What’s Your Christmas Story? {Charmed Giveaway!}

This post is sponsored by James Avery Artisan Jewelry

Hello my lovely friends!

Christmas is in full blown mode now that December is almost here.  It sure gets here faster and faster each year, doesn’t it?  I’ve decided that my parents were right in that time flies as you get older and when the years creeped by, now the decades are flying by at lightening speed.  I still have some fond memories of Christmas growing up though, do you?

How many of you have been an angel in the annual church Christmas play?  I know I was an angel a few times.  How I remember being in my Daddy’s little church and the children had parts to recite in front of the whole church.  I was always sooooo nervous doing that, but it’s so cute when I see the children now up there being kids.  There’s nothing like Christmas through a child’s eyes.

The memories are vivid of standing behind the curtain, which was nothing but sheets hung up on wires with safety pins. Oh, those sweet memories of peeking out at the audience who were making their way in the church to see the Christmas program on a Sunday night.  It seemed as if we were about to make our big debut and boy, was it scary.  We wore angel costumes, which were more white sheets and glittery tinsel on our heads.

Anyone else?

Angels we have heard on high!

How angels play a big part in the Christmas story. The real Christmas story of Jesus’ birth and how the angel came to Mary and Joseph to tell them of His coming birth.  Oh Holy Night!  Angels are just such a special part of Christmas and the story of our Savior’s birth.

So, it’s no wonder that I chose an angel charm.

Today, I’m partnering with James Avery for A Charmed Christmas. And one of you will win this cute sterling silver angel charm too, so stay tuned.

This charm brings back sweet Christmas memories for me as I think back on my wonderful childhood and what a special time it was.  I hope my cute great nieces and Mark’s grandchildren have wonderful memories as well. We were both very fortunate to have great parents who made Christmas special for both of us.  Our childhood Christmas’s were not as big and showy as Christmas has become now, but I think we were so blessed to have those sweet memories of by-gone Christmastime.

James Avery is more than just jewelry. I love that James Avery started his Christian jewelry company in 1957 by mail order.  It’s a family owned company offering sterling silver, 14K and 18K white and yellow gold jewelry, and gemstones for men and women.

And the artisans that make this beautiful jewelry are located in the Hill Country of Texas.  You will see many Christian symbols in James Avery jewelry, so I hope you’ll check them out and see what they have to offer in the way of unique gift items.

Tis the season!

Kathy has been collecting James Avery jewelry for over 30 years.  She loves charms but always had a hard time deciding on which ones to get. When her mom passed away, it gave her the perfect opportunity to get the Tree of Life charm which honors her mom’s life. She remembers that her mom always had interesting stories to tell about family members, so that was the perfect keepsake to remember her mother.

What’s your story and favorite memories of Christmas?

That’s such a sweet story and I love that she started an ancestry bracelet that she’s added to over the years.

And she looks forward to passing her charm bracelet on in the future so it can stay in the family for generations to come.  I had a silver charm bracelet when I was a teenager and I wish I had kept it and added to it over the years.  I don’t even remember what happened to it!

Today, I’m sharing an angel charm with one of you, so one of you will win the same angel charm I have pictured here.  All you have to do is leave a comment and tell me:

What’s your favorite Christmas story or memory from your family?

I’ll choose a winner in a week and leave it here on the Rafflecopter.   Just fill out the Rafflecopter with your email address, checking that you are leaving a comment and then leave a comment on this post.

I haven’t been great about announcing these winners, but when I do a giveaway, the winner always shows up on the Rafflecopter widget a week later.  I always email the winners too, so they know who they are! I can assure  you that someone wins!

That’s it!  Enjoy browsing at James Avery and see what you find that you might love for yourself or to gift a loved one.  This is a great time of year to discover a fun piece of jewelry that will be a wonderful keepsake in the future.

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- Rhoda

Comments

  1. My mother was the oldest of 10 children. My favorite Christmas memory is ALL of us…brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, cousins, in-laws…gathering at my grandparents’ home for Christmas Dinner. The kitchen counters were loaded with food. Adults sat at the kitchen table, dining room table, and a large “board” table set up on sawhorses in the living room. Children were left to find a place. My favorite memory is eating dinner sitting on the stairs surrounded by cousins up and down the stairs. Such fun!

  2. Andrea Corley says:

    Rhoda, Thanks for sharing your angel story. I wish you would post a picture of you, as a young angel at your dad’s church! That would make my Christmas merry!

