Elemetary school children offer up favorite Christmas memroies

Published12/24/2007 11:29 PM

Making spirits bright. We asked area elementary school students to share their favorite holiday memories. From sledding in the snow to new pets and dirt bikes, here are their recollections of some very special Christmases.

These students are fourth-graders in Susan Zaeske's fourth-grade class at Gilberts Elementary School.


Sledding in the snow

My favorite Christmas memory is going sledding. I had to put on my boots, snow pants, hat, jacket, and gloves. I got to go sledding with my dad. My dad pulled me all around a neighborhood. My sled is special because my grandma sent it to me from Poland. I had so much fun with my sled. I went really far with my sled. Went up a huge mound of snow where the sidewalk used to be. Then we went down a slope of grass full of snow. I was getting cold so we went back home. I'll never forget that Christmas.

Alex Sokolowski

Drums for Christmas

My favorite Christmas memory was on December 25, 2004. On that day I just come from the hospital from getting my appendix taken out. I was in the hospital for four days. When I came home I got the present I have always wanted. I got drums! I was so happy I carried the drums all the way to the living room. Then me and my sister started to play our instruments. My sister got an electric piano! Now you know about my very favorite and interesting Christmas.

Abagail Darrow

Art endeavors

My favorite Christmas memory was when my aunt got me a box of art supplies. There was this book that my aunt made! It was really cool. The book didn't have normal size papers, it had the size of construction paper. I think it was construction paper because it felt like it. The box had silver stuff that when it dries it is hard and it looks really cool. I still have all the stuff from the box. I also got markers and crayons. Those I lost. I still use the book. My mom doesn't let me use the silver stuff. I only used it once and it made a major mess. I also got a nose eraser. It was funny. So now you know why I liked that Christmas.

Vincent Arena

These students are fourth-graders in Debra Hopp's fourth-grade class at Gilberts Elementary School.

Singing at church

My favorite Christmas memory is going to church on Christmas Eve. We all sing songs like Silent Night, Eagles Wing, and Mary Had a Baby Boy. My whole family participates.

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Every year my mom, dad, brothers, grandmothers and grandfather and I go to church as a family. We usually take up 1 whole pew. There are other big familys there too. The church has a manger seen.

As we sing a song we receive the Eucharist and wine, which we should believe as the body and blood. So the priest preaches, the choir sings, the pianist plays, and the people see the true meaning of Christmas. That's my favorite Christmas memory.

Kasey Reigner

Gingerbread with Grandma

My favorite Christmas memory is when I went to my aunt's house on Christmas Day 2005. It was my best Christmas because my grandma was there. I was so happy, we had so much fun. My family ate the delicious food that my mom cook. After we were done ateing my grandma said, "Let's make gingerbread cookies." Then everyone said, "yes." So my cousins sat around the table to help my grandma make gingerbread cookies. All my cousins had their own dough to make gingerbread cookies. Then we put them on a cookie tray to put and baked in the oven.

My grandma read a story about a gingerbread girl. It was a fun story. After she finished the book, we smelled the cookies and we asked my grandma if their were ready. My grandma took the cookies out of the oven and we put some sugar and cinnamon on the top of the cookies. My grandma told us to eat the gingerbread cookies. There were the best gingerbread cookies that I ate in my life. I had so much fun spending time with my grandma and cousins during Christmas Day 2006 at my aunt's house.


Melissa Espinoza

Lunch and presents

My faverit Christmas memory is having a Christmas party with all of our reliteus. Everyone gathers at our unkle's mantchin. At 11 the party begins.

Everyone brings food to eat like prezzles dipped in cremy wight chocolate. Sometimes people bring food for lunch like ribs with a thin surup look of barbiqu caus.

After lunch all of the presents were done being unwrapped. People started throwing wraping paper everywhere. It was fun but after a while we ran out of paper. So we had to stop. That's what we did for a Christmas party.

Karena Daugherty

Christmas cookies

My favorite Christmas memory is making Christmas cookies with my Mom. I always help my Mom mix everything together. She lets me lick the spoon after she is done mixing.

