Thursday’s Thoughts

Thursday’s Thoughts: Your Most Memorable Holiday

Posted on: December 12, 2008



It’s the Memories We Take With Us…

It’s the memories that we take with us when we leave this earth…

the memories of love, joy, elation….

and, sadness, loss, grief…

But, it’s living life and experiencing them with our friends and family that makes these memories, these legacies we leave behind… our etch, our footprint on the earth’s history.

I think back… what is my MOST FAVORITE holiday memory?

Well, I had some good ones when I was a little girl.

And, I had some great ones as an adult.

It’s hard to decide on just one Christmas memory that would be my “all-time favorite.”  So, I’ll give you one from my childhood and one from my adult life.

Childhood Christmas Memory

I was very fond of my maternal grandmother, Doris.  I think, as an adult, that I get all of my creativity from her.  She could do anything artistic, especially write.  She loved performance art, as I do.  I remember her writing plays and such for her grandkids to perform for their parents (her daughters).  Christmas was her favorite favorite holiday and she loved Christmas music.  The year that she passed, we grieved for her at our Christmas Eve celebration.  I had a photocopy of the holiday music songbook from school that we were practicing in choir.  I rounded up the kids, upstairs in our room and talked with them about learning and singing one of the songs for our parents.  I told them that grandma would appreciate it if we did it, even though she wasn’t there.   We decided on Silent Night.

We went downstairs to the living room and rounded up the parents on the couches not far from the Christmas Tree.  Even though not all the kids were “on-board” with wanting to sing in front of the guests… me being “drama queen… made for stage girl” starting singing right aloud.  Before I knew it, we were all chiming in.  Towards the end of the song, one of the precious angel ornaments that Doris gave to either my sister or I (I don’t know whose it was because we had the same ones), literally floated from the tree branch to the ground.  Although it was delicate, it did not break.  I noticed it’s fall, as did my mother and her sister.  But, the fall didn’t seem normal… and, nobody was close enough to the tree to brush the tree to cause the fall.  In fact, since Doris had bought a series of these angels for my sister and I before she died (so that we’d have an angel a year for years to come), my mother was adamant about placing the angel ornaments back far in the branches so they could not fall off and break. 

For the family members that find spirits to be a figment of the imagination, they dismissed it and still do to this day.  But, I believe that for my mom and I, especially, we know what happened and we hold it as a beautiful memory in our hearts.  We know that Doris was there as we sang Silent Night… and we knew that she wanted us to know that she was there and that she loved her grandchildren singing.  There was nothing more perfect to let us know that it was her than the angel.  Every Christmas, even as an adult, I still feel her.  I wish that she was still in my life, but she’ll always be in my heart… and, in my writing.

Adulthood Christmas Memory

I was in love with a really fantastic man.  He was my everything… and, in the train wreck that is otherwise referred to as my life, I lost him and our relationship.  But, I’m FINALLY starting to heal and realize that our paths just weren’t meant to be joined forever… and, the tears have stopped (that’s good!).  In any event, my best Christmas as an adult was the first one that I spent with him.  Having him “play Santa” with me was incredible.  The twins having a “father-figure” in the house was amazing.  I remember him not being used to Christmas morning and having to be bribed out of bed with coffee.  In our jammies, with coffee in hand and a Christmas Eve hangover (i.e. too much food, wine and fun)… we curled up together on the couch and watched the twins TEAR THROUGH the presents like they were NOTHING!  Massive flurries of wrapping paper flying about and two little girls asking him to please “can you get this one out of the box for me?” or “can you put the batteries in this one?”  He was so patient and kind.  We escaped to Mexico shortly after Christmas… and fell in love (the twins were at their dad’s).

For years thereafter, he helped with teaching sports and bike riding.. played games and fussed with electronics.  As I have been single most of my “mommy-hood,” and alone with the girls on nearly every Christmas Morning, it meant the world to have the love of my life beside me… curled up with coffee, warm socks, bathrobes, Christmas music on, fireplace going… twins filled with joy.  I appreciate those memories and will always hold them near and dear to my heart.


