Pipestone Flyer Receptionist Sheree Baillie:
My favourite Christmas memory is the first year my husband and I were together. We could not afford a lot of Christmas decorations for the tree. So we took the kids to the craft store, and they all made ornaments out of pipe cleaners and construction paper. Our tree topper was a tin foil Christmas star. All the work the kids put into it made it the most beautiful Christmas tree I have ever had.
Pipestone Flyer Inside Sales Rep Tammy Kublik:
One of my favorite memories of Christmas with my family was helping my grandparents (when I was a child) in the weeks before Christmas Eve and, of course, Christmas Eve itself. We would get up early and Grandma and I would start baking her delicious homemade doughnuts, many kinds of cookies, and any other preparation for the huge meal she was about to make. TV never got turned on but instead music was playing in the background and Grandma would always tell me interesting stories about her childhood. I learned a lot about the days gone by and we were able to spend some special time together. Finally Christmas Eve would come and all of the family would gather at my grandparents for the, now prepared, huge Christmas supper. Aunts, uncles and cousins, whom we did not always see throughout the year, never missed this event. No matter what was happening in everyone’s lives, everyone made time out of their busy schedule to be there. I remember after the wonderful supper and the opening of the gifts on Christmas Eve, my Grandpa (then in his late 70’s), sitting on the floor with all the children around him singing “Are you mine” and trying to get us to put our feet behind our heads (which none of us could do, but he still could). He also tried to get us to twist around chairs, leg wrestling, etc. just to keep us occupied and to make sure we had fun. All the adults thought it was hilarious, but us children were just doing what Grandpa showed us. We thought if he could do it, we can too. Christmas Eve was always special because I learned from my grandparents (and my parents as well) that the time you spend together is the most precious gift of all.
Pipestone Flyer Leduc Sales Rep Mandy Vuylsteke:
One of my fondest Christmas memories would have to be heading out to Armstrong, BC to my aunt and uncles for Christmas. Auntie Jo would have the house decorated from top to bottom with a 16-18 foot tree (that most of the time punched a hole in the ceiling) and uncle Tim would always have a tall tale about how they found the “right tree” and the not so tall tale about how they had to get it into the house!
After more of uncle Tim’s tall tales of hunting fishing and Sasquatch’s before all of us cousins would go tobogganing down the steep hill behind the house in between an on going never-ending monopoly game. In the morning when Santa had come, we were allowed to open our stockings before anyone got up, then we had to wait to have breakfast with everyone before we got to see what Santa brought for everyone else.
Pipestone Flyer Editor Stu Salkeld:
My fondest Christmas memory has to do with Christmas morning in 1980 and how exciting it was. But later in life that Christmas morning became special for yet another reason.
My twin brother and I were, and remain, huge fans of Star Wars movies. As kids, we loved playing Star Wars, and as is the case with a lot of 40-something men and some women, we had Kenner Star Wars toys in abundance.
The second Star Wars movie, The Empire Strikes Back, came out in 1980, and with it came a deluge of toys. Many movie critics call TESB the best movie in the series (it’s the one that introduced Yoda, the pint-sized philosopher) and it must surely be ranked first among kids in the early 80’s for the coolest characters, creatures and toys.
On Christmas morning in 1980 my brother and I, nine years old, raced into the living room to see the massive Imperial AT-AT with a red bow on top, plus the Rebel Snowspeeder, Boba Fett’s Slave I, the Planet Hoth play set and the Bespin Twin-Pod Cloud Car. On top of those were bounty hunters IG-88, Bossk and Dengar. Plus, we got the Hoth Rebel Trooper, Imperial Snowtrooper, Han Solo in Hoth Gear, Bespin Luke Skywalker and, of course, Lando Calrissian. Nothing could match that morning.
As the years went by and I became somewhat of an adult, I started to realize the financial demands placed on an adult, not to mention how expensive toys can be. That’s when that morning’s second meaning came to me.
My brother, my sister and I were raised by a single mom. At the time I didn’t realize how challenging it is to raise kids, let alone raise kids without help. The fact that she not only provided a safe, happy home for us but also found the money somewhere to give us those memorable Christmas mornings is what amazes me most. Thanks Mom.
Season’s greetings to all of the readers of the Leduc/Wetaskiwin Pipestone Flyer.
Pipestone Flyer Wetaskiwin Sales Rep Christina Komives:
Christmas was always a big deal at my house growing up. But I think that my favourite Christmas memory, I guess it’s more of a tradition, was going to find the Christmas tree.
Each year our whole family would get together and we would pile into a bunch of vehicles and head out in search of the “perfect” tree (it was very Griswoldish). When we got to woods we would start searching, we had sleds, quads and toboggans and we would all roam around looking for the best tree. But anyone who has hunted for a real tree in the bush knows that there is no perfect tree and you spend more time talking about which side can be put up against a wall or in a corner to hide the bald spot.
Once the trees had been found we would all have a fire, roast hot dogs, drink hot chocolate and listen to the adults talk about all the times before that they had done this same thing and the mishaps and memories they had made doing it. Everyone would hang around for a few hours and go tobogganing or skating.
When the sun was going down we would all pile back in to our vehicles, trees in tow and head home for decorating. The hardest part of this was was having to wait till the tree warmed up and you could decorate it.
As an adult, I cherish those memories from my childhood Christmas’s and even though I have moved away from home and don’t go on the big Christmas tree hunts with my whole family, my husband and I still have a day where we go in search of the “perfect” tree. And even though we have a nice tree each year, we are still searching for the perfect, no bald spot tree.
Pipestone Flyer Reporter Amelia Naismith:
Growing up, it was always my parent’s rule my brother, my sister and I were not allowed to leave our beds Christmas morning and race down to the other end of the house to wake them until 6 a.m. One year I remember my eyes popping open in the darkness, all excited to shake my sister awake and get the rest of the house up but when I rolled over to look at the clock I saw it was only 4 a.m. I knew there was no going back to sleep.
Thankfully I enjoyed reading by flashlight and could pass the time quietly and no one had to be the wiser. However, I can’t remember another time in my life when two hours passed more slowly; I just wouldn’t wait to have everyone awake and spend Christmas morning with my family.
Pipestone Flyer publisher Michele Rosenthal:
Rosenthal said when her kids were smaller, her son was 7 and her daughter 3, she put a tradition in place that on Christmas Eve that there was nothing under the Christmas tree. Tradition had it that Santa Claus did not come to visit until everyone went to bed, then St. Nick arrived. The next morning when the kids got up and ran to the tree, there was all kinds of stuff waiting to be unwrapped.
Now that her son is 23 and her daughter 18, things are a bit different. Santa puts everything under the tree early and everyone had to deal with the temptation of it.