    I have many memories of Christmas but the one I love the most included my twin sister. We were born on December 16, so we always have to compete with Christmas and birthday. We were always involved in shenanigans at Christmas because we wanted to meet Santa. One Christmas in our tiny little brick house in East Cobb, my sister and I decided we were going to see Santa no matter what. Early Christmas Eve, after eating our family traditional dinner of spaghetti, salad and garlic bread, Christmas is not Christmas with out that meal, we quickly wanted to go to bed so Santa would come. Dad had put the plastic Santa and reindeer of the rooftop which was a great memory. My twin and I slept in the same room with twin beds, we were only 5 at the time. The Christmas before my grandmother had made us “big dolls” these were dolls she had made that looked like me and my sister, and they were life size. I still have it to this day. After things quieted down in the house we jumped out of bed and put those dolls in the bed and covered them up. Nobody would be able to tell it was not us sleeping :). We then sneaked into the living room (which they had back in the day) and hid behind the curtain. We could clearly see outside and waited patiently for Santa. After about an hour or so my dad left and later came back with a truck load of toys, we could see them outside. Mom and dad began taking them out and assembling when required and putting the gifts under the Christmas tree. Wow, we got a shock, mom and dad were Santa….. So at an early age we found out that Santa was only a concept… that did not ruin our Christmas however! It was a fun remembrance of Christmas past.

    I love James Avery! Thanks for partnering with them on this!!

    • Andrea, I love your Christmas memories. I don’t think we even have any pictures of those Christmas programs at church. We had so few pics back then, but I sure remember it.

  3. Linda Hickey says:

    My best memory’s of Christmas as a child, is all the special sacrifices both my parents did for us children. I’m the oldest of six and my parents did everything they could to make sure all six of us had the best Christmas. Daddy always worked two jobs and mama would do without so many times. I remember sometimes she had only mabey three dresses to her name. Daddy working so hard to do the best he could. But somehow we always had abundance of love, joy, happiness and four or five gifts a peace at Christmas. We didn’t have a lot of money but my parents gave us all these other wonderful things. That’s what Christmas is all about. And what a wonderful memory! Also the aluminum foil Christmas tree with the four colored turning lights to change the color of the tree. And having old fashion popcorn with Coca-Cola around the tree. Both of my wonderful parents are gone. But what they have passed on to me is what Christmas is really about. Thank you Mama and Daddy…….

  4. A Christmas memory of mine, is always going out to our property and cutting down a tree from the wild. They were never trimmed just allowed to grow as they wanted and always made for one of a kind moment.

  5. My favorite Christmas memory is making ornaments for our tree. My Mother would gather styrofoam balls, fabric, sequins, trim and we would make beautiful ornaments. I still have them and use them on a special tree. Everytime I look at the tree, I’m reminded of sitting around the kitchen table and creating these special ornaments.

    • Melise, I so remember those type Christmas crafts with the styrofoam balls and sequins. I’ve seen them on many trees over the years. Way before Pinterest days!

  6. My most precious Christmas memory was coming down the stairs in my parent’s Craftsman style home and receiving my first brunette “bubble hair” barbie and armoire and canopy bed!!!! I was five years old and it was 1963!! My brother received a G.I. Joe and army tank and screamed with excitement!!! Little did I realize that my parent’s had sacrificed sooo much to give my brother and I those gifts. My father worked full-time and went to college full-time at night and my Mom stayed home with us and babysat for extra income. My parent’s met while my father was stationed in Germany and my Mother was missing her home country soon much during the holidays. It had been 5 years since she had seen her parents and sister in Munich. My parents used their little nest egg to buy those gifts for us and my Mom had to start over to save for a trip to see her parents. It took 2 more years to save enough and with joy and excitement my brother and I got to meet my grandparents in Germany when I was 7 and my brother 6 years old. I still have my Barbie and the the few hand crocheted outfits my Mom made. These memories are so priceless now as my Father who is 83 has battled bladder cancer and my Mom who is 80 is suffering from dementia. My brother & I thankfully live in the same city and are their caretakers so they can remain in their home. My husband spends every Saturday lovingly caring for his widowed 88 year old Father. One of our son’s lives close by and he and his wife have blessed us with three grandchildren…my parent’s great-grand children. We celebrated yesterday with our grand daughter who turned five years old as she was too excited to receive her very first Barbie. Memories came flooding back of the loving sacrifice my parents made 54 years ago. God Bless You and your Family this Christmas!!!! I pray for your Dad daily as my Dad also suffered with C. Diff after his bladder removal surgery ……and my Mom suffered with shingles 10 years ago….may you be blessed with good health for 2018!!!!

    • Thank you Deb, for sharing your precious memories of family. Oh, the bubble hair Barbie doll, I still have mine too and a few outfits my mom handmade.

  7. we ask Mom to tell Santa to hide a gift or two. Of course, it was usually hit in the adjacent dining room on a chair seat but it was fun to search for it. We were given much, compared to our less well-off cousins, but we tried not to brag on the presents; we tried to make a big deal of what THEY received. I remember having to adhere to a strict schedule of whose home we were visiting over the Holiday week, or who came to see us that evening..we’d have all of our presents laid out under the tree like a store display. Since it was usually cold and snowy every evening, I didn’t like having to get all coated and booted up to go, but I am happy for the memories of those visits around town.

  8. Audrey Finch says:

    My favorite Christmas memory is of our Christmas tree. My Mom always had a beautiful tree.

