Christmas memories — “All I want for Christmas is . . .”

One of my favorite memories is when we took the girls to a nursing home on Christmas Eve about 10 years ago.  We passed out candy canes and some homemade Christmas cards they made.

Old folks just love kids and dogs.  While visiting with a couple ladies one of them said, “All I want for Christmas is a hug from a little girl.”

Since we made it a habit not to force our kids to hug complete strangers, we just stood there for a second.  Then the girls went over, unprompted, and gave the ladies big hugs.  Smiles all around.

If you’ve got kids (or even if you don’t), think about visiting nursing homes.  They get loads of visitors at Christmas, but not so much the rest of the year.  We go once a month with our therapy pet dogs (I’ll blog on that some other time). 

Feel free to share a favorite Christmas memory, or what you really want for Christmas.  Or just think about some favorites memories and enjoy the season!

This was a picture from roughly that time period when we were out looking at Christmas lights.


10 thoughts on “Christmas memories — “All I want for Christmas is . . .””

  1. That’s a beautiful picture of your girls and this post proves you to be a very thoughtful and compassionate person, Neil.

    I have a friend who is in a convalescent home about 100 miles away. I try to visit her as often as possible, which is a great joy to her, but even a bigger joy than that was the children who have been carrolling the home she’s in over the last three days. She just loves it!

    MERRY CHRISTMAS! May your Christmas be joyously blessed. It looks as if it already is. Those girls are gorgeous!


  2. Thanks for sharing the memory. Doesn’t it make you swell up inside when your little girls do something like that?

    Nine years ago, I wanted to teach my children that there were others in the world less fortunate. I knew it would be a hard Christmas for my kids and wanted them to appreciate what they had.

    We sponsored some kids on my employer’s angel tree. One of my co-workers had a contact in a “children’s home”, basically an orphanage. The kids who were there typically had one or both parents in jail or for some other reason weren’t at home. After we bought presents (each of my children had the name of a child about their age), we went to the office one day to wrap presents. We spent the day wrapping and then went to the home to give out the presents.

    As we were unloading, one of the boys from the home was helping. When he pulled out one of the packages, he said “hey, that one’s for me” and his face lit up. The look on his face made a HUGE impression on my heart and I still remember it. My kids are all grown now (youngest is 18), but they still remember that Christmas.


  3. My old man passed when I was nine. I remember the whole family (five kids) driving around town just looking at the decorations after dark.

    Another memory involved a visitor. We had a ton of relatives over to the house for Christmas Eve. The house was packed. Lots of cousins. At one point in the evening, the door bell rang. It was Santa. Someone dressed up and came over, knew the names of at least me and my sibilngs, passed out a few gifts, and left. Nobody knew who he was. Certainly none of my relatives did since they didn’t live within thirty miles of us. To this day, my mother insists no one in the house knew who the guy was, and all neighbors who could have been the guy (based on his size) had alibis. A real Christmas mystery. Merry Christmas.


  4. I don’t have many memories of Christmases past. I barely have any memory of last week!

    I do remember my parents trying to convince me that I just missed seeing Santa Claus before he escaped up the chimney once. I was less than 3 years old. I don’t remember if I believed them at the time. I don’t remember ever believing in Santa Claus.

    As to visiting an old folks home–Next month, my wife and I are moving to an old folks home to live. Well, not really an old folks home–more of a senior citizen community. I am, In guess a senior citizen now, although I rarely feel old.

    Anyhow, Merry Christmas to you and yours.


  5. Oh wait. Now a memory comes to me. A previous wife and I were visiting my daughter, who was residing in a group home while the details of my regaining custody of her were being worked out. We were going to take her out to dinner.

    The group home housed, primarily, girls who had been abandoned, or thrown out of their homes, or parents in jail, or had run away from home, or had gotten into legal troubles of their own.

    One of the girls asked us if she could come with us. The sincerety of the requeast affected me greatly. I asked, and subsequently received permission to furnish Thanksgiving dinner for all the residents of the home. We had a wonderful Thanksgiving with the girls, and later, after a woman from our church learned what we did, we started a weekly bible study and fellowship with the girls in the home. On Christmas, several more ladies from our church bought Christmas gifts for the girls.

    The whole thing snowballed and continued long after we had stopped participating in the studies ourselves. I now live 1100 miles away, with a different wife, but the last I heard, the churches girls group home ministry was still thriving.


  6. I have memories of the whole family (25 people plus) crowding into my grandparents house in LA on Christmas eve. We would feast on oyster dressing and crawfish. We would sing around the piano, old hymns or Christmas carols. We always read the Christmas story, usually combining Matthew and Luke. We would then open gifts, one at a time. This party lasted past midnight.

    If there were Christmas eve services, that would be put in the mix as well.

    My grandparents are gone. The last one went home just 4 years ago. I know that their Christmases are more grand now than we could ever imagine.



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