CNN - Season's Greetings! - Your holiday memories - December 1995
Happy Holidays from CNN Interactive

CNN Interactive asked:
What is your favorite holiday memory?

Last updated December 25, 1995 at 10:05 a.m. EST (1505 GMT)

I kept up the traditional mega-dinner when my ex-wife and were together out here in Hawaii, except I would cook. We'd invite lots of people including people with no place to go or "strays," as I like to call them. It's a little sad that I have become a "stray," but okay I suppose. I have great memories of Christmas past!

Name : Jose B. Lee
Email :

(Wife) Mine was when my Dad came home from Vietnam. We were living in New Jersey and it was cold. My Dad was singing "White Christmas"...(Daughter) Mine was when we were living in CT with Grandma while Dad was stationed overseas with the Marines. It was cold and snowing in the hills. (Son) Mine was a Christmas when I was 7 years old. We had a really big tree and helped decorate it. The kittens kept climbing up in the tree. (Husband) Mine was when I was only 4 years old. My oldest brother carried me out to the living room as I was not fully awake. There were gifts for all and the house was a happy place to be.

My favorite holiday memory is the first year we moved to our house in the country. The house wasn't much, but it was nestled in the woods on a small river. On New Year's Day we woke up to a beautiful gentle snowfall, and at 5:30 a.m. looked across the river and saw deer walking through the trees. My husband and I looked at each other and said, let's go! We put on our longjohns, grabbed a thermos full of coffee, jumped into the canoe, and paddled downstream a couple miles through a beautiful winter wonderland. Absolutely enchanting!

The first time I can remember feeling warm fuzzies at Christmas was the first Christmas after my hubby and I were married (1990). It seems that in years past, only bad things happened during the holidays (grandmother passed away Xmas eve, divorced in December, and other things like that). But in 1991, I was welcomed into my husband's family with unconditional love and acceptance. For the first time in my life (I'm over 50), I felt warmth and the closeness of a really close family. It had nothing to do with gift-giving at all. I wish everyone could feel those warm fuzzies, especially the families of those in Bosnia.

I am now 48 and Christmas at home as a child is always a warm memory. The special time would be in the evening. After coming in from milking, then eating supper and the house would quiet down. I would go into the Living Room where the Christmas tree was lit and under the tree was the Nativity. The room was lit only by the tree and the smell of the pine and the warmth of the season would fill the room. Just to be quiet in the room and study the Nativity would bring such peace to me. The wonder of it all.

Name : Dale E. Kreider
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My favourite memories (as there are more than one) of Christmas are first getting the tree and decorating it. On Christmas morning as the fireplace crackled in the background, Christmas gifts would be open. The dog and cat would have to be in on the festivities as I think they enjoyed Christmas as much as we did. After the gift opening, there would be a big breakfast and then as the turkey was cooking, we would make a quick visit to a few of the neighbours. After the large dinner, relatives and more friends would be visited.

The second favorite holiday was Christmas. Under a newly cut tree with cut-glass, star-sparkled ornaments, Santa piled fringed cowboy outfits, bags of glass marbles, capguns, checkers and other board games, bows and arrows, story books, with robes and nightgowns sewn expertly for my brother and myself; and my doll made magically new with a stylish new wardrobe.

Name : Carol Rice
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I do remember Christmas celebration in my childhood. It was more than 30 years ago and Japan was not as wealthy as it is now. Christmas was the only occasion in a year when I can have a present I want from my parents and we can afford to buy a real, round cake. I also remember when my father bought a small Christmas tree with decorations and the time when all the lights were turned on. I know it sounds wierd to you that we non-Christians actually enjoy Christmas, but thanks to our amazing tolerance toward religions, Christmas does exist in Japan and in the hearts of Japanese people. It is just regrettable that these days it's turned into a stupid occasion for young couples to spend the night in a romantic way, as the commercialism spurs it, and if you don't have a date on Christmas eve you somehow feel very awkward. New Year's eve and New Year holidays are more significant in Japan, so it is the busiest season for us.

Name : Noriko
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I was 5, and my sister and I were in our bunkbed Christmas Eve. Upon the rooftop, we heard footsteps. I remember us bouncing in joy that SANTA was coming with presents. Mom entered the room to calm us down and take us outside..and there he was! On the roof with a bag of presents!! By the time we re-entered the house, the presents were by the tree, and MYSTERIOUSLY...DAD appeared!

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Every year my Dad would take us for an auto tour of the town's Christmas light displays. The trip would always end with a stop at a friend of the family's house for treats. The friend lived on a street that was round, and encircled a park. To announce our arrival, my Dad would drive around and around and around past our friend's house, over and over again, honking the horn until our friend would come outside. Then he would continued to drive around some more, honking and waving until we were laughing hysterically. Finally, we would park and all go inside.

Name:Anita Russell

It was the funniest thing I ever saw. Kevin went all around the room knocking down the Christmas tree, going bouncy bouncy in his little chair, he was only 1 year old and in diapers but he loved bouncy bouncy, because as a child Kevin was quite a nervious child and had several nervious tendencys so I think it helped him get rid of his nerviousness. He got over that in later years. He also had bad eyes. He is my little brother. This was in Christmas of 1956.

