By Carolyn Carter
I was asked to write about my most memorable Christmas. None of my Christmases stand out as the most memorable; each one was memorable in its own way.
My first memories are of Christmas on South Milledge Avenue in Athens, Ga. My brother, sister, and I of course were so excited on Christmas Eve that we couldn’t sleep. At the crack of dawn, we all ran into the living room to see what Santa had left. I remember my mother’s wonderful coconut cake and fruitcake. She took a hammer to the coconut on our side porch and soaked the fruitcake for weeks.
I remember the Christmas I got engaged. My romantic husband-to-be proposed by saying, “Want to go look at rings?” I was so excited about that ring and proud to become Mrs. Russell Carter in May 1970.
When our kids, Scott and Kelli, came along, I remember different memories. Oh, how happy it made us to be making memories with them. Our tradition was to spend Christmas Eve with my family and then drive home to Madison. On these drives, we always looked up to see if we could see Santa in his sleigh. On Christmas morning, we would have devotionals before we opened our presents. Sometimes Russell and I teared up thinking about how very blessed we were.
Scott and Kelli remember going to Jack’s Creek to find the perfect Christmas tree. They remember going to Crawfordville to see the dazzling light display and going to the Lions Club Christmas parties, complete with Santa and presents.
Years later, in 2000, we welcomed our son-in-law, Andy, into our Christmas traditions. And in 2001 we welcomed our daughter-in-law, Amy.
I remember the heartbreakingly sad Christmas when we had been so excited to welcome our very first grandchild, but it was not to be. In 2005 we were blessed with our first granddaughter, and then in 2006 our first grandson. 2010 brought two new granddaughters to complete our family.
Our memories are different now than when our kids were growing up, but they are just as special. We all gather on Christmas night at our house, and we realize that being with family is the best gift we could ever receive. We are still making memorable Christmases.