(Ila McClenahan, the director of pastoral care and activities at Northern Montana Care Center, talked to some care center residents about the Christmas that brings back the best memories.
Join in the conversation. Send stories of your most memorable Christmas to firstname.lastname@example.org. )
Jim F.: It was Christmas Pageant Night at the Faber school. We were getting all cleaned up for the evening event. I slipped on a bar of soap and split my chin open on an old laundry tub that we used for bathing. My most remembered present was an erector set with an electric motor.
Juanita A.: I heard pounding on the door. My mom said, “Answer the door, Juanita.” When I opened the door, Santa Claus was standing there! I couldn’t even talk and Santa said, “I’m checking to see who has been naughty or nice, so I know whether to leave a gift.” I was so scared. I just kept saying to Santa, “I’ve been a good girl. I’ve been a good girl.”
Barb C.: One Christmas mother made her ornaments: cookies like angles and taffy candy canes. They looked gorgeous on the tree until Dad said the candy canes were looking longer. They were near the lights. Mother had made taffy candy canes, and they got longer the more they were near the lights!
Elizabeth G.: It was my last Christmas in Iowa. It made me very sad because my husband–to-be wanted to come out to Rhode Island where I became his wife. We no longer had Christmas with my family in Iowa.
Janet K.: My grandfather would bring paper sacks full of horehound candy, candy canes, nuts, oranges and apples with each child’s name on the little brown sack.
Doris G.: The year we didn’t get any snow. My children were very unhappy because they couldn’t use their new skates and sleds.
Emma H.: My brother and I went to bed on the night before Christmas. We heard Santa and his sled come up by the house window, and we looked out and Santa was getting out of his sled. It really was Santa because he had a uniform like Santa would be wearing and bells were ringing. It was a horse pulling the sled. Santa came in the house but when we saw him we closed our eyes and covered up over our heads, so he thought we were asleep.
Betty B.: I was just a kid, seven years old. I woke up in the morning, and there were present under the tree. We had a big family. I received a doll and she was very pretty. We had a big dinner with lots of family.
Michael C.: The whole family having Christmas dinner Christmas day. A long family history was stoking on Christmas day. Seeing all the family around the holidays. Having my Grandma Wilma next door for 50 years was special.
Lillian Teske: My mom had set up the Christmas tree. I had a cat and after mom finished decorating we were admiring it for a while. My cat came and she saw the tree and up the tree she went … and down came the cat, the tree and everything mom had patiently decorated the tree with. Three times the cat went up the tree and three times the tree and decorations came crashing down. So my brothers go a little rope and tied it to the top part of the tree and over the window ledge. The tree stayed up that time and the cat went down. So I got to keep my cat!
(Ila McClenahan is director of pastoral care and activities at Northern Montana Health Care.)