From: Robert MacCulloch
E-mail: at Internet

Thinking way back to when I was a child, maybe 6 or 7, I remember the year that there were candles on everybody's porch. These were real candles, not those electric ones you get now-a-days. And they didn't burn as yet another decoration in the window. These were signs of a desire for peace and a reminder that not everybody was 'home for the holidays'. You see, it was the late 1970's and there were hostages overseas. And back in the small town of North Plainfield, NJ, the people on my street spent a season praying for others and thanking God for what we had, and what we did not have to endure. I will not forget that Christmas... ever.

The last few years I had taught English to Buddist Chinese elementary school aged children. Every year we would have a month of holiday stories. One week they would hear of Hanukkah the next Santa Claus, the third the gospel according to Luke. Finally the last week we would have a Christmas party. Even though they all learn to sing Silent Night in Chinese as part of the fifth grade circulum here it was often the first time they heard the TRUE story of Christmas.

My favorite holiday is Thanksgiving. Last year for Thanksgiving my boyfriend asked me what I was thankful for. Of course I responded that I was happy he has been in my life for 5 1/2 years. When I asked him what he was thankful for, he responded that I was in his life, and he got down on one knee and ask me if I would marry him. It was the best Thanksgiving ever. We were married July 1, 1995, and we love each other more every single day.

My favorite holiday memory happened years ago. My favorite holiday was Thanksgiving Day when my mother would wake up early in the morning and bring the kitchen to life with the activities of making our family's Thanksgiving feast. Your typical Thanksgiving in Hawaii - roast turkey, brown gravy, stuffing, yams, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie, and pineapple upside-down cake. Then I got my first job and had to work on Thanksgiving day. I was busy helping customers when my mother showed up in line with a picnic basket full of roast turkey and all the trimmings.

As we are sending troops into Bosnia just in time for Christmas, I am reminded of the last time we had troops in harm's way for the holidays. During the ramp up to the Gulf War, a local Army Reserve unit had deployed hundreds of men and women to Saudi Arabia. Their battalion commander asked me to sit in for Santa Claus at a party for the families left behind. Hundreds of family members attended with their children. Child after child asked for the one thing they really wanted, but Santa could not be sure to provide, that their Daddy or Mommy be home safely in time for Christmas.

My favorite holiday memory would have to be every holiday that I had with my father. He died just over a month before Christmas in 1981. Those were the days when we were kids and the best memories for are from back then. We had the typical American Christmas morning. Opening gifts and then off to Christmas Mass and then to the grandparents. Christmas was never the same after my father died, nor will it ever be. Now that I am older I look back on those days with fond memories.

It was a cool winter day Dec. 24th 1990, I was on the Battleship Wisconsin during Operation Desert Shield. Christmas eve. Standing watch. Thinking,"what does Christmas mean? and this what I come up with. Even in the midst of war, there is some place in the mind and soul that seems so warm thinking of family, friends, loved ones. Watching the snow fall over the skyline of Milw, Wi. The lights that light up the neigborhoods. The kids ripping open their gifts. What I'm saying is "It's all in the mind and soul,the feeling of love and family, Of Giving to your Countryman. Have a Mind and Soul Holiday season.

My favorite holiday memory is last Christmas with my new baby girl Emily.

I have great memories from when I lived in the States, in Dallas, Texas. Back then it was very difficult times for me because when I decided to go I knew no one there. The best memories come from the friends I made there, especially Vicky Pierce and her family. They made me feel at home the moment I got to their house. We had great Christmas parties (just between us) and I guess I'll never forget that. I miss them very much. I have to go now, I'll give more details some other day. I now live in Recife, state of Pernambuco, Brazil. I'm a journalist.

One of my favorite Holiday Memories is a tradition. Every Christmas Eve, my family and I go to my Grandma and Grandpa's house. We eat really yummy food and play Sheephead, my favorite card game. We get home around 1:00 a.m., and wake up at about 4:00 a.m. to open presents.

My best memories of Christmas were my visits as a child to the downtown John Wanamaker department store in Philadelphia. They had a wonderful toy department. There was a train that kids could ride that took you high above the toys in the department.It was great fun! There was a walk-through fantasy Christmas display with snow scenes and other holiday sights that was always fun to see. And Santa was there to accept personal requests from all of us youngsters. There was also a dancing water fountain lit by colored lightsin the main lobby of Wanamaker's that would dance to the Christmas music provided either from their pipe organ or from recordings. Waunamaker's is a memory of Christmas that I had not thought about in thirty years until you asked. Thanks for asking!

As a first generation child of Hungarian parents, on Christmas Eve, baby Jesus brought the presents and not Santa. I remember waiting for the the tinkling of a little bell to signal that baby Jesus had come and gone. My parents would strew tinsel along the foyer and tell me that it was the hair of angels that helped baby Jesus to bring the gifts. Then the living room door would open and the tree with lights all a glow and piles of presents would be waiting. That first sight was real magic never to be experienced again. The closest feeing to it is now when my three children wake up Christmas morning and the look on their faces when they see what Santa has brought for them.


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