Christmas is made for memories

Published 5:16 pm Friday, December 25, 2009

Most everyone has a favorite Christmas memory. Often it’s hard to choose just one but usually, if a person thinks long enough and hard enough, one memory will stand clear.

A few Pike Contains took a few minutes and shared their favorite Christmas memories in hopes that their memories would jog the memory of others and they would share those memories with those they love this Christmas season.

“If memory serves me correctly, the Christmas of 1961 would be one of the most memorable of them all, said Scott Flowers. “It was the last Christmas I would enjoy in a two parent household, as it was the next year that our family was torn apart by what was then a disgrace, a divorce. That Christmas my Daddy went down to the Western Auto store, which at that time was on Market Street in Troy and bought me my first real gun. It was a Harrington & Richardson 20 Gauge Topper. The outward display of trust that went along with it, meant as much to me as the gun itself.”

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Forty-eight years later, Flowers said that simple and inexpensive gun means as much to him as others costing much more.

“My best Christmas ever was when my children were five and three years old,” said Michelle Richards of Brundidge.  “We had just moved from Ashtabula, Ohio to Brundidge so money was very tight for Christmas. We couldn’t afford many gifts for our children, so my husband and I planned on getting just small things, since it was all we could afford.

“Our children were up at the crack of dawn opening their presents, oohing and aahing over everything, even though we didn’t spend very much, we sang happy birthday to Jesus, since we wanted our children to understand the true meaning of Christmas, when we were done, my oldest said, ‘Oh, this is my best Christmas ever.’ Now that’s what put all the joy and happiness in my heart, and for 12 years and counting, the first thing we do each and every Christmas is to sing Happy Birthday, now that is definitely the best Christmas ever.

Judith Wilkinson Hughes said that, as a child growing up in Brundidge, she always likes to remember the days that she got to help her dad turn on the Christmas lights downtown. “That was such an enjoyment to me because I felt like I was doing something that made the season a little brighter for our community,” she said. “I really enjoyed this time with my dad because it gave us something both to look forward to each Christmas. As I look back now as an adult, I am really thankful for the quality time that I spent with my dad during the holidays.”

Linda Walls Faust has a different kind of Christmas memory – one that is probably secretly shared with many.

“The Christmas that I remember was the one when I found out who “Santa” really was,” she said.

“My Mother worked at O. K. Ramage Co. and if you wanted to tell Santa what you wanted he would always be in the back of the store ready to take your order. So my brother, Randy, and twin sister, Brinda, went on back and sat on Santa’s lap and told him the ‘big’ thing we wanted.

“In those days you only got one ‘big’ thing and then came the underwear, pj’s and the things we needed more than wanted.”

After the children talked to Santa their mother told them to get in the car and she would see that they got home.

“We did and lo and behold there came Santa and got in the car and turned the key,” Faust said.  “Since we never sat in the front seat, we sat as far back in that seat back as we could and did not say a word.  As Santa put his hand on the back of the front seat to pull out of the parking space, I recognized my daddy’s hand and ring.  The truth was out…. my daddy was Santa Claus. But the best part was when we got home and my little sister, Beverly Ann, was there.  Santa got out and opened the door to go into the house and, when she saw him she went screaming through the house and hid in the closet.  We had to call Mother to come home from work to stop her from crying.  She was scared to death.  Mother had to get Santa to actually leave before she would come out.  My brother already knew so he really got a kick out of all this mayhem.  We still laugh about this every year and have so many fond memories of Christmas in Brundidge.  My Daddy was a great Santa.  After we were grown and brought our children to see Santa (Daddy) I could really see how Daddy loved children and Christmas.  I miss him, especially at Christmas.”

Pike County Circuit Clerk Brenda Meadows Peacock favorite Christmas memory was the year she was around nine years old.

“My baby sister, Marie, and I had asked Santa for a swing set,” she said.

“We got up around 2:00 am as we always did.  There were six children in our family and not an abundance of money.  We all had our little stacks under the tree.  I opened mine, which seemed to be a little smaller than the others.  Of course my face showed the disappointment.  My sister Peggy asked what was wrong.  I said that I had asked for a swing set but didn’t get it.  She looked at me with a big smile and said ‘ Did you think he would leave it under the tree?’

“I jumped up and ran out the door, took a dive off the end of our very tall porch running straight to the most beautiful swing set ever seen.  It was freezing that night and I had on my gown and barefoot.  Mama caught Marie and stopped her from going out in the yard but I made it before anyone could catch me. I was grinning from ear to ear and swinging as high as I could go. All my family stood on the porch watching me and laughing.”  Peacock said Christmas was always special at her house.  There was lots of love and fun.  “My aunt that lived in Sebring, Florida and she always sent us a box of fresh picked citrus fruit and to this day when I smell an orange it brings back all the fond memories of Christmas for the Roy Meadows family,” she said.

Peacock shared her Christmas memories in memory of Roy Meadows, James Larry (Buddy) Meadows and Gail Meadows Tyler in hopes that others will, too, remember their loved ones during this wonderful season of the year.