Ok, Thursday’s Thoughts and A Novel Menagerie Readers…


What is your most favorite holiday memory?

The contest rules are always the same… but, to recap:

  1. Post a comment below, or
  2. Send me an email at, or
  3. Post your reply on your blog… put the link in the comments below – DOUBLE ENTRY FOR THIS!
  4. Must be a Christmas/Hannakuh/Kwanza type of holiday – no Easter/Halloween, etc.


Thank you for entering.

The prize?

Oh, you want to know the prize?

Your choice of any book from or a BookCharmer from






25 Responses to "Thursday’s Thoughts: Your Most Memorable Holiday"

I’ve posted this on Win A Book. No need to enter the contest.

Being an Amazon junkie you’d think I’d say I’ll enter for the prize, but the truth is, I need a good memory this year and this is a good excuse to make me think and write about one or two.. so I’ll be entering this contest.. I will come back with a link when I post it.

I love the story of the falling angel.. I’m sure she was listening and wanted you all to know!

My favorite holiday memories are from Christmas mornings when I was younger. My siblings and I would get up SO early (like, 4 am) and wait patiently til we were allowed to wake up our parents at 7. It was one of the few times a year that we all got along (there are 4 of us, within 6 years) and we would just hang out all morning, just the 4 of us, being super patient and staring at the presents under the tree. Then when we would wake our parents up, we would rip into the presents like crazy. My mom and I would make Monkey Bread for everyone and we would eat that with bacon and eggs… yum! Then we would be lazy around the house for a few hours before packing up and heading to my aunt’s house.

We’re all older now, and my parents are divorced, but I still remember those mornings so fondly and I’m excited to create similar traditions with my (future) children.

My favorite holiday memory is going to have to be during Christmas. We always have family or friends over so the house is packed and filled with warmth and love. We share gifts and stories and just have a good time. It’s wonderful.


My uncle used to get glass bottles of Coke and leave them outside overnight and tell us that Santa had left them for us. We would always go outside first thing in the morning to get our drinks before we opened our gifts.

Your Christmas memories were very touching. I wish for you that in 2009 you will find another love of your life. You deserve a happily ever after!

One of my favorite memories is when we moved into a new house on Christmas Eve. We were exhausted, but we still got the tree put up. When we opened our presents, we were surrounded by unpacked boxes. But we were happy to be able to celebrate Christmas together in a new house.

From Kathy:

My favorite Christmas memory is from my childhood – I think I was in the 3rd or 4th grade. All I wanted for Christmas was a watch. I had it all picked out – it had a gray band and I thought it was beautiful. About a week before Christmas, a box with my name on it appeared under the tree. It was the size of a watch box and I just knew I was getting that watch! I played with that present every day and talked about my watch like I already owned it. I think I drove everyone crazy with it. When I opened that package on Christmas morning, it was a watch box, but there was no watch in it – it was filled with chocolate covered cherries. My heart sank and I wanted to cry. My dad could tell I was disappointed and came over to give me a hug, and there was my watch, hanging out of his shirt pocket. I still have that watch, but never wear it anymore.

Thanks for the contest!


From Carmen T:

What beautiful holiday memories. Thanks for sharing them.

As for mine, it’s a little similar to your childhood one.
I was about 11 years old one Christmas and my cousins and I were gathered at one cousin’s house for the annual Christmas party. Quite frankly, there was nothing to do there, and I was just lounging around when I saw a copy of “The Night Before Christmas.” So for fun, I was reading it out loud for my cousins (the youngest was 7 years old). Anyways, somehow the reading became an idea that we should make a play of sorts for the adults with the story.

