Memories live on during the holiday season | Commentary – Olean Times Herald

Posted: January 1, 2020 at 11:41 pm

Plans of writing this column early Christmas Eve were sidetracked when my daughter, Suzi, sent a text message asking if I could watch our grandson, Leo, while she took a short nap after a restless night.

Of course I agreed.

As Leo is a huge fan of The Grinch animated movie, which he calls the Dinch, I decided to write on my laptop while he watched the Dr. Seuss story that provides messages of love, charity and humor during the Christmas season.

Visiting with our grandson reminded me of the times spent with his mother as she was growing up, and some of the funny holiday memories that live on.

An early memory of mine was hurrying with Suzi to see Santa Claus downtown, only to watch helplessly as our young daughter screamed in terror prompting the big, hairy guy in the red suit to step back in alarm.

Later, when our daughter was a preschooler she was asked by one of my husbands coworkers what our family had done during the holiday. Her matter-of-fact reply was, We danced around the Christmas tree.

The coworker teases us a bout that to this day.

Another memory came about 10 years later when my daughter and I decided we were going to be in charge of setting up live Christmas trees in our home, as well as my aging parents home. That was a mistake from the get.

For some reason, we just couldnt get those trees to stand up straight after multiple attempts with screwing and rescrewing the bolts in the bottoms of the small pines. At the end of the venture, the base of the trees looked like termites had feasted on them and the trees were still somewhat crooked.

The slanted trees were beautiful to us, however, because of the fun and laughs we got out of putting them up.

A favorite memory of mine stems from the year that my ugly Christmas sweater, which I thought was cute and got second-hand from my mother, who also got it second-hand, won a contest at my daughters high school. It was the 2010-11 holiday season and the ugly sweater phenomenon was still in its infancy. Some of us at the time were unaware the sweaters were being embraced for their silliness, not their beauty. Such was the case when my daughter asked to wear my sweater as she thought was disgusting enough to win a contest. I didnt think this was the case and thought it surely wouldnt even be selected as one of the top three.

Always the sharp kid, she was right and won first place with the sweater which I never wore much after that.

There are other holiday memories from over the years of going out and cutting down live Christmas trees and the fun involved with hauling them back home on top of the vehicle.

There have been new memories made with our grandson that included attending his christening in our church on Christmas Eve in 2017, which brought a whole new meaning to the holiday.

Now, as we watch Leo enjoying things such as The Dinch movie, we hope that he will eventually learn the meaning of Christmas and the message of Baby Jesus born into the world to bring peace to all.

That, and a little bit of kindness, generosity and humor should carry him far in life.

(Kate Day Sager is a reporter for Bradford Publishing Co. Her email is

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Memories live on during the holiday season | Commentary - Olean Times Herald

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