Readers share special holiday moments
Editor's note: We asked our readers to share their most memorable Christmas with us. Many did. Today is the first to three installments of your memories.
All I want for Christmas
When I was a little girl, I begged my parents for a sister. I asked everyday, so Mama told me to ask God when I said my prayers, but to remember, sometimes he answered, "No."
Months passed, and Christmas was coming. I thought, "Maybe God will send ma a special Christmas present. He loves babies. He sent his son to Earth as a baby. Maybe he'll answer my prayers at Christmas."
On Christmas Eve, the families gathered in Granny's living room while they were singing carols. Santa Claus came in the door carrying a large bag. Suspiciously, the bag was moving. After handing out several gifts, Santa stopped in front of me and asked, "What special gift have you been wanting?"
I just knew he'd brought my baby sister. Santa reached into his bag and brought out a black and white bundle of fur - a little puppy. It wasn't a sister, but it was alive, could play games and give puppy kisses and be hugged. When asked the puppy's name, I answered, "Sister! Because I don't have one." We had many adventures together.
Linda Joe Rabke, Bay City
A Christmas to remember
My special Christmas memory is the Christmas it snowed in 2004.
I was spending the night with my sister in Mission Valley so I could help her with Christmas Day dinner preparations. We awoke Christmas morning to a white wonderland.
We went outside, and I've never had a feeling of splendor, beauty, quietness and wonder in my life.
I'm 84 years old, and I'm sure I'll never experience an event like it again in my lifetime.
The quietness, the beauty - it was indescribable, the way it grabbed your heart, the beauty for your eyes to behold.
The chickens and birds were not to be seen or heard from, absolute silence. There was no traffic down the hill on the public road.
Later, the nieces and nephews enjoyed making snow angels and everyone threw snow balls.
The very best was early in the morning before anyone disturbed God's wonderful snow on Christmas morning
Marylene Tagliabue, Victoria
Our first Christmas
My husband and I have been married 46 years and have had many Christmases together, but our first one was very special.
We were newlyweds with a 51/2-year-old daughter, Melody, and we didn't have much money.
My husband, Charles, had just started a new job, and I worked in a rental office for minimum wage so we had to improvise so we had enough money for Melody's first Christmas with her new daddy.
I told my husband how much I liked glitter in jewelry and clothes etc. So, on Christmas Eve, when we opened our gifts, I found a round ornament made with, red, gold and blue glitter and a nice lighted house which still works to this day, and in a fancy gift box I found four tubes of glitter in red, blue, green and gold and a big grin on Charles' face.
To this day, he is still using that box of glitter and has made me two tiny ornaments out of pecans and a Christmas tree on a stand with tiny packages made out of tiny little match boxes wrapped in ribbon and foil and two tiny gold trees made from bathroom tissue holders and, last year, a silver snowman so we really made that box of glitter go a long way. I wouldn't trade that first Christmas for anything in the world. Merry Christmas everyone and a very Happy New Year.
Beverly Ledington, Victoria
My oldest daughter, Casandra, was in about the second grade and her thoughtfulness made my Christmas about 27 years ago.
I've always filled everyone's stockings with candy, fruit and a small gift. I would stick some candy in mine so it wouldn't be empty. But that year "Santa" filled it.
It had some candy (that I didn't buy), but the best surprise was a kind of dried out and broken cupcake wrapped up in a napkin. You see, Casandra saved her treats from her school Christmas party for me and never let on or took credit for it. The smile on her face and the gleam in her eye let me know that Santa had a very special helper that year.
Lisa Celeste, Victoria
The best Christmas
It was Dec. 25, 2010. Me and my sister were so excited we woke up at 6 a.m. We walked to the Christmas tree and started feeling the presents to try to feel what we got. We couldn't open them up until everyone came over and it was time to open the gifts. We all opened our presents, and we were all happy with what we got. My sister had received a purple iPod. I was so jealous I was saying, "Lucky duck." Then, my mom gave me my last present, and there it was, a silver iPod. I was so happy I couldn't breathe. I thanked my parents, and that was the best Christmas ever.
Kiana J. Flores, Goliad
A true Christmas memory
A special memory is my Christmas miracle of 2006. To make this story into a true miracle, I must begin much earlier. For months at work, Stephanie would constantly ask me, "Did you get that mole looked at?" My answer was always no. Finally, I gave in to her nagging and made an appointment in mid-November.
The mole was removed and sent to the lab. A week later, my doctor informed me it was melanoma.