I became the narrator and director. And I got my cousins to become all the other characters. Except that there weren’t enough of us so some of them had to play double parts. I don’t think we ever performed it for the adults but I remember laughing and having the best time ever with my cousins because of it. And I guess that’s what Christmas is about… the time shared with family and friends. =)

Every year when I was growing up, we would decorate our tree to the music of Mitch Miller and we would have french bread and cheese fondue. One year my oldest sister dumped the entire pot of fondue all over the countertop where we were gathered, dipping our bread. I thought at first that my parents would get angry, but instead, they both laughed and we all joined in. I remember the feeling that our time together was more important than the silly mistake, and you know what? We all just started dipping our bread into the fondue on the counter! My mom even took a picture of us – it’s one of my family’s favorites. 🙂

Stacey @ tree, root, and twig

some of my fave christmas memories come now from the time spent with my grandparents who have since passed. My grandmother made mine and my brothers stockings…i just wish as children we had the sense to cherish these memories while the loved ones are still with us…..

From our friend, Christy:

My parents made every holiday special and memorable.
I can remember as a young girl being so excited for the month of December ~ it was the ONLY time we were ever allowed to eat on TV trays AND in the living room instead of the dining room. Back when there were only 3 TV stations to watch and HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS, SANTA CLAUS IS COMING TO TOWN, THE LITTLE DRUMMER BOY, etc. were special events. We would have a fire burning in the fireplace and we would eat by its glow and the lights from the Christmas tree. WHICH I remember wrapping foil around the big c-9 bulbs so my Dad could flock the tree in the garage and then we would have to find all the foiled bulbs and unwrap them. For desert we would be treated to homemade egg nog and cookies.

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to do this ~ my 27 year old son-in-law passed away in his sleep Monday morning. I’ve had my 13 month old granddaughter since then and my husband has been staying with our daughter. I’ve been distraught thinking how terrible this is for both of them, how my granddaughter will never know her Daddy and how the Christmas holiday will always be associated with his passing. I appreciate being reminded of good and happy times.


Words to Christy,

There is no way to make sense of such a senseless loss. My heart aches for your daughter… the pain must be unbearable for her. Thank God that she has a mother like you to be there for her daughter, and her as well. When she’s feeling better, down the road, get her the book The Alchemy of Loss by Abagail Carter. Also, refer her over to Abagail’s website (link is on A Novel Menagerie in Featured Authors)… Abagail would be an amazing resource/contact for your daughter. She lost her husband in 9/11.

If there is anything that you need, including prayers, feel free to email me!


One of my favorite Holiday memories has to be when my family and I went to a Motown concert last Christmas. Everyone went, my cousins, my aunts and uncles, just everybody. The Four Tops, the Drifters and the Marvelettes were preforming and we had a blast. My cousin Jason was picked to go up on stage and prance along to the music wearing reindeer antlers and a red nose. And when the concert ended, well were sad for the fun to end but as it happened, fate had one more surprise in store for us. My aunt Brenda wanted to leave the building via another route since the line for getting out of the building was so long and we ended up accidentally walking into a back stage Christmas party with all the bands. I am sure these people had no idea who we were but they shook our hands, took pictures with us and signed a few things anyhow. I had a great time and so did everyone else.
Happy Holiday everyone.


[…] Thursday’s Thoughts asks: What is your most favorite holiday memory? […]

I always look forward to putting up the Christmas tree at my sister’s house with her, especially because it has been years since I’ve had a tree in my house. It’s a really special moment, even though it is a lot of work… more so for my sister than me since she’s the taller of the two and usually gets stuck doing the lights. Besides, I have absolutely no talent for lights or decorations. I can’t hang something without first asking my sister if it’s in a good spot. If I didn’t check with her first, I would only double her work as she tries to rearrange my awfully placed ornaments after hanging her own. I have no eye for decoration. Still, she lets me help.

This year was the first year of ‘baby-proofing’ the tree. My sister decided that it was best that we keep ornaments away from the bottom of the tree and only use the cheesy ornaments that won’t be missed if broken or lost, or won’t shatter into pieces and potentially harm my nephew.

