Sharing more Christmas memories

Helena’s Caboose & Welcome Station received new paint and fresh insignias in 2014. The Helena Beautification Committee added new shrubbery and planted 1000 daffodil bulbs that will provide a swath of spring color. (Contributed)

Helena’s Caboose & Welcome Station received new paint and fresh insignias in 2014. The Helena Beautification Committee added new shrubbery and planted 1000 daffodil bulbs that will provide a swath of spring color. (Contributed)

By LAURA BROOKHART / Community Columnist

“My most memorable Christmas was not the happiest one. Growing up in a small Vermont town, my dad worked for the town handling road duties, water department duties and constable duties, plus, he was the volunteer fire chief. One Christmas morning dad was called out before dawn to a house fire and unable to make it home until early afternoon.

My mother wanted to wait until dad got home to open presents and that was excruciating for a 9-year-old boy. I was allowed to have my stocking items, but I had to wait on under-the-tree presents. That was so hard and time seemed to move so slowly, but I also remembered that my dad was helping people in a time of need. So I learned a valuable lesson that day, one that I think has stuck with me my whole life.” –Brian Peters

“One of my favorite memories was the Christmas that my husband, Jim, hid clues to my present both inside and outside our house. The last clue led me to look behind a picture frame in our bedroom, where he had attached my add-a-bead necklace. I still treasure that necklace and remember with fondness how much love he put into my Christmas present.” –Penny Weldon

“Growing up, my mom made homemade fudge before Christmas while my Dad, sister and I piled up on floor pillows and watched The Fraggles and/or Star Wars. Then, we feasted on popcorn and shared licking the fudge spoon.” –Laura Joseph.

“World War II had barely ended and I was 5 years old. It was a simpler time of harmony, little stress and a family blessed in many ways. Everyone that mattered, I saw during Christmas of 1947.

My parents lived in a three-room duplex on Railroad Avenue in Gadsden. Nearby was Republic Steel Corporation, where my father worked, and Dwight Mills Corporation, where my mother and most of her family numbered among the 3,500 “lint heads” who toiled daily to provide food, clothing and a roof over the heads.

A constant stream of hobos, left over from the Depression Era, knocked on our door wanting a handout. My mother never turned them away, sharing what she could, and telling my sister and me that it might be Jesus in disguise.” –Gerald Waldrop