  9. My favorite Christmas memory is when my parents surprised me with a writing desk.

  10. My favorite Christmas memory is staying in my room on Christmas morning until my dad would ring a special bell to let me know it was time to come down for Christmas. I think it was really a way to keep me in bed longer so I didn’t wake them up at 5:00 am, but it’s still a really sweet memory. Also, I feel like this is such a stupid question, but I feel like I’ve confused myself on something. I have been a reader for a couple of years and I think I’ve just assumed that Parker and Iris are your grandbabies. Are they your great nieces? Merry Christmas!

    • HI, Carrie, they are my great nieces. My sister has one daughter, Lauren, and those girls belong to her, so I feel that they are like my grand children too. I didn’t have any children, so I get to enjoy my great nieces in my family and now Mark’s grandchildren too, so that’s a big bonus for me.

  11. My Dad was a minister. The first Christmas my husband and I were married, we came home from college and stayed with my parents. On Christmas Eve evening, my Dad received a call from a distraught lady because she had nothing to give her children for Christmas. My Dad took down where she lived and some notes about the children. Of course stores were closed by now. This was 1964 long before everything was open at all times.We got in the car with Daddy along with my mom and set out to see what we could find. We found an all-night drug store. Fortunately, they had a few toys. After purchasing, we set out to find this house because it was in a very unfamiliar area. The lady and her children were already in bed but we finally got her attention. She was so happy that her children would have something for Christmas. I don’t think my Dad ever heard from her again. But I’ve never forgotten the happiness I felt on that special Christmas Eve.

    • Nancy, I just love your story. What a sweet gesture your dad did for that family and see, you have never forgotten it!

  12. Christmas Eve -my mother’s family and then my mother always went all out on Christmas Eve. My mother died 10 years ago but her spirit lives on in my love of Christmas Eve. It is a magical day and I look forward to it all year. 4 years ago I was home around holiday time and channeled my mother for a “Sue’s Christmas Eve” gathering. My middle child said that it was like Grandma was there herself.

  13. My sister and I were very close in age and very close in our relationship.We believed in Santa and loved waiting and watching for him on Christmas Eve.

  14. I was keeping my nephews, ages 2 and 4, for the weekend. Since it was close to Christmas we took the boys to our local tree farm to pick out the perfect tree. All of a sudden, it began to snow and the boys were so excited. They ran and played and played. When we got back home it was time to decorate the Christmas Tree, but the boys were so tired and could barely keep their eyes open long enough to finish their lunch. So, I told them that once they woke up from their naps we would decorate the tree. While they were sleeping, I was unwrapping each ornament and one by one I ended up decorating the tree before they woke up. I stood back and was admiring my work when I heard the boys waking up. I thought they would be so disappointed to see the tree completely decorated, but their response was priceless. They stopped in their tracks and admired the tree and then they looked at me and said, “Aunt Nancy look! Santa came and decorated the tree while we were sleeping.”

    • Hey, Nancy, that sounds like so much fun, those boys must have just loved that. It’s fun seeing Christmas through a child’s eyes. Can’t wait to see Parker and Iris this year. Parker is really getting to the age to appreciate all that is Christmas.

  15. Terry Collins says:

    I’ve got your friend beat on collecting James Avery! I started back in 1972 when we drove from Virginia to Houston to visit my sister and went to a JA store. Beautiful jewelry! And very special symbolism with my favorite being the sand dollar.

  16. Ashleigh Hall says:

    My favorite Christmas memories were during the time my Dad was still here and my mom and dad would wake us up Christmas morning. They were so excited to spend the day with us playing and my mom would cook a huge meal and have all of our family and neighbors over.

  17. Love this tradition! I plan to start this so that I have something to pass on to my granddaughter!

  18. My mother made all of our Christmases magical. She decorated the house so beautifully and was a great cook. I remember watching her put on her makeup at her dressing table as she and Daddy got dressed up for the annual Charleston Army Depot Christmas party. She was so glamorous, and in the 50s women dressed so elegantly!

  19. I got a charm bracelet for Christmas when I was 15, I thought it was dumb at the time….it was 1975. But, I went on a trip to San Francisco and saw a cute cable car charm and an abacus. Now 40 years later I’m on my 2nd bracelet. I buy a charm when I travel, it’s a great keepsake.

  20. Carrie Williams says:

    One of my favorite memories of Christmas also is of being an angel in the primary Christmas play. My church made a big deal out of choosing a 6th grade girl to play the part. Who would be chosen added to the anticipation and build up of the holiday. .it was a sort of right of passage that kids don’t seem to experience these days; they get so much, so soon, and don’t have things to look forward to like we used to. We lived in a suburb of Los Angeles and traveled quite awhile each week to get to church so after church on the day of the program wed stay in the city, have lunch at Clifton cafeteria then go back for the program. Afterwards wed all get a box of candy. What a treat and special night. I doubt most kids today would understand the specialness of that night but it was a nightlight for us

    • Hey, Carrie, I can totally relate to that. Christmas programs were a big deal back then to us too. We got paper sacks of goodies that the men of the church always put together for the kids. Apples, oranges, and candy were inside. I remember the chocolate creme drops specifically!