When my Mom looks away I steal the cookie dough. The cookie dough has a sweet taste.

We finally get to use the cookie cutters. My Mom makes the shape of a gingerbread man and I make a shape of a Christmas tree.

Once were done shaping the cookies we put the cookies into the hot oven so they can bake. I stand right next to the oven waiting for the cookies to be done. Ding! went the oven. Then, I took the cookies out right away. Then, I put the red and green sprinkles on the cookies. The sprinkles made the cookies glisten.

It was time to eat. My whole family ate their cookies and said these cookies are delicous! I felt good inside because they said that. That is my favorite Christmas memory.

Sarah Johnson

Eating together

A Christmas morey is seeing all my faimaly and eating all togather at the dinner toble. And opening presents by the Christmas tree. And making things on the dinner table.

Last year we hode Christmas at grandma's house but this year we are going to have Christmas at are house then grandma's house. And we all got to play in the snow at are house and at grandma's house on Christmas day. And we got to go sleoding on a hill on Christmas day.

But whene we opened presents by the Christmas tree I was sorrounded by Christmas presents. But when I opened the Christmas presents I dident bilive my eyes. We hade so meny presents it was bitiful and when I opened my presents they where so cool.

Avery Humbracht

Three days at grandma's

The best Christmas memory I have is spending 3 days at my grandma's house. One thing I love about going there for 3 days is helping my family decorate the tree. It takes us 1 hour to put 58 ornaments on the tree. When we are done it looks awsome. This happens Christmas Eve.

Another thing we do is watch Christmas movies and shows like The Christmas Story, The Grinch, and Grandma got ran over by a riendeer. They are very funny. We usually watch them with the whole family.

The last thing we do is share and recieve presents. Last year the family all pitched in some money and bought my grandparents a brand new BBQ. They loved it!

We have a tradition that we go to church at 11 p.m. and come back at 12 a.m. to open presents. When we get back it is like a mad house. My cousins are yelling, my grandma is yelling and there is a loud ripping of wrapping paper in the background. But in the end everyone is happy for what they got.

Well there you have it, my 3 days at grandma's house.

Federico Marsico

Football and games

My favorite memory is my family coming over for dinner. We boys usually watch the football game. We always open presents at the end of the party. The whole family always play a game. Sometimes there are two games going on because of all the people.

When we eat dinner, we eat a lot of stuff. We normally have turkey, lasagna, smashed potatoes, bread and butter, and some chips and soda pop. It's always a good football game on Christmas. Last year on Christmas Day, it was snowing and it was the Raiders vs. the Chiefs.

Michael Boutin

Early memories

I have many Christmas memories but I remember three the most. The first one is setting up the Christmas tree in November. I remember this memory a lot because it was the earliest time I ever put up my Christmas tree. In fact, that was just last year.

The second memory I have is going outside and having a snowball fight. Me and my sister play across our driveway, throwing snowballs which normally don't make it across.

My third and most favorite memory is when me and my family went to Wisconsin for my dad's birthday. This is possible because my dad's birthday is two days after Christmas.

Camron Imeny

'We take leftovers'

This is one of my Christmas memories. We make Christmas cookies. First we get some dough then we shape it into the stars and Christmas trees.

Second, we put the dough on a pan. We cook them for 1 hour. Then take out the pan and let them cool. Finally you take them to Christmas parties. We take leftovers if the family chose not to eat them all.

Joey Lombardo

'I get to see grandma's dog'

The best Christmas memory I have is that my grandma comes over every year and brings us presents. She also comes over for dinner. She sleeps over and brings her dog. Last year, she came at 12 o'clock instead of 3 o'clock.

Then in the morning, she was making coffee. I was the second one up. Grandma was the first one up. We waited for the others so we could open presents. We got up at 7 o'clock. Then Hunter came down at 7:34. Then RJ and mom came at 8 o'clock. Then my dad came at 8:15. Then mom and dad had coffee with grandma.

First we went to stockings. We got a lot of candy. Then we went to presents. We had fun opening the presents. After opening the presents, we played with the dogs. Then after we played with the dogs, we played with board games, TV and stuff like that. Then grandma had to leave so we said bye. Then we played with our presents.

