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Sharing the spirit

We were feeling in the holiday spirit more than usual this year and decided to ask members of our community about their favorite holiday memories.

Below you’ll find an eclectic mix of recollections that include helping others, family traditions, favorite presents as a kid and the fact that Dad doesn’t always have to be the one setting up the outdoor decorations.

Vi Weaver, Kingston:

Eight years ago, Vi Weaver and her daughter Barb Fulton were finishing up the Christmas food baskets for the Kingston Food Bank and had reached the point where there was no food left.

They were getting ready to leave when a car pulled up, filled with a family, including a boy and a girl. The father got out and said they had nothing for the holidays.

“We thought, ‘Oh my god, what are we going to do,’” Weaver said. “Barb and I just sat in the car and we cried.”

Weaver told them to come back in two hours. During that time, she and Fulton shopped for food and gifts, came home, wrapped the gifts and returned to the food bank.

“The two kids got out of the car and they said, ‘Oh my gosh, we get presents. We get presents!’” Weaver remembered. “I never forgot it, otherwise those kids wouldn’t have gotten a thing.”

And from then on, Weaver made the executive decision that every child who received a food box from Kingston Food Bank would also receive a toy.

“I wish I could see those people again and see how they are doing,” she said.

Art Ellison, Hansville:

“When I was a little kid, my parents and I would put up the Christmas tree on Christmas Eve. We had a good time getting it just right and then sat in the darkened room just admiring the lights, ornaments, and tinsel (the “real” kind, made of aluminum foil). About then, it was my bedtime — time to wait for Santa’s visit.

“After I went to bed, Santa visited and not only left gifts under the tree, some goodies in the stockings (with the requisite lump of coal), and eaten the cookies I had left out, but he had also put up an entire Lionel model railroad, complete with mountains, tunnels, a town and all the rest.

“I was so excited when I got up in the morning and found all that waiting for me! I can still feel the excitement just thinking about it after all these years.”

Linda Holt, Suquamish Tribe

“One of my favorite traditions we started (was) with my mom and me baking cookies to give away for Christmas presents. We have continued this tradition every year and expanded to include my younger sister and then my daughter.

“We now have expanded again and include my granddaughter. So, we are now up to four generations of baking cookies for Christmas. The whole family looks forward to reaping the rewards of our baking.”

Red Denson, Hansville

“Better memories and the resourcefulness of my wife Kathryn and daughter Linda occurred in 1966. I was deployed to Vietnam. We has a life-size Santa, sleigh, three reindeer and a fake chimney that I had always mounted on the roof of our house in Hawaii. Linda was 14 and she convinced her mother that just because I was gone was no reason not to decorate as usual. Somehow, they got all that stuff on the roof, properly braced and adequate sandbags to hold against the brisk tradewinds of Hawaii.

“Naturally, they sent pictures and gloating remarks about what girls could do when they put their minds to it. I was very proud.

“Of course, Rudolph’s nose never worked again, but that was OK.”

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