      • Rhoda , I remember those chocolate cream drops too. They were my favorite to get in my stocking. Today I can’t even eat one, they are so sweet!

  21. Cathe Bowers says:

    I come from a large family. Not only did my immediate family gather for Christmas but, we also gathered with the extended family. It was so fun to sit and listen to the adults share stories of their past. The youngest reader was always chosen to read the Christmas story aloud. My little niece was so intent and full of expression as she read. She mispronounced Mary, his “espoused” wife and said “exposed” wife. We tired so hard to keep our giggles in so she wouldn’t be embarrassed. I love that part of our gathering and the fact that we sing Christmas carols together. I have to say we sound pretty good.

  22. I remember when my oldest son got a blue car to ride outside from his grandparents. He was 3 years old. It was sweet to see him ride around even though it was cold outside.

  23. My two brothers had discovered my Dad’s workshop in the neighbor’s basement and just had to share it with me. He had made a small half table. I just knew it would be a piano for my Christmas. On Christmas morning I found a darling little dressing table covered in blue quilted satin with little stool to match. It was beautiful yet I mourned for that piano. So funny thinking my Dad could make piano keys.

    • Aww, that’s so sweet Pam, you really wanted that piano. Hope you got a real one eventually! We grew up with a piano in our house and my sister and I both took lessons. I cannot play now though.

  24. Sharon Roberts says:

    Christmas at our house was pretty simple and bare bones. My parents were just not into holidays or celebrating. What I most enjoyed was unpacking the ornaments, some of of which came from my Aunt June and Uncle Bob, who worked at Burdines, the local department store. I loved the shiny colors on the thin glass. I still miss the manger, which came from the dime store, but was so beautiful, a small white church, and the little choir boy and angel candles. Even though I don’t have them today, my memory of them is still so clear.

  25. My memories of Christmas is our Mom baking Krumkakes, lots of Norwegian cookies, and our favorite cut outs for days and days it seemed. Our home was warm and smelled so delicious. We couldn’t wait for Christmas Eve when our Gramma and Tante would come to spend the night, and our traditional meal of spare ribs, mashed potatoes, lutefisk and lefse and a table full of goodness! Our Dad would have Christmas music playing and life was so simple but filled with love. I feel so blessed to have such sweet and happy times to keep in my heart…

  26. My favorite Christmas memories are going to bed super early xmas eve and waking up at 3:30/ 4 am and rushing downstairs to open presents, we would make a hot mess trying to assemble the barbie dream house and stickers everywhere on the barbie car. I’ll always remember the Cher doll with her long hair and crazy outfits.

  27. Memories of my sweet grandmother in her kitchen baking up a storm with the smells of cinnamon and nutmeg in the air. She had a huge kitchen with an old wood burning stove, she also had an electric stove but swore that the biscuits would simply not taste as good baked in the electric stove. She taught me so many valuable life lessons as I followed her every foot step. I still miss her.

  28. I do not know if I have one that stands out over others. I am just enjoying remembering a number of them with such happiness. It was always love and enjoyment of having all my siblings (of which there are 7 of us) and my parents and then of course in laws and the grandchildren when they came along together.
    This year I think I am thinking of them because it has been less than two months since I lost my father.

  29. Jan Sullivan says:

    We started the tradition of giving charm bracelets with my daughter when she was eleven. James Avery was the place to get the charms with special meaning. We have continued the tradition with two granddaughters and they are always excited to get the new charms. We have one more granddaughter, but she is only three, so a while to wait for hers to start.
    James Avery also has the best customer service.
    Merry Christmas!

    • HI, Jan, I’m so happy to hear this from those of you familiar with James Avery. I loved the story of how he got started back in the 50’s.

  30. One of my most fond Christmas memories is shelling pecans at the kitchen table with my grandmother in preparation for making the baked goodies she handed out to everyone in the family. We shelled and talked, and baked and talked, and just spent some wonderful times together before she passed.

  31. How do you choose just one favorite memory?!

    One of my favorites is when my son was around 4 yrs old. My husband had taken him Christmas shopping for me & he was so excited about my gift. On Christmas morning, he ran past all of his gifts, crawled way under the tree & pulled mine out. Running to me, laughing & bouncing with excitement he cried for me to open mine first. Oh such a sweet moment…his generous heart was so much more excited to give to his mamma than to open his own gifts.

    He’s a husband & father now & still such a sweetheart.

  32. My favorite memory from my childhood was waiting for the Christmas lights on a large tree by our house. I could see the tree from my bedroom window and loved looking at it.

  33. Well, this isn’t really a Christmas memory, but I guess you could say it is a James Avery memory! I grew up in San Antonio (very close to Kerrville), and I can remember when James Avery was just starting to come on the scene. It was the early ’70’s and there were a few very small christian gift/book stores that were starting to sell it. My mother bought a tie tack for my daddy. It was a small open dove (one of the first designs that became very popular). My father died only a few years later – at the very young age of 36. That tie tack has always been a very special keepsake for us. I love all of the James Avery charms and how they commemorate so many precious memories and milestones.