This is my favorite memory because I get to spend time with family. I get to see grandma's dog. Also because we have a great Christmas

Alec Consigny

Building igloos</p>

My favorite thing to do outside at Christmas is building iglues.

I always start by making box shapes. It is hard. I do not know how so my mom and dad did it.

Next me, mom, dad and sometimes my cousin Madison all put the box shapes into a circle.

Then we have to stack them. It gets higher and higher then my mom or dad has to do it.

Last we have to make the door. I have no idea how to do that so my mom or dad does it.

Then we were cold so we went inside and had some hot cocoa.

The next morning we went to build a snowman. But when we went inside to have hot cocoa my dad sckard us.

Mikala Cawvey

Family from Greece

My favorite Christmas memory is going to my grandma's house. That is the first house we go to on Christmas Day.

I choose this Christmas memory because my grandma is really close to me. It is fun to go to her house. She has punch and games for me and my brother Peter. I like to see my grandmother and other family members. Sometimes I even see my family members from Greece too! I love to see them. I do not see them often. I like this memory because I had fun, I saw my family members and I saw my friends.

Alexa Panagakos

Snowball wars

My favorite Christmas memory is when we have a snow ball war. There is 7 people on both sides. I have 15 cousins in my family. One is a baby.

We through huge chunks of snow at the other side. It hurts when there is ice in it. The younger kids always follow the older kids. The older kids chuck snow at the younger kids.

We all like it when the older kids help us. Sometimes some of the adults play and help the younger kids. It's really fun playing the game when my family helps each other. We show we love each other. That's my favorite Christmas memory ever.

Trevor McHone

Preparing for Christmas

On Christmas morning I wake up and see my presents under the Christmas tree. They are rapped up in butifull rapping paper with sparkling bows and long ribbons under the Christmas tree lights.

I make cookies with my mom every Christmas. We usually make chocolate chip cookies. When my mom isn't looking, I eat the rough cookie dough. I also steal the cookies when they are done.

On the week before Christmas, me, my grandma, also my dumb siblings decorate my grandma's house. First we put up the Christmas tree. Second we put the ornaments on the tree. Finally we put up the reaf.

Briahna Baldridge

Grammy comes over

Every year I have my grammy come over. Sometimes she does not come. I don't know. Most of the times she has come over. Sometimes my cousins from Florida most of the time. Sometimes I go to Florida for Christmas. Every morning, I get up, go to the bathroom and brush my teeth, pat the cat, make the bed, drink some juice and put all the presents in the piles. Then open presents!!!

Jon Bishop

Family gatherings

My favorite Christmas memory is when we go to aunt's house on Christmas Eve. I like to go there because we eat, open presents and play. My grandma made up a game where we get cards and if she calls your card you get a present from a pile.

Another Christmas memory is going to my grandma's and grandpa's house on Christmas Day. At my grandma and grandpa's house, we play, eat and open presents. My cousins and I always play football in the basement.

My last Christmas memory is having fun at both places and at home. At home we just open presents on Christmas Day and then we go to my grandma's and grandpa's house. Those are my Christmas memories.

Jacob Witecha

A ton of presents

My favorite Christmas was in 2005. It was my favorite because it was my first time spending Christmas Eve at my grandparents'. Because usually we don't. A lot of people were there and there was a few inches of snow on the ground. It was a fun Christmas. There was a lot of food, too. For dessert, we had cookies, pie, cocoa and cranberry sauce.

Every time we spend Christmas with my grandparents there is a ton of presents because my aunts and my family and I go over Christmas morning. Usually every Christmas Eve we go to church then go to my cousins.

Sydney Siegbahn

Mom's hot chocolate

My Christmas memory is that when we open presents we rip the paper. And you can hear the crumbling in your ears. Also you can hear the excitement in the whole room. Laughter and joy. I am counting down the days in my calendar at home.

