Children at heart of Christmas memories


December 25, 1992|By SYLVIA BADGER

Christmas has always been a meaningful time for me, but there were three that were particularly memorable.

The first was when my son, Gordon Boone, was 6 weeks old, and we spent Christmas with my mother in North Carolina. Three years later, my second child, Anne Boone-Simanski, was born on Christmas Eve, and four years later, my third child, John R. Marshall Boone, was born on Dec. 24.

In addition, my birthday is Dec. 22, so the holidays are always a happy time in our family.

B6 I've asked others to share their holiday memories:

Margaret (McKay) McManus

"When I was a little girl, I loved to read and write. The Christmas I most remember was when I was 12 and my godmother [Mamie] gave me her copy of 'Anne of Green Gables.'

"I remember it vividly: a brown cover and the pages were almost yellow. I eventually collected the whole series and read them about 20 times.

"She also gave me her old secretary desk that Christmas. I still have it. It went to college with me, to New York and is now my most treasured piece of furniture.

"That same Christmas, my father's brother, Uncle Will, came to see us on Christmas on the No. 8 streetcar. He gave me all the Louisa May Alcott books. I was delirious with joy.

"Mamie's book was old and worn. These were new and shiny, and I put them all in my new secretary desk."

Susan White-Bowden, former television anchor and author, and Jack Bowden, weekend anchor/newsman for WJLA-TV

"In 1990 when things were pretty rough, neither of us was working too much. We had a low budget, but the best Christmas we ever had.

"There was less emphasis on money and more on family. We cut down a tree on our property and did lots of baking. It was a wonderful Christmas because we were concentrating on each other."

Del. Gary Alexander, D-Prince George's, District 27

"My favorite holiday memory was when my son, Cory, was 13 years old and he was playing goalie for Team Washington [an ice hockey team]. Over the Christmas holidays, I was with the team, which was on a goodwill tour of the Soviet Union.

"On Christmas day, the team was playing in Kiev, and I remember feeling so proud to be an American as I watched those youngsters dressed in red, white and blue uniforms playing ice hockey."

Norman Taylor, president of the United Way of Central Maryland

"Do you remember Hopalong Cassidy? Well, one of my best memories was when I got a double holster Hopalong Cassidy cap gun set. The belt had big shiny buckles.

"Now that my hair is gray, I have more respect for Cassidy. He was a good cowboy, who was nice to everyone.

"My next best memory is when I was given a Lionel electric train, which I have kept over the years. My son used to play with the train when he was little."

Winfield Kelly Jr., Maryland secretary of state

"I was the oldest of 14 children, so I don't know how my parents managed. But when we went to bed on Christmas Eve, there was not one decoration, no tree or anything.

"And when we woke up the next morning, there was a beautiful tree and presents. It truly seemed like magic."

Bill Fogle Jr., Maryland secretary of licensing and regulation

"My favorite memory of Christmas will always be remembering, as a child, the anticipation, while sitting at the top of the stairs waiting for Dad to light the tree lights."

Richard D. Bennett, U.S. attorney for Maryland

"A special Christmas for my whole family happened many years ago. I was on the cutting edge of whether I believed in Santa Claus or not.

"It was about 7 p.m. on Christmas Eve and there was a knock on the door. My father opened the door and there stood an unbelievable-looking Santa. I was dumbfounded and shaking as I ran to find my Christmas list.

"After Santa talked to the children, he turned to my father and said, 'Do you have any eggnog?' It turns out that the man dressed as Santa was a friend of my father's, but I hadn't guessed who he was.

"I have extremely warm memories of that year. One other nice memory was when my sister gave me a Hopalong Cassidy record, and she was so excited about it, she made me open it on Christmas Eve."

Beverly Burke, WMAR-TV 2 news anchor

I love Christmas. It's so magical for children. My favorite memory is when my daughter was 6 years old and I had fallen asleep on the couch on Christmas Eve. I woke up to see her as she first spotted the lighted tree, toys and presents. Her eyes just lit up."

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