  34. New PJ’s & opening just 1 gift on Christmas Eve for each of us…LOVE!

  35. Audra Taliaferro says:

    Christmas is my favorite time of year! I remember getting roller skates with red wheels and red and white pom pom’s for Christmas one year! My best recent memory was a few years ago we were living in Dallas and it snowed a lot on Christmas Day! The kids were so excited to have snow on Christmas!

    James Avery is one of my favorite jewelry stores! Since I moved to TX in 1996, I have been a fan! We usually get my mother in law something from there and since she lives in Alabama, all of her pieces have been unique to her until recently when JA expanded. I love all the charms. My husband started a charm bracelet for me when I became a mom, and my mom has started one for my daughter. Most charms are from JA, but we have some that are from other places, and as long as they are sterling, JA will solder them for a small fee – love their customer service! And I have heirloom charm bracelets from my dad’s mom and from my mom…great memories and stories tied to them!

  36. I still have my childhood silver charm bracelet! Love to get this to add to it.

  37. When we were little we would have Christmas Eve at my Grandma’s house, dinner, gifts, music etc. One After leaving Grandma’s house one Christmas Eve my Dad was driving on our street and as we approached our house he shouted out in a very excited voice “wow look up, there goes Santa’s sleigh off of our roof”. We scambled to look out the car windows and of course missed him. When we go inside the tree was packed with our gifts which in our little minds was confirmation that Santa had in fact just left our house. We carried that memory for many years believing a little longer than maybe we should have that there really was a Santa.

    Laura

  38. My favorite Christmas was the year I’d been asking for this big stuffed purple dog. I think I was about 10-11 at the time. I snuck downstairs in the middle of the night, saw a big huge bag…..carefully poked my finger through the wrapping and pulled out a tuft of purple fuzz! I was elated and went back upstairs and was able to fall asleep knowing my wishes had come true! Love James Avery jewelry. Such good quality.

  39. Family….that is always my favorite Christmas memory. I lost my Dad 3 years ago and always around the holidays I feel him more. Family is everything, the good, the bad and sometimes the ugly!

  40. Merry Christmas!! Your new home looks beautiful!! We have so many warm memories but being with family is the most important. We lost 5 family members this year, so it will be different but we are thankful that we will see them again in Heaven one day! God bless you and your family!

  41. One of my favorite memories actually happened for years–I would go with my Daddy to buy fruit(at the Farmer’s Market) that was then made into fruit baskets and delivered to needy families and older people in our church and community. The baskets were put together by the Masonic lodge he belonged to and they also did toys for the children. They actually did this long enough that my own children got to see this taking place at Christmas. What a wonderful way to learn about the giving spirit of Christmas–just watching it happen for years. This Christmas will be my first without my Daddy as we lost him in August, but at age 91 he still gave at Christmas–what wonderful lessons he taught us all just by the life he led–he didn’t have to lecture us at all–I am Thankful for him everyday!!!!

    Oh and I now have a James Avery charm bracelet (from my husband) which I love and I also still have my silver one with the charms from High School. Most of the charms given to me by my husband while we were dating in school–we celebrated 50 years last year.

    • Hi, Brenda, oh what wonderful memories for you with your sweet Daddy! Those are great life lessons to learn. And the fact that you have a James Avery charm bracelet and the one from high school is wonderful.

  42. Hearing my Dad read the Christmas Story from the Bible and pray before we opened our presents!

  43. My family didn’t really celebrate Christmas when I was a child. I remember getting towels, underwear, and socks from my Aunts as presents. Definitely fulfilled our needs, and I’m grateful for them.

    When my children were small, we would go to a tree farm, pick out our tree, cut it down, had hot chocolate, and rode around the farm on a hayride. We also rode on hayrides around the neighborhood, then had hot chocolate and photos with Santa at the clubhouse. We don’t do these things anymore, but I’m glad my kids were able to experience those wonderful Christmas events. We still do some things, like attending Candlelight service, and I look forward to it this year!

    We love James Avery jewelry. My husband still uses the James Avery keychain he received as a groomen’s gift from 30 years ago. My daughters love their charm bracelets.

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  44. So many wonderful memories! When I was about 5 years old and my brother was 8 and a half, we woke up on Christmas morning to run down the hall to the living room to see what Santa had brought. My brother had received a remote control king kong….. at just the right moment, my Mom turned on the controls and he (king kong) started toward us as we came down the hall. Our eyes got huge as we held on to each other with Mom laughing hysterically! (She’s always been a cut up and still is at 81!)

  45. My favorite Christmas memory is when our oldest son proposed to his girlfriend on Christmas Eve. They were high school sweethearts that went to separate colleges but maintained their strong relationship through the bond of their commitment to God. During college, our son felt called to the ministry and his girlfriend supported him whole-heartedly. The original proposal plan was to climb a large hill behind our house and for Adam (our son) to ask Lauren (his girlfriend) to be his wife at the peak of the hill. There was so much snow that year on Christmas Eve that was not possible. So, instead he called our Pastor and arranged for the proposal to take place at the end of the Christmas Eve service. The sanctuary pews were filled, the lights were dimmed and everyone lite a candle and sang “Silent Night” together. After the song, our son was called up to the platform by the pastor and then proceeded to share about his love for Lauren and he called her up to join him. He got down on one knee and asked her to be his wife. She said “YES” and the entire congregation broke out in cheer. Fifteen years later, they have three beautiful children and are serving God together in the ministry. That will always be a very special Christmas memory for our family!