We sent my nephew and the guys into the media room to watch TV and play video games while we set up the tree. It was just too difficult to get everything arranged with them there. At first, we tried to barricade the area to keep my nephew out since he kept scattering the tree branches we were separating my color and side to assemble. But, his persistence made it necessary that they go into a different room and shut the door. Besides, them doing this allowed me to talk to my sister. So rarely do we get to talk and she really is the only person I can talk to frankly and honestly about my life and my feelings. Putting up the tree is always a bonding moment and it’s cathartic because I get to rant and complain and hate my life while she nods her head and gives me advice. It never feels like she is judging me or thinks that I’m silly for being bothered by the things that do. So, as we put up the tree, we talked and joked around and laughed. It was tons of fun, even when the lights we were stringing kept going out and she had to redo it from the bottom up to space them out enough to make the tree look even… though it still didn’t.

We had to carefully pick through all of my sister’s pretty ornaments and choose the terrible ones. We had small plush Santas and clothes pin clip reindeer. Her tree is covered in plastic cartoon decorations, so different from the pretty crystal and glass ornaments and balls we usually adorn it with. It definitely isn’t the most classy tree, but it’s the tree that all of our gifts are going under. I love it! We put it up and we put it together. Each piece on it, each silly ornament, was placed with care and has been collected throughout time. Despite what each ornament is, it represents something else. Even the Donald Duck on skis is special to us!

But this is the best part about this Christmas memory: as soon as we opened the door and my nephew stepped out to see the lit up tree, he went right to it. It was so wonderful to see him completely fascinated with the lights. His first Christmas, he was only almost six months old. Now that he is more aware of the things around him, he is more interested in them. The image of him standing in front of the tree just staring at the lights will be forever burned into my memory. I wish that I could have seen the tree from his mind and known exactly what he was feeling at that moment. It must be amazing to see something like a bright, tall tree for the first time at such a young age.

Of course, within seconds, he had an ornament RIPPED down from the tree! I guess you can prepare and prepare, but they always get you. At least it was a plastic cartoon figure and not something that could hurt him.

I also posted it at my blog here:

My favorite Christmas was probably my first one as a family in my own home. It was my first Christmas with my husband, a daughter and I was expecting our son. I loved decorating and readying everything for the holidays for the first time as a family.


My answer is on my blog… Thanks for the contest and to all sharing your memories.
Sararush (at) hotmail (dot) com

My favorite is from childhood also, probably because it includes my parents and sister who are now all deceased. After midnight Mass, my mother would let us open one present. Just to be up that late and with all the family and getting to open something before the morning was wonderful.
florida982002 at yahoo dot com

My favorite Christmas memories are making gingerbread houses with my family. Thanks for the chance to win.

i came back here the other day and left the link for the story for your contest but it doesn’t show so I am back to leave it again so that I am in your contest..

One of my favorite Holiday memories is when I was younger because I believed in Santa and Christmas morning is just more EXCITING then, you know? Nowadays, we normally open gifts on Christmas Eve, which I love…but it’s a new tradition.
I just like being with my family honestly. The times where more are going on are the best, and it doesn’t simply feel like another day with more food or something!

lauren51990 AT aol DOT com

My favorite holiday memory is from when I was a kid. I woke up in the middle of the night on Christmas Eve and was going down to hall to find my mom. I saw a man dressed in a red suit by the tree putting out presents so I immediately went back to bed. No one believed me the next day. Eventually a few years later I learned Santa wasnt real but still to this day no one will admit who it was dressed like that putting out the presents.

Here’s one of my Christmas memories: The Christmas I was five I remember opening up my gifts and getting lots of fairy and princess related gifts (I was obsessed with those) and being so happy. Then I made a fort out of blankets, chairs, and tables and brought all my gifts into it. The fort stayed up for over a week. Later that day I went and played with the neighbor’s granddaughter.

I posted about the contest on my blog:

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