Oblivious to the serious name, my husband and I did research on the Web. Questions began to creep into our minds, and death became the topic of many discussions.
Prayer chains were started among friends, church and family members. Surgery was scheduled for Dec. 11, and we prayed daily until that day arrived.
A stranger named Bill sat beside me in church one day. His exact words were, "God spoke to me and said that you will be fine, that you have been healed."
On Dec. 18, we received the news that we were waiting anxiously to hear. All nodes involved were benign and all traces of cancer had been removed.
That Christmas a special prayer was said for everyone's health and for my own special journey.
Jenny Smith, Victoria
Spending Christmas with family
Christmas Eve was always celebrated on Dec. 24 at the home of Grandpa and Grandma Malec's.
Their home was located on North Ridge Street in Hallettsville.
The children and grandchildren would start arriving at 3 p.m. As they came in the house, they raced immediately to the living room and tried to peek through the French doors that were covered in white sheets.
They were told Santa was in there putting the Christmas gifts under the tree and that their Aunt Anna was the only one allowed to help Santa decorate the tree and put all the gifts under the tree.
Before they were allowed to go into the living room, they had to go into the den where Grandpa was waiting to pray the rosary. The whole family assembled there.
As the rosary was being recited, you could hear the children whisper, "When is it going to be over?"
When the rosary was completed, the family went into the dinning room for a big fish dinner.
After all the dishes were washed, it was time for Grandpa to play a Christmas record while the children lined up (youngest one first), and they marched into the living room.
Screams of joy filled the room as the white sheets were taken off the French doors and they saw all the presents and the beautiful tree for the first time.
All we have left are great memories as we pass by the beautiful home, but we will never forget the love of Grandpa and Grandma and Uncle Richard and Aunt Anna Malec who made Christmas so special to everyone.
One of these grandchildren is Mike Biehunko, who is one of the funeral directors at Rosewood Funeral Chapels in Victoria.
Leona Biehunko, Schulenburg
A lesson in having fortunate Christmas
I'm going to share with you a Christmas Eve that will live with me forever. My family was never real poor, but we never wasted or misused anything and was always told about those who were less fortunate than us. I was about 10 years old, and I wanted a transistor radio for Christmas real bad. Our family opened gifts after we attended the Christmas Eve service. Of course, during the service all, I could think about was the feeling I'd have when I opened that gift I'd been wanting for all year. When we got back home, my brother, Anthony, and I raced to see the gifts all wrapped up under the tree. Mom and Dad told us that they couldn't afford much this year but we'd be getting a lot more than a lot of kids who were less fortunate than us would have. I opened my gift first. It was a jar of salad dressing. Anthony got summer sausage and little sister Jana had a loaf of bread. We were all taught to be happy with whatever we received and none of us complained. That Christmas Eve, we sat next to the Christmas tree and had sandwiches and listened to the stories that Mom and Dad told about how some kids in the world didn't even have food to eat and about how we should be happy that we have food and a home and a family to share it with. Even though that transistor radio was a dream of the past to me, somehow I felt blessed to know that I was so much more fortunate than a lot of kids in the world. That is one Christmas Eve that will live with me forever. That night, I went to sleep with the warmest, most loving feeling, and I felt that I was the luckiest girl in the world. On Christmas morning, my brother Anthony woke me up and told me that there were more presents under the tree and that our names were on them. I opened up the little square package, and, yes, there was my beautiful transistor radio. I reflected upon our sandwiches and the stories that Mom and Dad had told us the night before, and I knew that I was truly blessed, and I felt that I was the luckiest girl in the world.
Vickie Borgfeld Cross
A sister's memorable Christmas
Some of my early memories of Christmas was setting up the little crib set with Baby Jesus. Santa was not highlighted until we moved into our newly-built house next to my grandparents' home where we had previously lived. I was about 4 years old and was very excited when we moved into the house right before Christmas. Late on Christmas Eve, my younger brothers and I were told to stay with our mom in our parents' bedroom, next to the room in which the Christmas tree had been set up, while our dad went outside to check something. Soon, we became curious about the movement in the Christmas tree room and then we hear our dad yell out, "Don't set our house on fire!" We opened the door and saw Santa trying to light the little wax candles clipped to the tree. Before electricity, candles served as Christmas lights. My dad prevailed, and the candles remained unlit. After a few kind jovial words from Santa, my dad accompanied him out to his Model T Ford which suited the rough dirt roads better than a reindeer sled.
