OUR CORNER: Holiday memories better than gifts

The holiday season is upon us and Friday morning, many Christmas shoppers hit some of the stores early.

  • Monday, November 30, 2009 7:18pm
  • Opinion

The holiday season is upon us and Friday morning, many Christmas shoppers hit some of the stores early.

With the recession, businesses are looking to increase their profit margin, while shoppers are looking for the best deals to reduce their spending.

They should break even.

I believe holidays can be a joyful time for anyone. It’s not how much you get or how much you give, but it’s the time spent with making memories with family and friends.

While growing up in a small community in Louisiana, I had to privilege of living within walking distance of my grandparents.

Both sets of grandparents lived through the Great Depression. The grandchildren always heard first-hand accounts about life during that era in American history.

They lived simple lives without luxuries like running water and restrooms until I was 10 years old.

My grandparents had small farms and basically lived off the land. They grew corn, raised chickens and pigs, and always planted a large garden. My grandfathers were avid hunters and fishermen and there was no shortage of meat or fish during the winter months.

I don’t remember a Christmas tree being put up in their homes, but it was visiting them on Christmas morning which was special and memorable.

After we received our presents from our parents Christmas morning, we got dressed and headed to my grandparents’ homes.

The first stop was to my paternal grandparents’ wooden, two-bedroom home. There were treats like pecans and candies on the table, along with coffee or milk.

They never gave the grandchildren gifts wrapped in brightly-colored paper, but there was always a plate of my grandmother’s freshly-baked cookies waiting.

When you entered the front door, you could tell she was up early to prepare them. She called them “teacakes.” I don’t know how she made them, but they were the best.

My grandfather would be setting in the front room next to the wood-burning stove sipping on coffee or smoking his pipe.

We always managed to give them presents and watched as they unwrapped their gifts. It was always something they could use.

The next stop – one mile down the road – was the small, white home of my maternal grandparents.

My maternal grandmother loved giving us small gifts along with a hug, while my grandfather gave us money.

And there was always something on the table to eat, most of the time caramel popcorn. We’d present their gifts to them and for some reason they always seemed surprised.

My grandmother loved stuffed animals and religious items and my grandfather loved cologne.

It wasn’t the gifts that were important, but it was the love I felt from my grandparents.

As I’ve grown older, those Christmas memories still linger.

There are no photographs or homemade movies to remind me, but just feelings tucked away deep inside.

More in Opinion

A taste of Krain history, from its dive-bar days

I first went in the place one winter’s evening when I was 8 or 9 years old.

Supreme Court resets the playing field

The ruling on the Masterpiece Bakery v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission case wasn’t a win for the right or a loss for the left; it’s a chance to do things right the second time around.

Supreme Court ruling shows sanity, moderation

The 14th Amendment equal protection clause does not negate the First Amendment religious freedom clause.

Initiative signatures are the new greenbacks

As of Wednesday, June 6, petitions for four statewide initiatives were getting circulated.

Public record battle brings in a mediator

A taskforce is also being put together, but it’s not clear who will be on it.

Trump supporters see the president doing ‘God’s will on Earth’

Why did Truman recognize Israel so quickly and why do we care about modern Israel, enough to bring the ire of the Muslim world down upon us?

Eyman risking retirement funds on car tab initiative

Will the $500,000 investment be enough to get the initiative on a ballot?

U.S. isn’t the only nation flirting with trade wars

There’s another brewing between Alberta and British Columbia.

I wish I could stay in Enumclaw | Guest Columnist

There is a kindness and decency and desire to be a community in Enumclaw.

We live in frightening times

Our country is being torn apart from limb to limb, coast to coast.

Voting habits tied to feelings of security

The dangers of authoritarianism are a far greater threat to the nation than seeing rising racial equality and religious diversity brought about by immigration.

Gun rights advocates won the battle, but may lose the war

NRA leaders will need to decide if it’s worth putting resources into a fight in a Left Coast state versus investing in efforts to keep Republicans in control of Congress to prevent ideas like this initiative from becoming federal law.