As I write this, Christmas is still a few days away, and the Christmas spirit is alive and well at the Daily American Republic.
Our stockings are hung in anticipation of the big day. Our secret Santas have been keeping the mood cheerful for a few weeks. The stockings are outside my office, so I see employees checking them throughout the day.
Some may think that’s silly and childish, but I enjoy helping bring out the “little kid” in all of us this time of the year.
It’s easy to get caught up in all the negativity this world offers. Not just daily, but almost hourly. It can bring you down and you may have a hard time getting up again.
Last month I asked employees of Butler County Publishing (the DAR, Dexter Statesman and Doniphan Prospect-News) to share what they are thankful for and a Christmas memory. They were all published in our monthly newsletter. I’d like to share some of those Christmas memories.
• “One of my most vivid memories was the Christmas Eve we were driving home from my aunt’s house, and my dad inadvertently drove into water over the road and our car stalled. My younger brother and I crawled into the back glass (old cars had room there) as the water began to fill the floorboards. I don’t remember how we got out of the water, only that we did, and our new Donkey Kong game had been saved. Come Christmas morning, after all our presents were opened, my parents headed out with the shopvac to vacuum the water out of the car.” — Michelle Friedrich
• “One Christmas that really sticks out in my memory is Katy’s fourth Christmas (she’s 20 now). She was finally old enough to care and was so excited the whole month of December. She wrote a letter to Santa and I took her to see him at the coliseum. She begged for a Baby Alive, a baby doll that was popular then. And on Christmas morning she unwrapped that Baby Alive and cried happy tears. It was magical.” — Marisa Lipsey
• “As far as one particular Christmas memory, I can’t think of just one, but my favorite Christmas memories are spending Christmas at my Grandma and Grandpa’s house.” — Lynda Whitmer
• “I have lots of wonderful Christmas memories and most of them involve my daughter.” — Kelly Joplin
• “My favorite Christmas memory was last year, when we were able to make a last-minute trip to Monett to see my grandson enjoy his very first Christmas.” — Paul Davis
• “(I’m) thankful to worship freely! Thankful for my good health! Just thankful for all the blessings of the Lord. For He is a living God!” — Lonnie Tilley
• “My favorite Christmas memories are making up riddles and games for Taylor and Tucker to open their presents to. Once I put the words to Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer on their packages and they had to find their presents, put them in order of the song and then they could open them. If only they were still little.” — Christy Pierce
• “A Christmas memory my family retells often is of a Christmas morning when I was in college. My younger brother was about 14 and he was handing out presents when our live Christmas tree fell over on him. Everyone laughs because we made him wait until we took a photo before we moved the tree.” — Donna Farley
• “The first year I cooked Christmas dinner for my entire family. About two or three weeks before, my mom informed me that she just couldn’t do it any more, it was too much for her. I just couldn’t imagine spending Christmas Day without my family. This will be my fifth year.” — Bridget Curnutt
• “Most of my favorite Christmas memories involve watching my son on Christmas morning through the years. Christmas through a child’s eyes … it’s the most magical thing to witness.” — Barbie Rogers
• “The year my brother came to visit at Christmas with his kids and it snowed a lot that week. They lived in Florida and had never seen snow before (the kids). It was so much fun watching them play in it!” — Sherry Osborn
• “When I was 6, I told my mom and dad that I knew there was no Santa. On Christmas Eve, we were at home and getting ready for bed when I heard a car pull up and someone knocked on the door. My parents told me to answer the door. It was Santa and he was carrying the No. 1 item on my wish list — a Kenner Give-A-Show projector. He also told a lot of funny jokes and hung candy canes from my ears. I was a Santa believer again. It wasn’t until several years later that I learned ‘Santa’ was my Uncle John from Louisville.” — Ron Smith
• “Putting a cutout of the front of a Christmas card that my Grandmother (Mimmy) cut out and used as a name tag on one of my gifts. Hallmark has nothing on this ornament.” — Kim Bradley
• “My Christmas memory is a bit sad but when I look back on it now I am grateful that my grandmother got to see my son before she passed. Alex was about 2 months old at the time and my MeMe was so excited to be able to hold him and spend time with the two of us.” — Cynthia Coleman
• “This was before Christmas, but it is Christmas related. When I was younger, my cousin David Kiefer jumped on our tree — I mean full-fledge spider monkey jumped in the middle of our tree. This, of course, sent the tree toppling over, knocking ornaments off the tree, and other things in the living room everywhere. My mom had a cow. The reason this sticks out in my mind so much is because it looked like something from one of those overly acrobatic subtitled karate movies.” — Shanea Rhoades
• “The best Christmas memory that comes to mind is the year we took the grandchildren to shop for something they could buy for others (they weren’t allowed to buy even one thing for themselves), they picked it all out themselves and put a lot of thought into it and by the end of the day they said ‘that feels good’ … topped off by taking presents to a grandmother that was raising three grandchildren and didn’t have money for Christmas presents for them. She cried, we all cried. Agreed … it feels better to give than to receive.” — Donna Featherston
I hope you enjoyed the Christmas memories as much as I did.
And thank you for reading the DAR.
Chris is publisher for the Daily American Republic. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org .