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What Christmas Means to Me

Three generations share their true meaning of Christmas

Music and the Christmas Tree

“Oh Tannenbaum”, sung loudly and out of tune, carries the fresh tree down the cold, snowy mountain.  Then “Mary’s Boy Child”, from the 1962 Harry Belafonte Christmas album, starts the decorating. Colorful lights first, just like dad did, precisely placed and preferably done alone. Next, the music of kids laughing and remembering the stories of each ornament hung is sweeter than the smoothest rendition of “White Christmas”.  With the final touches applied, happy children in bed, my mind’s eye sees the “Silent Night” within the glittering beacon that is the Christmas tree.

Gloria -age 68

The Very Best Day

You know that feeling when your eyes have barely opened, and yet you just can tell that there is magic in the air and that today is going to be a day unlike the others, unlike the humdrum of the everyday?  Yes, that feeling…that is Christmas morning.  When we are younger it means that Santa has come, that cousins are on their way, that tonight is the best dinner of the year.  As a mom it means that there is joy like no other pouring out of my kiddos. It means that there are about to be more hugs than you can imagine, more people crammed into a kitchen than seems physically possible. Hugs, kisses, shouts hello, catching up, filling in, squeezing the people that love you the most in the world.  Christmas, the very best day!

-Crystal-age 42


Christmas means so much to me! My favorite part is seeing my family. I love running around and playing with my little cousins. I love eating Christmas Eve dinner. We always eat all the lucky Italian fishes. For dessert, we always have pizzelles (a type of Italian cookie), Honey cookies, and my Auntie Margaret’s pies. Then after dinner we have our yearly white elephant. I always love seeing people get my gifts. As you can see, Christmas means a lot to me and my family. 

-Mary Grace-age 9

What Christmas Means To Me

It’s seeing the ghosts of Christmas past and not being afraid

Shaking their hands and letting them slip away 

It’s seeing my 8 year old self running down the stairs 

And being mesmerized by the glittering lights 

Thinking that nothing else could be so special

It’s seeing my 10 year old self go to church early because dad had to work 

Going to waffle house with mom

It's remembering not what was said

But that she paid for another table’s bill

“It's Christmas” she said 

And I beamed 

Thinking that nothing we could ever do would be as special

It's watching your cousins grow up 

Knowing their lives in timelines of Christmas Eve dinners

Never breaking those boundaries 

But not minding  

Because the connection could never falter

Time and its knife could not shred that feeling 

A feeling quite so special 

It's that feeling that I hold dear 

As the weather turns cold and the flowers take their vacation

That oh so special time of year 

-Bella Wright-age 17