  46. Christmas Eve with the family!

  47. My favorite is when the whole family get together and it’s always the Saturday after Christmas (it is still Christmas to us) we started that tradition so everyone would attend and that it would not conflict with beliefs our family is spread out (different states)and this is the one thing that my grandmother look forward to seeing all of her children and grand and great grand kids. We would eat and do our gift exchange, and play games and at the end we would pull names again and have a whole year to buy the gift for the next year.

  48. carol clark says:

    my mother falling in a box and eveyone was laughing she was she couldnt get out it was a huge box like 6 feet i dont know what was in it but it was the funniest thing and we all actually made homemade ice cream after that yes it was cold outside and it was so good

  49. Angela Mahnke says:

    My fondest memory was when I got to help play “Santa” for my younger sister, Nadine. My mom had broken her knee and was on crutches, she explained that there wasn’t money for Christmas presents since she hadn’t worked. I was 12 and had $20 of baby sitting money. She let me play hooky from school and my mom and I walked very slowly 2 miles to the Ben Franklin store in the snow where she and I giggled and laughed and picked out little presents for my sister to open on Christmas from Santa. She was 8 and still believed, she had to have presents from Santa! But I had the best present of spending the day with my mom, even though it was very cold and it took us more than half the day to get there and get home before my sister came home from school, it was the best Christmas I ever had as a child!

  50. Loved coming down the steps and seeing my first shiny new bike under the tree…

  51. Making ornaments for our tree…Our tree to this day only has ornaments made by my husband and I, my sister, mother, grandmother, family, friends, coworkers, and from my patients over the years….Each ornament has a story and I love this and so look forward to decorating every year!!!

  52. Toni Samples says:

    Christmas at Grandmother and Pappy’s with all the family together.

  53. James Avery is a wonderful quality company. I had to run put on my St Francis of Assisi charm bracelet before I could write this. So many memories! We always went to my country grandparents in the piney woods of central Louisiana and chopped down a pine tree to decorate and there were no liberties to be taken, always had the same decorations, new ones were allowed to a point. It never occurred to me a tree had a pretty side or a big hole, they were all stunningly gorgeous. Lots of family and food. Our city grandparents (Baton Rouge) had 6 grandchildren, country grandparents had 35!! Even though we were mostly Catholic, we made Baptist pallets of dozens of quilts to sleep on in the long hall of the country grandparents farm house. Kids everywhere. To this day, I cannot imagine where all the aunts, uncles and our parents slept. We filled up half the little church at Midnight Mass. Our city grandparents had beautiful 4 poster beds and we were treated like royalty any time we went there. I love all these stories, you and your readers are The Best.

    • Hi, Nancy, thank you so much for contributing your sweet stories too, I just love this. City and country grandparents, what a lot of love on both sides!

  54. My favorite memory was going to my Grandparents house on Christmas Eve along with all of my cousins, aunts and uncles. We received small gifts and enjoyed many treats but the best part was just playing and being together. Some years Santa would stop by and I can still hear him stomping on the porch so all of us kids would know he had arrived. I didn’t realize how quickly those years would be over and we would all grow up. Most of all it still warms my heart when I take time to reflect.

  55. I have far too many favorite Christmas memories to share at this one time but since we are talking about charm bracelets I will share this one. Long ago when I was a young girl, probably around 10 my grandmother we called MaMaw gave all of us granddaughters a silver charm bracelet. It had one charm on it, a Georgia state charm. Most of us lived in Georgia and I don’t remember if she gave the ones who lived in LA a different one. Anyway, I lost mine and my Mother was so upset because that was a very special gift Mamaw had given me. Mama was so afraid Mamaw would find out I had lost mine and went out and bought an identical one, charm and all for me. I still have it to this day.

  56. When I was a child growing up,we lived in a small town and went to a small church. Every year on the Sunday night before Christmas ,our church would pass out fruit bags to all the children. I remember this being such a wonderful gift. There was always oranges and an apple ,raisins, orange slice candy,peppermint candy pieces and the story of Jesus’ birth. First there was the church musical and then the fruit bags. I couldn’t wait!

  57. Rhoda,
    Memories are such gift !!Mom loved Christmas and always made it so special for us six kids! I remember we six kids would all sleep in one bed so everyone of us would get up together Christmas morning!! When we finally got mom and dad up to open presents (very early) we would rip thru all those presents with excitement, I;m sure mom was filled with joy watching us !! , then dad would say go get ready for church!
    Memories are a blessing indeed! Mom is truly an angel !!
    May you and yours have a joyful Christmas season.
    Joys of Jesus
    Paula

  58. Jeanne Bell says:

    As My favorite Christmas memories are of midnight mass, where I always fell asleep and the sights, smells and sounds of Christmas morning.

