Christmas Memories

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!!

Christmas is a very happy time for most of us but it can be a very sad time for those who have lost loved ones. Those who have lost a husband or a wife dread the coming of another Christmas season without their spouse.

It is even worse for those who have lost a loved one during the same year and face their first Christmas without them there to share the Christmas experience.

Happy Christmas Memories

The most exciting part of Christmas starts for kids on Christmas Eve when they go to bed wondering what presents they will find under the tree the next morning.

My mother would read from the Home Life a Baptist publication before we could open our presents. She would have stayed up most of the night wrapping presents and filling stockings.

Christmas Specials and Movies

Watching Christmas specials on television were always a big part of our Christmases. We would watch the Bob Hope Christmas show, Andy Williams, Perry Como and other entertainers who had Christmas shows.

Natalie Wood and Maureen O'Hara pictured in a scene from Miracle on 34th Street with Natalie being nine when the movie was made..

We would watch the classic Christmas movie Miracle on 34th Street with Natalie Wood portraying the daughter of  Maureen O’Hara’s character. She was taught by her mother to not believe in Santa Claus.

White Christmas was released in 1954 and is will be shown six times on Christmas Eve on AMC.

Another favorite was White Christmas in which Bing Crosby sings the Irving Berlin classic song White Christmas. It also stars Rosemary Clooney and Danny Kaye. The film was released in 1954 and will be shown on AMC six times on Christmas Eve this year starting at 9 AM but no time zone was listed so assume it is 9 AM ET and 8 AM CT.

I’ll Be Home For Christmas Meaningful Song

It wasn’t easy listening to I’ll Be Home For Christmas during the Christmases of 1963, 1964 and 1965 since I was in Hawaii those three years and wouldn’t be home for Christmas until 1966 after returning home from Vietnam.

I played Christmas music on my record player in the barracks but it wasn’t well received by the other soldiers who also wouldn’t be home for Christmas.

When the Johnny Grant USO Show came to Schofield Barracks with Julie Newmar and Stefanie Powers and others the thing I remember most is that someone sang I’ll Be Home For Christmas which reminded me that I wasn’t going home for Christmas that year.

Other Christmas Memories

I remember the Christmas parties at Louisiana College for the faculty and their families in the cafeteria…the Christmas parades in Alexandria…Ethma Odum reading the The Littlest Angel on KALB TV…Town Talk Christmas parties…Santa Claus appearing in several different stores each Christmas…the $150 Town Talk Christmas bonus which Gannett brought to a screeching halt…the Christmas lights on buildings we could see on the back dock of the Monroe Morning World when we would take our breaks.

Going to the Christmas Festival in Natchitoches on a very rainy day and having a flat tire on way to Natchitoches and car overheating on way back from being in a long line of cars leaving Natchitoches after the parade….the miniature church on the square in middle of downtown Alexandria…the Christmas music being played over loudspeaker we could hear from the Town Talk.

The Christmas Eve Candlelight Services at Pineville Park Baptist Church and how the colder it was the more it felt like Christmas…Seeing the Living Christmas Tree program at Kingsville Baptist Church…hearing Bishop Charles Greco on KALB radio on Christmas Eve…the Christmas lights strung across Main Street in Pineville…the water tower in Alexandria covered with Christmas lights.

The KCS Christmas train parked on the train track by Louisiana College and the long wait in the brutally cold weather that night to board the train to see inside the train….65 snowless Christmases in Louisiana… Christmas caroling as we walked from house to house singing Christmas carols to people we knew and didn’t know and seeing living nativity scenes at churches.

We want to take this time to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas!!


Author: Andrew Godfrey

Retired from newspaper work after 38 years. Had served in the Army in Hawaii and Vietnam in the 60's. Am now retired and living in Sulphur, Louisiana.

4 thoughts on “Christmas Memories”

  1. My Dad was a big fan of the King Family. I was sad to see that the oldest sister, Vonnie passed away this month. She was living here in Sacramento and had just taped a special at the local PBS station about their Christmas shows. I was able to watch and it brought back many fond memories.

  2. I still see Christmas through the eyes of a child. It’s magical, and it’s love, a time when all bickering comes to an end in families that have close relationships. My childhood was delightful at Christmas. As a little girl, there was always the beloved doll, particularly Shirley Temple, the programs at church, hot chocolate and cookies, and singing around the piano.As a young teen life was a bit more difficult, as our music group was always striving to get home for Christmas Eve, and usually made it. Opening gifts was such a pleasure, as I was now asking for jewelry, pretty clothes and perfumes. Between my parents and my second set of parents {the Davis family} I was always happily looking forward to opening time, of course before breakfast. Most times both sets of parents were together for the holidays. We were one big happy family. We used the words “I love you” many times, and that’s the best gift of all.Knowing you are loved makes life and memories so special. On Christmas late at night I like to sit alone and think about the ones that loved me and that I loved so much. My memories are beautiful, and now I am making memories with my own family. I hope they will look back on these times and have wonderful memories too. Christmas is for all ages, and as long as love prevails, there will always be the spirit of Santa Claus, for he represents love.

  3. Thank you for sharing your Christmas memories. You truly know the meaning of being home for Christmas after being on the road with the governor’s musical group. I always looked forward to the Christmas season at College Drive Baptist Church and the Christmas music.

    We may never have had a white Christmas unless you had one but it was cold enough to enjoy the hot chocolate and cookies you mentioned.

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