My next Christmas memory is when my mom makes hot chocolate. It tastes like a chocolate bar melted into a creamy hot liquid. It is really good. We sing Christmas carols while we drink our hot chocolate. When we are done, we go to the garage to play some ball. That is our tradition. Sometimes we get our presents on Christmas Eve. That is cool. Last year we went to the garage. Santa knocked on our garage door so I took and bat and opened the garage door and nothing was there. So I ran home and the whole Christmas tree was full of presents. That is my Christmas memory.

Matthew Gottfrydziak

A chocolate fountain

My favorite Christmas memory is when I go to my cousin's house on Christmas Eve and we open presents from other relatives and we play games and eat food like cookies, marshmallows under a chocolate fountain.

After dinner, the parents play a game downstairs and the kids have to play upstairs. I don't like when they shuffle us upstairs. The game they play is that they open a present and it has stuff inside.

Veronica Holt

'They get me what I ask for'

The best Christmas thing we do every year is we see my family.

I get to see my mom's side so that means I get to see my 2-year-old cousin and my 1-month-old cousin. I get to see my grandma and grandpa. They get me what I ask for.

I also see my dad's side. I get to see my 13 cousins. We also do a grab bag. I get to see my two grandmas and my grandpa.

I also get to see my uncle, my aunt and my cousin. They always get me the best presents.

I also get to see my grandparents from Arizona. Everybody on my dad's side get together.

Brendan Yarwood

It didn't snow

One of the things I will remember about one Christmas was it didn't snow. Because the global warming made it not snow.

It did snow once but it melted in a couple of days. It did not snow even 1 inch of snow.

I did not like it because it snows every Christmas. Also because of it, I could not make a snowman or snow angels.

Eric L. Bajorek

These students are fourth-graders in Wendy Sibery's fourth-grade class at Gilberts Elementary School.

A cat named Ace</p>

On December 20, 2006, we found a gift we didn't know we were going to receive. We found it outside in a cold blizzard slippery night. It all started when my brother's friend Brendan said, "there's something under your car." I was scared because I didn't know what was going on.

We found a very cold, wild cat outside. He was in our long driveway under the car. The cat was black and very scared. We brought it into our garage to see if it was ok, but it wasn't. Its paw was flat and frozen from frostbite. We let it stay in the garage all night. My mom brought it to the vet. It was a boy. My brother Bruce named it Ace. We all liked it, even our neighbors. On Christmas Eve, Bruce and I were scared to leave Ace home alone for the first time, but I got over it. When we got back from my grandma's house, Ace was gone. I told my mom and she said, "He's upstairs."

I went to bed and my mom brought Ace downstairs. On Christmas Day, my mom brought Ace in my room and put him in my bed. I woke up and said "Ace, Merry Christmas," and Ace purred.

Allison Gunter

A new dog

It was December 24, Christmas Eve, at my house when I got my dog. I was excited. One day I woke up, my mom said she was going some where. She didn't say where. She said she would be right back. Then she left. Two hours later she came back but brought nothing. I was confused why she didn't get anything. Then we decorated the house because my family was coming over with presents soon.

It was 6 p.m. then my cousins came and my grand parents and my aunt and uncle. We ate dinner then it was time to open presents. My brothers and I opened all the gifts. My mom said a special present was coming for me. My grandpa brought a big brown box with holes and my mom had a bag. My grandpa put the box down. He said I could open it. I was opening it. I looked inside and there was a puppy. I screamed. I picked it up. It was black and brown and white. It was cute. His name was Cory. My mom gave me dog food for him and dog toys.

Then my brother and I played with him. He was so small he couldn't even get upstairs or downstairs. We had to carry him upstairs. His teeth were so tiny. He got tired and fell asleep on the couch. He looked cute when he was sleeping. My mom said that puppies like to sleep a lot. This was his first Christmas ever and he got to spend it with the best family ever.

It was my bed time too because Santa was coming. I put the milk and cookies on the table. My grandparents and ant and uncle will stay untill 12. Then I got my pajamas on and told everybody goodnight. My grandpa stopped me and said that was his present to me and I had to take good care of my dog. We went to sleep. I was holding Cory and we fell asleep.

As you can see my best Christmas memory was when I got my cute puppy. He continues to bring love all year long.