  59. Love the tree of life charm!

  60. Kimberly Schwartz says:

    What a sweet memory you shared about the angel. I reminded me of my oldest son in his grade school Christmas program as an angel. The little golden tinsel halo he wore in that play has adorned our tree every year since. As you can imagine our tree is filled with memories. It will never fill the front cover of a magazine but always fills my heart.

  61. Thanks Rhoda for the Angel charm give=away. My favorite Christmas memories of years past always center around my Christmas Eves at my Grandparents with all the cousins. Now I’m busy making Christmas memories for my own grandchildren.

  62. My fondest memories of Christmas are from my childhood. We were always together and enjoyed the holiday as a family. As time passed, my siblings started their own family traditions and the ones I held so dear ended. I rarely see my brothers and sister now and it hurts.

  63. Patti Boatwright says:

    Years ago…when the children were little…we became concerned that Christmas was too commercial in our house. We knew we had to do something to return the focus to Christ and not to over indulge them. It wasn’t easy- we met lots of resistance and heard many negative remarks but we stuck to our guns and now our adult children will tell you it was the greatest gift they ever received. We implemented the “3 Christmas Gift” rule. Everyone in our house received 3 gifts. The basis was simple: 3 gifts was plenty for baby Jesus and it’s plenty for you. 🙂 Truth is our children and grandchildren do without very little these days. In the old days, Christmas and birthdays were the only times you recieved a gift. Now, some children get a treat every trip to town! It’s easy to over indulge in our society. As a matter of fact, overindulging is easy…taking on the “3 Christmas Gift” limit is hard!! But so worth it. Ask my 3 little ones….now an attorney, a social worker, and soon to be coach. <3

    • HI, Patti, I love this and yes, agree with you so much on this. Children turn out to be wonderful adults when they aren’t over indulged.

  64. The Christmas Nativity Play at Church:)

  65. I love James Avery jewelry. I have the nativity scene charm. I love that they are so dainty. My parents are no longer with me but I can remember my Dad always doing devotional and talking about the preciousChristmas story. I miss my parents so much. Holidays are hard, but just knowing I will see them again one day makes me happy.

  66. Nicole Martin says:

    My favorite memory is decorating the tree with my dad.

  67. Pat D'Ambra says:

    Christmas for me was all about family. My Mom and Aunts would get together to make Italian Christmas cookies and I got to help when I was older. I would also wrap my Grandmother’s presents to the family and I never peeked. Christmas Eve was at my Grandparent’s house where the whole family celebrated with the seven fishes dinner and then Midnight Mass. So many beautiful memories – too many to write here. Merry Christmas Rhonda! I love your blog (James Avery too).

  68. Jennifer Hayden says:

    My son’s first Christmas. There is something so special about seeing Christmas through a child’s eyes again.

  69. Best memory was going to downtown Atlanta to see Rich’s big tree, Santa and ride the Pink Pig. It was a big deal to go there!

    • Love that Beth! The pink pig wasn’t really part of my childhood, but I did get to see it on the roof of Rich’s before they closed it all down.

  70. My favorite Christmas memory is of my young children, waking up at 4 am in the morning on Christmas Day, so excited they just couldn’t wait another second to see what Santa had brought them! They would inch down the staircase, step by step just hoping to see if the presents had come. My husband and I could only hold them off till 5 am, and then we would all come downstairs and see what Santa brought. The most wonderful memories are of when my precious children were small and couldn’t wait to unwrap their presents. Now, as young adults, they get more joy out of giving than receiving.

