, but I bet you had FUN!

      I got the song, “Mary.” I loved it!!! It’s so beautiful, but also kind of sad. I’ve no doubt that “Mary” can hear you and she’s watching you too! There’s a magic to how you weave your poetry-stories into songs. I’m so glad you’re in my life, Jannie. Have a great holiday:~)

  12. Kelvin Kao says:

    Hehe, that snow is good timing!

    I realized that most of my fond memories of holidays involve sitting around the dinner table eating whatever it is associated with the holiday. Am I fond of holidays or of eating? Hm..

    • Sara says:

      @ Kelvin — Why not both? I think food memories are wonderful. Well, most of the time. There was the time, the turkey didn’t quite get cooked ’cause the oven shut off, but we still enjoyed the rest of the food. I have tons of memories associated with food.

      One of my funniest was after I started to date my partner. He took me to a fancy French restaurant that offered a “tasting menu.” There were like seven courses. Each arrived on a huge decorated plate with a teeny-tiny morsel of food. I felt like Alice in Wonderland and got the giggles so badly, I couldn’t stop. Needless to say, we haven’t visited a place with a “taster menu” since:~) Still, I get the giggles just remembering this adventure!

  13. Hilary says:

    Hi Sara .. loved the story and the opening the door to those memories forever stored in the back of your mind, of that white glistening smooth, quiet snowesque scape ..

    Similarly .. mine would be the 62/63 winter – masses of snow, icicles, twinkly lights in a playroom we had outside … I don’t remember the hours of shovelling snow my parents would have had to have done to get out of the drive .. and then all the transport conditions thereafter. I went back to Oxford school with snowdrifts piled high in the fields .. the snow melted sometime in February – floods, but snow remained til June.

    Christmas and snow .. they don’t often go hand in hand .. but make amazing paintings on the land ..

    Glad you’ve had a peaceful Christmas early to coincide with family .. Have a very happy time .. and a very happy and successful 2012 .. big hugs – Hilary

    • Sara says:

      @ Hilary — I know what you mean. When we’re kids, we never really think about the impact of snow or other weather. I imagine a lot of people who might read my memory story would groan, thinking about the work. Still, pristine snow is something to marvel at. I doubt we’ll get it this year as we’re still in the 70 degree F. range.

      I hope you have a marvelous Christmas with lots of Christmas pudding. Hugs back at you:~)

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