Micheline Jason

A hotel stay

Every year my family visits our grandma and grandpa in Minnesota. This time our trip to Minnesota was very bad. There was a huge blizzard coming our way.

It all started on a cold winter day when we were just about to go to Minnesota. We never looked at the weather channel before we left. We finally left and when we approached Wisconsin, it all started to snow. Every minute it snowed harder and harder, until it could not snow harder any more.

Luckily, we were by a hotel. We went to the hotel and stayed over night. The hotel was very nasty. My mom slept with her coat on, because she did not like the hotel at all. Our grandma and grandpa must have been worried in Minnesota, because we were going to see them and we were very late.

When we finally left, the snow was really high, but we did not bother to go back home or our grandma and grandpa would be too worried. When we finally got to Minnesota, it was worse. Our car was going about 20 miles per hour. It was the longest car ride ever. I could not believe how long the ride was. It took us over 16 hours from our house to Minnesota. I had nothing to do. I had a horrible thought that we were going to go back home instead of Minnesota in all that snow, and not be able to see our grandparents.

When we finally made it to Minnesota, my grandma and grandpa wanted to know what happened to us. We told them the whole story. We sat down and we thought about everything we went through.

The lesson I learned is that Christmas is about spending time with family members that you don't see very often. It is also about doing about what ever it takes to spend that special time with them. Families are the most important thing in life.

Bradley Nelson

My new baby sister

I will always remember December 21, 2006. I was going to get my 4th baby brother or sister. I was waiting anxiously at home to hear about the birth of the baby!

I couldn't wait to hear what a wonderful brother or sister I would have. My mom called from the hospital talking to my Grandma Paula. When she got off the phone she screamed! She screamed because the baby has been born at 3 a.m. I did not find out until the next day. Once I heard I had a baby sister I went straight to Good Sheperd Hospital (where she'd been born). She looked so cute and would you believe she looked like me?! My new baby sister came home the day before Christmas!

To have another baby in the house is tiring but wonderful. It is also a ton more work to do! It is tiring because you have to change diapers, give baths, put up with all that crying and putting her a sleep.

Even though she is a lot of work, I will never forget my Christmas sister. She continues to bring joy to my family!

Carrie Johnson

Trimming the tree

Each year in the month of December, my family and I go out to find the perfect Christmas tree. We bring the tree home and put it on the stand. This always give me the Christmas joy.

The next day we go to find the ornaments in the basement. In the basement we find the ornaments and the Santa tree topper. The topper is special because it has been passed from my great-grandmother to my grandma and now to my mom. We have to handle it very carfully because its made of fragile glass. I hope it becomes mine some day to pass on. When we get upstairs we put the ornaments and lights on the tree.

The very last ornament is the Santa tree topper. My mom always puts the topper on the tippy top of the tree. Once it is on the top, we all gather around the tree to sing Christmas carols. The Santa is a symbol that the winter seson is here.

This tradition brings my family together. We spend a lot of time together and have a good time.

Mattisen Mullranin

An uncle in Iraq

On Dec. 24, 2006, I had the most wonderful Christmas ever that will go down in history. It started in Florida. My parents and my Aunt Wendy rented an apartment. I shared my room with May Aunt and her child Oscar. We bought a Christmas tree tall and green to get our family in the holiday mood.

My mother came running down the hall like a race car would giving me a paper and a pen. She said, "let's write your Christmas list." I paused for a moment then said, "May I do it by myself?" She said, "of course," with a confused expression. The only thing I wrote was my uncle's name on it. At the very bottom I wrote, "bring him safe from Iraq." I yelled out so loud saying, "Mom, I'm done!"

Se came running as her ears were in pain because of my loud voice. My mom took the paper right out of my hands. Then looked at me with her big brown eyes. Then gave me the biggest hug ever!!! Then showed my dad but did not say anything. It was time to take my 12 o'clock nap. Then suddenly I heard the door bell ring.

I ran downstairs as my chubby legs could carry me. It was my dad's friend coming over. I went to my dad and saw him talking. I ran behind the wall before he saw me. I heard my dad's friend say my uncle was coming back soon. I ran so fast that they did not see me go back to my room, I was jumping like a kangaroo to get the excitement out of my body.