Sister Mildred Truchard, Victoria
I'll always remember Christmas 2008
That Christmas was the first year that I had officially gotten three new adopted cousins. In the summer of 2007, my cousin, Sara, and her parents, MaryJane and Lorenzo, had discovered three children they were willing to adopt. But, of course, the agency won't just give children away without asking questions so, Sara and her parents had to foster them for some time. On Nov. 2, 2008, Corinna, Raul and Aiden officially became ours. The first Christmas with them was unforgettable. They absolutely adored their gifts. They couldn't believe that what they were seeing was real. Dinner was amazing. The kids' favorite dish was my aunt's unremarkable cherry fruit salad. It had a divine smooth, sweet taste that the kids just couldn't get enough of. I remember every single loving moment even though I was only 9 years old that Christmas. My family and I have had five amazing Christmas' with Corinna, Raul and Aiden and I can't wait until the sixth.
Last Christmas was the most heartfelt Christmas I've experienced. It was the first Christmas I had with my beautiful baby cousin, Eli. Like Corinna, Raul, and Aiden, Eli was adopted. My cousin, Kelly, and her husband, Waldo, had been fostering Eli since late November of last year. Eli was adopted on Nov. 2. Eli's first Christmas with us was amazing. Everyone adored him. All our family commented on how incredibly adorable he is. As we ripped off the wrapping paper off of our gifts, Eli gathered all the paper and flew them into the air and innocently giggled the whole time he made the mess. As we tried to clean up his mess, he was jumping on all the paper. With his cuteness and vulnerability, we couldn't even stay mad at him for a minute. Eli's first Christmas with me and my family was one of the jolliest Christmases I've experienced. I can't wait until Eli's second Christmas with us this year.
Even though my family and I have had our ups and downs, we always come together on Christmas. I hope that good Christmases keep coming as our family grows.
Hannah Foster, Victoria
Earliest Christmas memories
I don't have any memories baking Christmas cookies with my grandmothers, but I am creating them for my grandchildren. Every December, we gather at my house. We make homemade dough, roll it out, cut out various shapes and decorate each one with candies and sugar. The little ones love sprinkling the sugar and using candies to create masterpieces. Some are left plain and iced when they are cool. Candy and fudge is made, along with our favorite Christmas Mint Brownies. My kitchen is a mess, and sugar is felt by the bare feet for days.
After the little bakers are through in the kitchen, it is time for a little fun before moms and dads come. We have several trees in the front for climbing and space to run. This year, the children found a large cardboard box to play with. It was used as a package (they each took a turn being closed up and opened by me), a truck and a plane. Christmas Day will bring Santa's gifts, presents from the family, and more fun time.
What memories these special children will have of Christmas at Gram and Papa's.
Jenny Smith, Victoria
After a very long two-day drive from Texas, we arrived in South Dakota a few days before Christmas to visit my mother's family. This Christmas was memorable because South Dakota didn't get any snow but the temperatures were still freezing. Herrick Lake was frozen and we slid across the ice. My sister burst her lip when she fell down and her knee hit her lip.
My uncle rode his four-wheeler and pulled us in a sled. Remember, there is no snow so we were pulled around on the grass. The friction caused our bottoms to burn. On Christmas Eve, we went to Mass in the church where my parents got married.
On Christmas Day, I woke up and ran outside, and there was no snow. I was disappointed, but then we made a feast with turkey and ham but still no snow. While last Christmas was memorable without snow, it was extra special because it was the last Christmas for my grandma. She passed away in June, but she spent her last Christmas with me. That's my story about how you don't need snow to make a Christmas special.
Sydney Chavez, Victoria
Making Christmas a little brighter
Christmas has always been my favorite time of the year. My childhood was filled with many Christmas memories, but one particular Christmas will forever be imprinted in my brain.
Two days after Christmas, when I was 12 years old, my parents lost a son, and I lost a little brother. Our world was shaken, and my Christmas was made dark because of that tremendous loss. Throughout the next year, I watched my parents grieve the loss of their precious son. I wanted nothing more than to see my parents smile and hear them once again laugh.
As Christmas approached, I kept telling my mom I wanted this one particular doll. Her response was always that I was too old to get a baby doll. Christmas Eve arrived, and I did not see the doll. I was disappointed. Suddenly, I noticed that my dad had disappeared from the living room. When I looked up, I saw him standing in front of me, holding a box. He handed me the most beautiful doll, but more importantly, he and Mom had the biggest smiles on their faces. The best gift ever was not the doll but the smiles!
Sarah Menking, Gonzales
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