While children can’t wait for Christmas morning to see what Santa has left, many memories are made the night before on Christmas Eve. During the Williamson Woman’s Club Christmas party, some of the ladies shared their favorite Christmas Eve memories and traditions.
“Growing up in a coal camp in the late 1940’s we didn’t have very much, but every Christmas Eve a big coal truck that the coal company owned came around. It stopped at every house and every child that lived in that house got a treat bag. You received an orange, apple, nuts, hard candy, and sometimes a banana. That’s one of the things I remember most about my childhood at Christmas.” -Sherry Hatfield
“When I was a little girl, we always spent Christmas at my Grandma Pennington’s house. They had 14 kids, they didn’t have much money, but they had lots of land. Everybody went there on Christmas Eve. There were usually 40-50 kids running around. It was a tiny home, always really hot because they heated it with coal. We had a wonderful time. Grandma always bought every child a present. It was something small, like maybe a fancy bar of soap or a book. I remember my favorite gift I received was a Little Golden book that had all the Christmas carols in it. It had ‘O’ Come All Ye Faithful’ in it in Latin. That was the first time I realized what Latin was, my dad explained it to me. It seemed like it was always snowing on Christmas Eve. It was really special to spend Christmas Eve there and I did until grandmother passed away.” -Teresa McCune
“We go to Grayson to my grandparents, my mom’s parents, house on Christmas Eve. Nannan, my mom’s mom, always makes homemade cookies. Everything my Nannan makes is always above and beyond so our family is always obsessed with her food, especially her cookies made from scratch. She would make the cookies and put them in containers. She knew all of us really wanted them so she would hide them from us, and you had to go find the cookies. When you find them, you would hide them again so nobody else knew where they were. Most of the time it was me and my brother fighting over these cookies. One year my mom ended up getting them and she hid them from everybody, and no one got a cookie until like 3 days later! We don’t get those cookies now because Nannan has Alzheimer’s. But that’s probably my favorite Christmas Eve memory.” -Tiffany Blackburn
“My fondest Christmas memory is my grandmother’s fruitcake. My grandparents raised me, and I absolutely hated the fruit cake, but I was so well behaved with her because I was scared of her, I told her I loved it. So, every year she made me a fruitcake until she passed away. I really miss her fruitcake.” -Heather Wolford
Candlelight Church Service
“Growing up, we would always go to church service at our church on Christmas Eve. My favorite memory was one time they asked me to carry the candle down the aisle. I had always been terrified to do that because we sang Silent Night and tried to walk down the aisle without burning the person next to you. I made it through, but it was tempting to maybe burn my brother next to me, but I didn’t do it!”- Carrie Digman
Same Gift All Around!
“We always spent Christmas Eve with my Mamaw Blackburn. We all got the same things. So, when the first person opened the package, you knew what you got. Might be a different color or pattern, but you know what you got.”- Leigh Ann Ray
You’re Never Too Old for Santa
“Me and my mom are very close. When my husband, Shane and I first moved in together, she was heartbroken because she couldn’t be Santa on Christmas. I was around 22 years old. So, that first year we were together we surprised her and spent the night with her on Christmas Eve, so on Christmas morning she could still be Santa. We still go to her house to spend the night on Christmas Eve so she can be Santa. Now, Shane gets presents from Santa too.” -Shelby Steele-Porter
Heritage and Friends
“When I was a kid growing up in Pittsburgh, Christmas Eve was a big family thing. That’s when we put our tree up and observed all the Greek customs. We not only had Santa Claus, but we also have Saint Vasilis, which comes on NYE. Even when we were grown my mother would say, ‘You believe in Santa don’t you? You better believe in Santa.’ Since 1968, I’ve been in Williamson and we always have Christmas Eve at our friends Nick and Charlotte Maroudas’ house. Everyone piles in there, then the next morning everyone that can make it comes to my house for breakfast. It’s special here in Williamson.” -Dee Kapourales
Make time this Christmas Eve to make memories, observe old traditions and start new ones. Listen for sleigh bells and enjoy the magic of Christmas.