The next day I ran down stairs to see if my wish came true. All the presents I saw were from my parents, none from Santa. I turned with my head down disappointed. Then suddenly I heard the tree shake. I saw two brown boots behind the tree. Out popped human. My uncle took me into his arms very tight.

This memory was one of my most magical! I will always remember how it felt when my uncle hugged me and was home safe. My Christmas wish was granted and I hope yours are too!

Rosa Rivera

Sledding in Wing Park

I will never forget the time I spent with my family. It was over Christmas vacation. We enjoyed our time together.

It all started in 2005 three days before Christmas. I went sledding with my dad and sister. They took me to a park with a really big hill. The park is called Wing Park. It was exciting when my dad pushed me down the hill. I almost crashed into a tree. Then he pushed my sister and she also crashed into a tree. We had a great time but I got hurt while walking up the hill with my red sled. I twisted my ankle.

We had to go back to my house. When we got there my mom just finished making delicious hot chocolate. We also sat down, drinking hot chocolate and watching a movie. It was a fantastic movie. It was the Santa Clause movie.

It will always remember Christmas 2005 because my family had a great day together. Christmas is about spending time with family.

Adrian Rodriguez

Being with family

One cold winter morning in 2006 I was so excited because the best holiday of all is finally here. My family always has good times together.

One Christmas morning, I raced down the stairs into the family room. I sat by the Christmas tree. My mom was sitting on the couch staring at me. Suddenly I heard someone coming down the stairs. It was only my big sister. When my little sister came down the stairs she sat next to me. About one minute later, I told my older sister to come sit by the tree. When she did my mom would still not let us open our presents because my dad was still in bed. My mom told me I could go wake him up. I ran up the stairs, went right into his room and got him up. Then I went downstairs and sat by the tree again ready to open my presents. When my dad went into the bathroom, my mom let us open the presents we got from Santa. When my dad came out of the bathroom, my mom said we can start to open our presents. I heard a lot of ripping wrapping paper. After we were done opening presents, we got out our sled. Then we dragged it through the snow to make it only go a certain way. It was so cool and fast. I tilted the sled so it would go off the course we made. It did go off the course and went straight into the weeds that was there.

I went on the sled again. After a few times, my mom came out and got us. I had to go in. When I got in my older sister and I had some hot chocolate with marshmallows. The hot chocolate was so good with marshmallows.

Not everyone knows but Christmas is not only about presents. It is about being with your family.

Joey Orsolini

A surprise from Grandma

On December 15, ten days before Christmas, my grandma, my cousins and I started a wonderful tradition. I never thought that we were going to do such a marvelous activity.

I missed my grandma's phone call because I was outside playing in the snow with my cousins Julia and Dylan. All the sudden, I saw my grandma's big beige Cadillac pulling in the long black driveway. When she got out of her car, she had a pink cookie sheet and some ingredients. We were all surprised to see uncle Roman getting out of the back seat too.

We all went inside and my grandma told us to go wash our hands. When we got back in the kitchen, grandma said we were going to make Christmas cookies.

We got all the ingredients out. Julia and Dylan mixed the eggs and flour and I mixed the chocolate chips. After that, we put the cookie dough into little balls and put them in the oven to bake. When they came out, we could smell the delicious taste of chocolate. We each got to eat a cookie. The rest of the cookies were stored in a tin for Santa and my family. We had to wait until Christmas to eat them.

As you can see, if your grandma calls, you will never know what to expect. Grandmas are always very surprising. I will always cherish the time we spend together.

Kayla Tepper

Sledding with Nathan

I will always remember the good times my friend Nathan and I have going sledding at Randall Oaks during Christmas vacation. I get very excited to go with him.

Last year, we had the best time ever. Nathan got a new snowboard and I got a new sled. First we tried my sled. We dragged my blue sled up a 5-foot hill. At the top, we got on the sled. We held tightly on the sides of the sled as we pushed the sled down the hill. The sled went whizzing down the 5-foot hill like a bullit. When we hit the bottom we decided not to do it again because we were too frigid. So we decided to try the new snow board. Nathan went first. He said it was hard to balance. When he went down the hill, he fell down and got the freezing snow up his pants. We all laughed. Then I gave it a try. I went a little bit but then I had a bigger accident. I flipped over, but it was all right. We all laughed. That was the best sledding day ever.

