What Are Your Best Memories?
For proof that holiday happiness doesn’t always come in shiny boxes, look back into your childhood and think about your favorite times. Chances are, they’re not all about the number of presents you received. (Although, yes, we know those are in there, too!) Here are some memories we gathered.
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We would always get together with my cousins for Christmas. They were older girls, and my sister and I would do these skits with them. Disco dancing, plays, whatever. One year, my family got a new stereo. We spent all morning with my cousins, recording ourselves singing songs and doing fake interviews. Just to date it, the one song we couldn’t stop singing that year was “Rhinestone Cowboy.”

mal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt; TEXT-ALIGN: right" align=right>– Jennifer, 35

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mal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt">One year, my brother and I got these letters in our stockings. They were cut out of a magazine and pasted on to cardboard. When we had gotten all the letters, we had to put them together like a puzzle. We finally figured out they spelled, “We go to Disney World.” And we did.

mal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt; TEXT-ALIGN: right" align=right>Charlotte, 37

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When I was very little, around 5, we moved to a new town. We were Jewish, and my parents at that point had never gotten a tree. But a neighbor knocked on our door and gave us a tree to welcome us to the neighborhood. My dad had to go to the hardware store and buy ornaments. All he got were blue lights and blue balls, because he didn’t even know you were supposed to get different colors. My mother always said that was her favorite tree, and it was mine, too. After that, we usually got a tree, but it was sort of a decision we had to make every year.

– Missy, 33


When I was 11, my grandmother took my entire extended family to Mexico. We stayed in little huts near the beach. It was super-relaxed. On Christmas Eve, we made dinner on hot plates and had a piñata, and I think we exchanged a few tiny gifts. I remember being really amazed by the fact that it didn’t matter that there weren’t really any presents. I mean, I was shocked that there were no presents, and I was still having such a great time.

– Amanda, 29


We had six menorahs so that each kid got their own to light, so we didn’t have to argue over who was going to light the candles. It was really cool. On the last day of Hanukkah, everyone had to give a present to everyone else, in addition to the presents they got for themselves. We’d always have latkes with homemade applesauce. After the presents, we’d play the dreidel games.

– Shanni, 32


I just remember that it was always fun to get together with my family and do all the usual decoration things. It was the build-up that was fun.