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What is your favorite Christmas memory?

Asked at Massachusetts Street on December 22, 2007

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Photo of Aaron Pillar

“The first time I saw it snow on Christmas. I grew up in California, so it wasn’t until I was about 30 years old.”

Photo of Libby McConnell

“When I got a Game Boy. I was in fourth grade and they just came out. It’s not very sentimental, but I was really excited.”

Photo of Mary Vorsten

“Cutting down a cedar tree with my father when we lived out in the country, and then trimming it down so it would fit in the living room.”

Photo of Mike Cormack

“I remember when I was in second grade, I got an electric race track. I couldn’t have been happier.”

Comments

GretchenJP 6 years, 4 months ago

All the memories of mom and I buying a new ornament for our tree every year, it was our tradition.

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H_Lecter 6 years, 4 months ago

Sometimes there would be a Christmas party upstairs and crumbs would fall through the floorboards. I felt so blessed to receive those crumbs at the orphanage.

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sunflower_sue 6 years, 4 months ago

sgt, no, that doesn't make you sound old...you would sound old if you watched "old" TV shows like "The Beverly Hillbillies," "Petticoat Junction (sp?)," and "Green Acres." (Those are the "old" shows that I watched as a kid!) :OP~

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pomegranate 6 years, 4 months ago

The Christmas just after I turned 12 and was in 7th grade I got a bicycle. It was great. Then, the next year, I got that new singer's records--You ain't Nothing But a Hound Dog, and Don't be Cruel. Along with a record player. We always went to my Grandmother's house-she was Norweigan- and had lefse, fruit soup, a wonderful seafood casserole, and other things, and her "to die for" spritz cookies. Now I am the grandmother, and I simply don't seem able to live up to my recollections of my own Grandmother. Nana you were the greatest!!!

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sgtwolverine 6 years, 4 months ago

ms_c, I never even got close to finishing it. In fact, I never got a lot done. I'm not particularly great at crossword puzzles, and it seemed to have a decent degree of difficulty (for me), so I didn't make a lot of progress. But maybe I should pull it out again; that was a while ago, so maybe I'll be able to make more progress now.

As far as a good Christmas gift goes ... well, a great one would be a regular stream of customers for my business. But more realistically, since I put them on my list, I suspect I'll receive a few pretty good gifts in the form of DVD sets of old tv shows. Hawaii Five-0, A-Team, Knight Rider, Bob Newhart, Magnum P.I. ... shows like that. I do enjoy those at least as much (and probably a bit more) than the vast majority of current shows. Does that make me sound old?

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Joe Hyde 6 years, 4 months ago

When I was seven I got a Daisy Red Rider BB-gun, along with instructions by an expert shooter (my uncle) on how to use it safely. Plinked and hunted sparrows with it until I was a teenager. I can still hear the rattle inside those cardboard tubes that BBs were sold in. And the wrinkle of the little plastic pouches that smaller amounts of BBs were sold in.

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sunflower_sue 6 years, 4 months ago

Ms_C, you can sometimes get those giganto-sized crossword puzzles at bookstores. (I, too, am a crossword junkie!)

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sunflower_sue 6 years, 4 months ago

Has to be when we were putting down a new floor and the hubby and I didn't want the hastle of a Christmas tree indoors. He cut a cedar and we put it out on the deck so that we could see it through the sliding doors. We did put lights on it but no other decorations. That night it snowed, and the lights shining through the snow on the tree was amazingly beautiful.

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ms_canada 6 years, 4 months ago

sgt - I don't believe it, I would love to see that thing. Did you ever finish it? I hope the solution came with it. I wish you a very happy christmas, sgt. I hope someone gives you a gift as good as that crossword. Of course, no gift can top the one that Jesus gave us. God bless all of you.

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dminear60 6 years, 4 months ago

RI, what a lovely story. Happy Holidays!

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Ceallach 6 years, 4 months ago

RI, what a romantic rascal you are!!!

I too love crossword puzzles but haven't had a lot of time to do them lately, I'll just make that a New Year's resolution . . . take more time for crossword puzzles (that's one I might have a chance of keeping :)

Favorite Christmas memory? My 10th Christmas my grandparents gave me a Cinderella watch, elegantly packaged in a lovely glass carriage. They were the best g'parents ever!! My grandparents are gone now, as are most of my aunts and uncles, so now my favorite memories involve Christmas dinners when we were all together.

MD, my thoughts and best wishes are with you. It is my hope that the peace and hope of the season will help you pass through this difficult time into brighter days.

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sgtwolverine 6 years, 4 months ago

ms_c, a few years ago for Christmas, my parents gave me a giant crossword puzzle. And when I say giant, I mean it -- I don't remember the exact dimension, but it's rectangular, and I'd guess it's 5 or 6 feet wide. The clues came in a book.

I haven't pulled it out in a while, but I'll see if I can find it to get the dimensions.

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ms_canada 6 years, 4 months ago

PY - I don't have a lot of time to do this monster today but have looked at it. My methodology is to go down the list and fill in the absolutely certain spaces. Then go back. The certain clues help with the others. The level of difficulty so far does not seem too bad. Biblical Jacob's twin he crowned himself emperor in 1804 cowboy event murder on the -------- express I WANT TO WISH YOU ALL A VERY HAPPY CHRISTMAS AND ALL THE BEST IN THE NEW YEAR CHEERS

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Pywacket 6 years, 4 months ago

Ms Canada~ Wow! That huge crossword puzzle sounds like a fantabulous Christmas present. No, I've never seen one that big. What's the level of difficulty? Challenging? Easy? Insanely difficult?

