Sharing My Top 10 Childhood Christmas Memories

Charlie Brown Christmas image from

A Charlie Brown Christmas. Image from

[These stories were first shared in 2009 and updated in 2012]

Think about this: It’s the 1960′s. A husband and wife with six children growing up between the ages of newborn and 15 during that interesting decade. Shaky marriage. Dependent on welfare. Living in Santa Barbara, California. Things should be grim at Christmastime, right?

Then why doesn’t sadness and despair come to mind when I think of my childhood during that magical time of year? My siblings might be able to offer some stories to the contrary. But I keep coming up with memory after memory that makes me laugh out loud, warms my heart, or brings forth a gentle tear.

I’m not sure how, Mom and Dad, but you pulled it off when the odds were against you.

So here they are, my Top Ten Childhood Christmas Memories. When I first listed them back in 2009, I posted a memory every few days as a countdown, until I got to the big reveal of my Number One memory. Now I have them all together for you to enjoy.

I hope you’ll share some similar memories of your own, either as a comment here or with your family and friends.

‘Tis the season to tell your stories.

Darla McDavid

I'm Darla, a writer of stories about family, friends, goodness, and God. I love cats, coffee, gardening, and tall stacks of books. Click here to subscribe to my blog. You can also find me on Facebook and Instagram. In my other life, I'm an administrative professional and a Sunday School teacher for preschoolers.

7 Comments Write a comment

  1. I LOVE IT so far, Darla….and your dad’s surprise was a stroke of genius …also his reaction to the “knowing about it!” (I’ll finish the rest tomorrow) (0:


    • Dad’s Surprise is the all-around favorite of the siblings. When we get together and talk about it, it’s hilarious because everyone adds details!


  2. My favorite is Lynne leading the “choir” of siblings. It’s a delight.
    Bless you, Darla, for holding the happy memories close to your heart and holding the harder details out at a distance. With all these jewels in your memory, you are truly rich!


  3. We also had difficult Christmas’s growing up between dad being out of work (after he retired from the army) his alcohol problem and not being around other relatives, but in spite of all of this our parents always showed they loved us and Christmas was always special no matter what our circumstances- I still remember getting excited over finding an orange and an apple with an assortment in our stockings every year…it was a tradition from my mother growing up in Germany, during the depression fruit was scarce so on Christmas it was a huge treat. We may not have been raised in the depression but fresh fruit was also scarce when I was growing up because of lack of funds, so it was a huge treat for us and something I always looked forward even as an adult. Funny how all those toys I can hardly remember but the fruit in my stocking still holds a special place in my memory. Thanks for sharing your memories with us. This is a wonderful time to reflect on the happy times. Merry Christmas!


    • Now that you mention it, I remember having fruit in our stockings! We were on welfare before food stamps, and we got powdered milk and eggs, canned meat, and boxed grains and cereal. I think the fruit we received was canned only. So, yes, fresh fruit was a true gift that somehow got to us — perhaps by a local charity or a kind neighbor. Or maybe from a nearby tree that Mom and Dad raided. Merry Christmas!


      • ummm, I did not think about mom and dad raiding a tree to get us some fruit, well other than the oranges, we lived in New Jersey at the time!!! You were creative with your tree I loved it. There are many wonderful and unique ways to celebrate our lovely holiday of our Saviors birth.


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