Almost everyone has a favorite Christmas memory as a kid. For some it was a special day that they saw someone they hadn't seen in a long time. For others it was the day they got their first bike. For others it was a day when they discovered themselves and their own spirituality.
Memories are fleeting, and often change over the years. But many people do remember what happened on a certain Christmas day and the season that surrounds it.
Dallas Crandall is one of those people. Raised in Spring Canyon, he remembers a Christmas that set the tone for the whole winter for him.
"I remember getting a pair of ice skates and I used them every Saturday that winter," he said. "We used to go down to Helper and follow cars that were headed up Spring Canyon toward home and then grab hold of their bumpers and they would pull us. Sometimes we would get as far as Standardville or Latuda."
Crandall also remembers that sometimes when cars got stuck on the icy hills of the canyon the skaters would help out as well.
"They would pull us and then when they got stuck we would all push to get them out," he said. "Then they would pull us farther."
When asked about his parents, Crandall said they didn't know that he was doing it because he would have been in big trouble.
Marie Nichols, said her memories lie in family gatherings that they had at Christmas.
"We moved around and we didn't have a lot of money," she said. With 10 kids in the family things could be tough around Christmas.
"Each Christmas my grandma would make a wonderful dinner and we would go there when we could," she said. "But being there was a rare occurrence because they lived in Ogden and we often lived in other places."
For Dell Cloward, old Christmas' were the best. In fact he said those times "were the good old days."
"Things were slower then, not so automated," he said. "Everyone was not so much in a hurry."
Cloward grew up in Orem, in the days when the town only had two stores and most of the property that surrounded State Street, or Highway 89 as it was known, was covered with orchards.
"If you passed one car in town you were lucky," he said. "Christmas' were slow and enjoyable."
For Lois Fossatt, who grew up in Castle Dale things were hard until her mother got a job as the telephone operator for the county. "We got up on Christmas morning and there were all these presents," she said, still with surprise in her voice. "There were a lot of toys and a Shirley Temple doll for me. I loved that doll so much. And years later when I worked in Salt Lake as an adult I finally gave it to a little girl at Primary Childrens Hospital."
Fossat said that the job of telephone operator her mother had was a demanding one, an occupation the whole family got involved in.
"We lived with the switch," she said, pointing out that it was just downstairs from where they lived. "Between the time I was nine and 13 years old I used to have to cover it when my mom couldn't. The board would light up, you would put the plug in and say 'Number please.' That training helped me get a job later."
Betty Hathaway had one special Christmas that stood out in her mind when asked about a special Christmas.
"One Christmas morning I got up and opened my gift and it turned out to be a Betsy Wetsy doll. I was so happy, but then my mother told me to go to my grandparent's house. They lived across the street from us. There at their house was another gift for me and it was a black baby doll. Over the years I think I loved that doll more than I ever did the Betsy Wetsy doll."
|Joy Milano Marasco|
Some Christmas memories come from the sheer joy of knowing someone loves you. In Joy Milano Marasco's case it had to do with her father and mother toiling to make her and her siblings Christmas a great one.
"It's funny but the best memory of Christmas for me came at a time in my life when I was first beginning to suspect Santa Claus wasn't real," she said. "We lived in Kenilworth and my dad was a coal miner. Times were often tough, but somehow my parents always made Christmas a good time for us. One year my dad came home from work on the day before Christmas and there was all this activity going on. We didn't know what it was. After we had gone to bed we kept hearing noise downstairs, so we crept outside our rooms and looked down the stairs and saw my father cutting up powder boxes and making them into furniture. My mother was painting the pieces after he had created them. We were afraid they would see us so we hurried back into our rooms and went to sleep. The next morning when we came downstairs there was the furniture with baby dolls sitting on them. It was the best Christmas, because my dad had built our presents."