As you can see, Nathan and I had a great time. I wish I could do it again next year so Nathan and I can have a great time at Randall Oaks Park.

Merry Christmas!

Allen Schane

No coal this year

One day before Christmas I had warm creamy hot chocolate. I was so excited because it was Christmas "Eve" and I was to open my presents.

I started to look at the clock because I wanted it to be Christmas. We had to light our Advent candle and it was my turn to light it. I actually lit it, but got very excited. Finally, I went to sleep. I heard footsteps on the stairs, and thought it was Santa. It was only my brother. He woke me up to open my presents. It was only 5 a.m. He did this to me every year and I was tired of it. I slept for a couple more hours. I woke up and looked over my huge 100-year-old railing. I couldn't believe all the presents under my green tree.

My brother and I wake my mom and dad up to go and open our presents below our Christmas tree. I hoped that Santa got me a Ds. Lite, and what do you know. I open my first present and I get it. It was blackish dark purple. I got goodies in my stocking. Instead of big huge rolls of cole, that's what naughty people would get. That's what I thought.

As you can see I had a busy Christmas morning. I was thankful for the present I got because I've been waiting for a long time … The End.

John Shively

New puppies

It was close to Christmas and my dog ran away and never came back. I was very sad.

Then we were looking on the computer. We found two dogs. One's name was Daisy and the other one Cricket. The day that we had to go get them, we drove my grandpa to the airport. He got on the plane to fly to Little Rock, Arkansas to get the dogs. They were beagles. My grandma, my aunt Kristen and I then drove home to wait a couple of hours for him to come back with the dogs.

To kill time because we were anxious to see the dogs, we went to see the food court to eat. Finally, it was time to go get grandpa and our new dogs.

We saw him standing outside with two beagle puppies about 8 weeks old. They had a cage to sleep in. The next day my grandma and I went to Petco to get some toys for them to play with.

When we got home, we gave the toys to them. They ran around the house like a monster that is big and scary. That night they were barking because they had to sleep in a cage until they are potty-trained to sleep in my grandma and grandpa's room.

That was my best Christmas memory ever. Daisy and Cricket are now 1 year old. They give joy to the family.

Courtney Zewandowski

Cookies for Santa

One Christmas morning I will never forget is when my grandma, my mom and I were making cookies for Santa. I was really excited.

My grandma and I decided to make gingerbread cookies. That is my grandma's favorite cookie. My mom and I decided to put tree and Santa cookie prints on them to decorate the cookies.

My dad came back from a jog and said "I need some gingerbread cookies." He came over and took four cookies and shoved one into his mouth. He said that was the best cookie he ever tasted.

Three hours later someone rang the doorbell and left four presents. I saw a shadow of Santa. I was glad because I knew I was good. I was sad that before Santa came I never got to give him the cookies I made.

The next morning I had a magical feeling. I ran to my mom and dad's room and said Santa came. I ran down the stairs and the cookies were gone. My dad said "Can we make more cookies? They were good." "Yes," I said.

That Christmas is perfect because I spent time baking special cookies for Santa. It is a time with the grandma and mom that I will always remember.

Dana Dworak

Singing karaoke

This family memory happens under the ornament covered tree at my cousin's house. On the day we have a party I get a wonderful feeling about the Christmas Eve party.

Usually, it is snowing and at 6 p.m., it's time for the yearly party for Christmas. Each year the party is at my uncle Floyd's house. His house is covered in bright colorful lights. A snowman sat in front to top it all off. Next when my sister and I get inside we see our cousins. Our cousins are talking about what they are hoping to get this Christmas. Also they are drinking cocoa and munching cookies. Then my sister and I join the conversation. Each year, this memory makes me joyful.

Another memory is when my cousins and I go downstairs to play games. During that time, we can count on hearing our moms karoake. We all laugh at our moms' voices. They might have bad voices but they are having fun like they were kids again. We all think it's hysterical.

