Readers of The Gospel Greats Weekly Newsletter were asked to send in personal stories about favorite Christmas memories.  The original intent was to use some of them on The Gospel Greats broadcast which aired Christmas weekend, 2010.  This was, in fact, done. However, we received so many of them that we wanted to share more of them with you through this special section of our website.  Enjoy perusing these Christmas stories.  And perhaps they will bring to mind some of your own favorite Christmas memories.

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"We carry on my Grandma's Norwegian tradition by going to the Christmas Eve candlelight service at our church and then gathering the family at home to open gifts and munch on goodies. We open our stockings on Christmas morning, but otherwise reserve Christmas Day as a "holy day" to focus on Christ's coming to earth as our Savior and to enjoy time as a family." — Hana Mertz, Olds, AB, Canada

"While talking to a neighbor, he told me they didn't do Christmas trees. Further talk revealed that the colored lights on the tree meant that Jesus was born. They didn't agree with that. From then until now, I have made sure my tree has colored lights, even though the white lights are pretty. Jesus is born! Hallelujah!" — M. L. Creel

"When we were little girls in the 50's, my sister and I decided we were going to find out if there was a Santa Clause or not. We slept on a fold-out couch in the front room. We decided that we would take turns sleeping on Christmas Eve. Real early in the morning my sister woke me and said someone was moving around in the other room. We laid real still to see who it was. Imagine our dad's surprise when he walked through the door with his arms full of stuff and we both set up and said "Hello, daddy." Well he was so shocked he wouldn't let us play with the stuff at all. We still laugh about that to this day about 55 years later." — Winona Boston

"In 1983, my son and his wife were stationed with the Army in Wurzburg, West Germany. I spent most of the month of December there with them. What an amazing journey that was. And what a delightful Christmas present their new grandson was. I was able to do a little traveling within West Germany and I got to see some German friends I had not seen in several years. That was a Christmas to remember forever." — Patty Hildebrand, Phoenix, Arizona

"One especially poignant and memorable Christmas was in 2006. My whole family gathered around my sister's bedside to exchange gifts. She had cancer and was nearing the end of her journey. The previous summer we had all been down in North Carolina at the Inspirations' park. We heard the Inspirations sing "If You Only Knew" for the first time and it just fit our situation so well. Less than one month after Christmas, God called Lynnae home and we know she is enjoying God's presence at this very moment. This song will always be special to us." — Gerrene Musser

"When I was growing up, Christmas was always a special time of the year, not because of the presents but because of the people. I grew up in a family with seven sisters and three brothers living in a three-bedroom house. Despite the size of the house, there was always room for others around the Christmas table. Often, these included my bachelor uncle, another bachelor who attended our church and an elderly couple who had no children or family to share Christmas with.

"Christmas morning started with all of the kids excitedly opening their presents. After breakfast we would then try on those new skates or try out that new hockey stick. While there were gifts of the things we needed (like pajamas or socks), there was also at least one gift that we wanted and although we never shared with our parents what that thing was, they always seemed to know.

"Preparations for Christmas dinner would begin shortly after that and while the older of us children would help out, Mom carried the bulk of the responsibility herself. What a feast it was! Turkey with all the trimmings, homemade buns and at least three kinds of pie for dessert. The dinner tables stretched from the dining room to the living room to accommodate the family and the additional dinner guests.

"Except for two items (my first pair of skates and my first camera) I cannot remember anything specific that I received for Christmas as a child, but I do recall the people, the food, the laughter and the time of fellowship we shared around the table." — Carol Birnie, Moosonee, ON, Canada

"A Christmas tradition my parents and I have is to attend Christmas Eve service at our home church of Sevier Heights Baptist Church in Knoxville, Tennessee. This service reminds all of us in attendance of the special blessings from God. Then on Christmas morning, we open our gifts. While this may not seem unique to some, it holds a special place in our hearts. After handing out the presents, each person takes a turn opening a gift while the other two watch in anticipation. By doing this, it gives each of us the opportunity to watch the joy and in some cases tears of excitement. Opening our gifts this way may take the entire day, but it gives the gift giver the joy of watching the recipient’s excitement." — Jan Taylor, Louisville, TN

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