By the way, we are right in the middle of a thundersleetstorm! It started sleeting/freezing raining about 2 hours ago and within the last half hour, I've heard several big ol' thunderboomers. Would much prefer snow for Christmas. We have plenty of wood and supplies for bad weather, but I sure wish I didn't have that last-minute shopping to do that I may or may not get done. I'm holiday-readiness challenged.

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Pywacket 6 years, 4 months ago

RI: Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww.... That's a great story.

faceit: Thanks for a good Saturday laugh.

I was thinking about this for some reason, even before I got online and saw the OTS question--maybe because my dad died in June, so I'm going to be playing out memories of him a lot this Christmas. Anyway--best memory, and present that made me happiest of any I have ever received: a brand-new blue Schwinn Starlet bicycle I received the year I was 8. It was my first bicycle and the only bike my folks ever bought me.

Back then, we rode trikes for a lot longer, instead of the tiny bikes with training wheels that seem de rigeuer for tots these days. My folks had too many kids and not enough money, so everything (coats, bikes) was bought too big so we could grow into it and use it for years. I certainly got their money's worth from that bike. The fact of its being my only childhood bike is certainly part of why the memory remains so vivid.

Another factor is the added dollop of yearning and anticipation. Our Michigan winters were snowy and icy. I could not take the bike out right away and learn to ride it. That made it agonizing. On those rare days when the wintry sun melted the ice enough that the sidewalks were marginally clear, my dad would go out with me after he got home from work--sometimes after dinner when our only light was from the houses up and down the street and the streetlights at the corners--and jog beside the bike, holding it upright while I learned balance and control. Since it was too big for me, and because the practice opportunities were so limited, it seemed to take me forever to master it.

I'm sure there were times when Dad (who commuted 45 minutes each way to a grueling factory job) would rather have relaxed on the couch than run up and down the street beside a wobbly kid who was afraid to have him let go of her bike. But he always went if the weather allowed.

Long about March or April, when the thaws were more frequent and the ice gave way to puddles on the uneven sidewalk of our old neighborhood, I finally tried riding on my own--first in the back yard, where the squishy mud and emergent grass seemed a better choice in case of disaster. But after I realized that I could stay upright, I rode on the sidewalk, all on my own, and after that day, I was all but inseparable from that bike. I loved that thing and took very good care of it.

In later years, Dad loved to tell how he would let go while I was learning--and that as long as I didn't know he had let go, I was fine, but would lose my confidence and start wobbling if I glanced back and realized he was just running beside me, hands off. He always knew I could do it. I just needed to realize that myself.

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dajudge 6 years, 4 months ago

When I was maybe 9 or 10yrs. old and looked out the front window and it had snowed and I could see what I thought were reindeer tracks in the snow on the front yard. They were probably just deer tracks, but I had an imagination to go with them. And if there were reindeer around, there must have been some old fat guy in a red suit nearby, too.

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ms_canada 6 years, 4 months ago

Lots of memories. A favourite??? Maybe it was the ever present,(at Christmas only) of the jigsaw puzzle that my Mom and all of us would work on over the holiday. I am a puzzle person and have an open letter to pywacket and all other affionados of crossword puzzles. PY - I opened my Toronto Globe and Mail this am and turned to the puzzle section and what did my wondering eyes spy but the mother of all puzzles. It measures 13 1/2 inches square, the across clues number 604 and the downs 589. Can you believe it!!!! And I have only one week to fill it in before the solution appears next Sat. I will never do it, but I will try. The jigsaw puzzle I bought will have to stay in the box for a while. PY - have you ever seen a puzzle that large? Or anyone?

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nveyt_truong 6 years, 4 months ago

a big dog strayed into our yard early Christmas morning. We named him Stew

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Multidisciplinary 6 years, 4 months ago

Merry Christmas Mike, Good to see you after 30 years. I got old too (g).

My best memories were years ago, before everyone became ill, or died. Now everything is just sad. Maybe when my mom had been wrapping presents on her bed, and I wasn't let into the room. I was around 7. When she finally let me into the room, and I crawled onto the bed in all the boxes,wrappings, reels of ribbons (we did them ourselves and knew how to make the GREATEST BOWS) .Well, they thought they had them all wrapped, and what did my knee touch upon, but a carded pack of Barbie/Midge wigs. OMG, I found an unwrapped present! Early!! It wasn't my best present ever, but this was what popped to mind. A GOLD MINE for a 7 yr old..illegal goods LOL. I now have my sister's 2nd issue Barbie, the first bendable knee Barbie, the first twist at the waist Barbie, and a Skipper. I also have that first Barbie wedding dress. My girls destoyed their Barbie's. Mine still sit carefully wrapped with other collections...I always planned on passing them on, but have no one who cares about that kind of thing. NO Beanie Babies, if that came to mind LOL. I wonder if I still have Chief Cherokee? I know the horses are gone.

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Kathy Getto 6 years, 4 months ago

Christmas with my Grandmother, waking up to her playing the piano, creating and performing skits for the family, and the rare glass of Pepsi with a maraschino cherry. Sure miss her.

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faceit 6 years, 4 months ago

This year, somebody's wife called me and said she'd been married for about 17 years....oh nevermind.

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conservativepunker 6 years, 4 months ago

Third grade, Lionel Train set with an incredible layout. Wonderful.

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RETICENT_IRREVERENT 6 years, 4 months ago

21years ago, 1986.
I was spending Christmas by myself. I didn't have the vacation time to use driving 500 miles at 55mph. My friend's girlfriend called me, and we spoke for hours. She didn't call her boyfriend that Christmas. 3 months later we had our first date. 4 years later she became my spousal unit. That is my favorite Christmas memory.

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