  71. I have really enjoyed reading all the memories! They have prompted me to ponder on my own Christmas memories and there are a few that stand out in my 60 year old mind. Living in the city of Atlanta, I experienced Rich’s Big Tree, the Pink Pig, and window shopping on Peachtree where Rich’s and Davison’s were across the street from each other and their store windows were displayed with big golden bells. I’m sure other things Christmas-y as well, but I specifically remember big bells. My parents always gave my brother and I just enough presents under the tree, but they came with their own personal sacrifice, as many others have posted. I was very blessed to also experience a dramatic contrast to my city life Christmas; an Appalachian Christmas with my dad’s family. Just 30 miles up the “4-lane” was my grandparents’ 300 acre farm. We definitely drove “over the river and through the woods” to get to the little white farm house where my dad and his 3 siblings grew up. No fancy decorations here! The tree was more of a cedar bush cut from the woods with large colorful bulbs and lots of those silver icicles. I don’t recall a single ornament displayed. But the table and counters were laden with lots of southern dishes, meats from the livestock on the farm, and homemade cakes and pies. Grandmother always made Daddy’s favorite, a black walnut cake from walnuts grown on the farm. Have you ever tried to crack a black walnut? Being surrounded by my grandparents, aunts and uncles, and playing with my cousins of which I was the oldest, are truly some of my fondest childhood memories. Until the mid 1960’s, the 4 room farmhouse built in 1904 did not have an indoor bathroom and the only heat was from 3 fireplaces. But the love that radiated around the Christmas tree and kitchen table at Christmas time sufficed. Grandmother was in her element, joyfully serving others, wearing a house dress and apron. The sustenance farm provided everything my grandparents needed. I never thought of them as poor but I did understand at a very early age the difference in life in the city and life at the farm. I’m thankful I was exposed to the contrast. I am blessed to live across the creek from The Farm where the house still stands, holding my fondest memories of Christmases past. Not far from The Farm in a small north Georgia town, my maternal grandparents lived in a tiny apartment. They used only blue Christmas lights. Grandmother always hid a small wrapped gift in the tree for me to find each year, but Christmas of 1967, when I had just turned 11, she had a very special gift for me. She gave me, her namesake, a china head doll with wood body and moveable joints. She had been restored to her original beauty. Grandmother received the doll, with long golden blonde hair and brown eyes that blinked, at the age of 8, when her mother died. The doll was a not a doll to “play” with. My Grandmother died suddenly the following May, at the very young age of 62. The doll became even more precious to me then. I still have her, wearing the same red satin dress with black velvet sash, looking exactly as she did Christmas, 1967. Every Christmas when I see a home or tree done up in blue lights, I reflect on that special Christmas, the last one spent with my grandmother. I don’t have a daughter, but so far I have 3 granddaughters, and plan to give the doll to one of them. Merry Christmas to you all! Vicki

  72. Yes! Of course I remember being an angel in the Christmas pageant! Even better was seeing my son as one. But what I remember most was my Mimi’s house. It was so warm (with built in gas heaters in every other room). Her tree was always in the corner next to the piano and had the most interesting and old-fashioned ornaments. She and my grandfather had decided to get an artificial tree one year. Mimi was going on at him about reading the directions, which, of course he said he did not need. When he finished, he had put all the short branches on the bottom and all the longer ones on the top. I remember my mother saying how ridiculous it looked, but we all decorated it anyway. I honestly don’t remember the tree looking all that different that year. To me, it was just as beautiful as ever. My Mimi passed when my first child was only 6 weeks old. He’s 28 now and I still miss her so much. I pray you and your new husband have a most wonderful first Christmas together!

    • After reading some of the other comments about James Avery jewelry, I feel the need to share a non-Christmas James Avery memory. James Avery’s company is in Kerrville, TX, west of San Antonio and Austin, but definitely in the heart of the Texas Hill Country. There are several summer camps in the area. For several summers, I was blessed to go to a girls’ camp in that area. We would work so hard at camp, showing mastery of certain skills (like archery, rowing, etc.). At the end of camp, we could go to the James Avery in Kerrville and collect our charms showing our successes of the summer. The older girls at camp could hardly close their bracelets for the amount of charms! Of course, in those days, most charms were $5-$6. I wonder if campers still do that at the end of camp? If so, I’m sure it costs a small fortune to collect all you earned while at camp!

    • Thank you, Brandye, that’s a funny story about the tree! It does sound ridiculous!

  73. I have fond memories of all Christmases but my early childhood ones are some of the most memorable. On Christmas Eve, we’d first gather at my Grandparents on my Mom’s side for a family dinner…once everything was cleaned up, “Santa” would make an appearance. Next it was off to an evening Mass and we’d end the evening celebrating with my Dad’s family. It changed over the years to Christmas Eve & Christmas Day but those early years had such a magical quality that I remember vividly. Everything was peaceful and right with the world with the twinkling lights, falling snow, Christmas carols, love of family and friends and celebrating His birth.

  74. My favorite Christmas memory is the first year my oldest daughter knew Santa would be coming. The magic and wonder of Christmas began all over for me!

  75. Making Christmas cookies with my mother as a child, then with my daughters when they were children, and now with my granddaughter.

  76. My favorite tradition is putting out my grandmother’s little gnome figures. When I was growing up, we would put them on the coffee table. Now, I put them on our mantel, even though my husband thinks they’re kitschy.

  77. Hanging stocking with my grandfather–I was always too short to reach, so he’d hold me on his shoulders.

  78. My Christmas story is to share love in this season of your journey with the ones you love. See those little ones joy will lighten your heart with true compassionate love.

  79. My Worse Christmas Story
    I was 5 years old in my first year at an indian boarding school back in the 1960’s. My older sister at age 7 had a heart attack at home. I was notified at school but couldnt visit her in the hospital. I remember that night I was sitting by the window in my dorm looking outside watching the snow fall. The Little Drummer Boy was playing on the radio as I saw the Christmas lights and ornaments on the Christmas tree in the window’s reflection. I thought of my sister and if I would ever see her again because everyone was telling me no one survives a heart attack and she was going to die. I didn’t understand anything beyond that. But she survived the operation and she now has a family. Everytime I see a Christmas tree reflection in a window or when I hear The Little Drummer Boy, I go back to that night I almost lost my sister.

    • Hi, K, oh wow what a story! So sorry you had to experience that, but what a sweet memory that makes you extra thankful for your sister.

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