Then it's time to exchange gifts. This is my favorite time. The presents under the tree were wrapped in bright metallic paper. We were hoping to get something special. I find that gifts don't matter but family is the most important gift of all.

All of a sudden, I notice it's late and it's time to depart. Another party is over but a new memory is born in my mind.

Matt Lopez

The perfect tree

Every year in December, my family and I go to get the perfect tree. I remember all three years very well. The first year was wonderfully snowing. The second year we walked miles and there was the perfect tree right in the front of the tree farm. The third year, it was all muddy, mucky and raining really hard. Every year this is how it goes.

My family and I drive out to the tree farm. We all get bundled up and my dad goes to talk to the men who work there. Then we get on a tractor, pulling an open-roofed wagon with barely any sides. We get off the tractor and we squish squash in our boots. My sister Ainslee and I hear our mom and dad decide over which tree which should get.

I almost get to the end of the tree farm and I saw a whole field of stumps everywhere. Then I hear my mom call "Eva come on!!!" So I tumble back up the big hill. My mom says "How about this one. Too blue," as she answers her own question. My dad says, "How about this one?" "Ok," my mom says. "Too prickly, Mommy," my sister said. My dad starts cutting the tree down. Zit zit zit zit down goes the tree. Now the tractor with its annoying sounds of pulp pulp pling comes. My mom and dad joke, "We took the best one. Sorry guys." Now we go buy the tree. The men shake it off and wrap it up in wire. I said to my sister, "I think it's too prickly too." We get to the car and it really starts raining or snowing.

Later we went shopping for Christmas ornaments. Only one per person is my mom and dad's limit.

Afterwards, we go eat somewhere.

When we get home, we decorate it or let it thaw out a while. We take a nap, then I decorate it a week later because my mom and dad are busy with the FJ Bero Xmas party. That's when I stay up till 10:30 p.m. Anyway, the tree always looks great. We have collected great ornaments on our tree. We put the new ones on our tree that we bought.

There are many memories of our family's traditions. But I love buying the perfect tree. I love spending time with family and decorating our pokey, prickly tree.

Eva Bero

My first dirt bike

Yeah! It's Christmas time on December 20th. It is five days before Christmas Eve at the Seliga's house. Everyone is excited. One cold winter day five days before Christmas, I always wanted a dirt bike. My family, friends, aunts and uncles always asked me what I wanted. I said a dirt bike, a 70cc but my family either said no or it's too much money.

I didn't care. So I kept trying but the answer was always no. Five days just went like that. I mean really fast. Christmas Eve was here. Tonight all my family will come for dinner. Some might even stay overnight. My mom and I rushed to decorate the house because it wasn't fully decorated yet. Then we heard the doorbell. It was grandpa. When he walked in, I wanted to go sledding with my 3-year-old brother Jake. We have a skateboard ramp. Every year we put it on the edge of our huge hill. I was still thinking about a dirt bike but sledding much more fun. I was the first to test out the ramp. My sled glided on snow. It went about four feet in the air and landed hard in the snow. Some even got in my face. I saw sledding as a way to get my mind off a dirt bike. Then came nighttime and more and more people came for our Christmas party. Then my dad called out food is ready! There were all kinds of food you could imagine. I had so much I had to take stomach medicine. It was 11:30 p.m. and everyone started to leave. We went to sleep. I tried to fake sleep so I could see Santa. I couldn't stay awake so I fell asleep fast. Before I feel asleep I set my alarm clock for 3 a.m. When it came that time, my alarm clock buzzed and it was so loud. Then I just remembered it was Christmas Day. I rushed to look over the railing and saw presents like never before. I woke my mom and dad and Jake up to go downstairs. We opened all our presents. I was disappointed that I did not get a dirt bike, but oh well maybe next year.

Then my dad said, "Come downstairs, Nick." Then I felt happy. There was a 70cc Honda dirt bike. I said thank you to my mom and dad.

I will always remember the day I got my first dirt bike. I also will remember the true meaning of Christmas is not presents. It is your family, friends and being together.

Nicholas Seliga

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