Inland Empire residents share special holiday memories – San Bernardino Sun


We asked and you answered.

The holiday season invokes memories that can really take you back.

And as we said we would, we’re sharing some of your favorite holiday recollections.

Picture time | 2020

Grandchildren Nixon, Presley, Brylee and Jeremy Whetstine and Taryn and Benson Jester in 2020. (Courtesy of Sylvia Jester)

“All of our grandchildren at my daughter and son-in-law’s home,” wrote Robert Jester of Winchester. “We sat their presents in front of them and would not allow them to be opened until they posed for the photo.”

Robert was there with his wife, Sylvia at the home in Corona, and called the children’s reaction memorable.

“The excitement they had when we said ‘Open your presents,’ it was wild,” he wrote.

Pre-Christmas travel | 2013

Chris Frausto is seen in the quiet, empty, snow-covered solitude of Zion National Park in Utah in 2013. (Courtesy of Christina Frausto and her son)
Chris Frausto is seen in the quiet, empty, snow-covered solitude of Zion National Park in Utah in 2013. (Courtesy of Christina Frausto and her son)

“It was a fabulous pre-Christmas trip to Zion National Park with my son,” Ontario resident Christina Frausto wrote. “Fabulous because it was during the 16-day shut down of our national parks due to funding cuts. Free entry (no one to staff the place), zero crowds, so very quiet, we practically had the entire park to ourselves. Thank goodness nature never shuts down.”

This was “a once in a lifetime opportunity to visit a national park with no crowds,” Christina wrote, and she is happy to have been able to enjoy that time with her son.

Music memories | 2005

The Jackson family is seen in 2005 in Corona after its Christmas ceremony. All the family had changed into pajamas, Rita Jackson wrote. (Courtesy of Rita Jackson)
The Jackson family is seen in 2005 in Corona after its Christmas ceremony. All the family had changed into pajamas, Rita Jackson wrote. (Courtesy of Rita Jackson)

“It was Christmas Eve and I was sitting at my piano practicing the Christmas carols I would be playing at midnight during our 55-year tradition of laying baby Jesus in the manger,” Corona resident Rita Jackson wrote. “I was just about to play ‘White Christmas,’ which was my grandma’s (Nanie, as she was lovingly called by all her grandchildren) favorite Christmas song. While playing the introduction I had no idea that what was about to happen would be a memory I would carry with me for the rest of my life.”

“Although I have heard this song many times before, when my daughter and cousin began singing, the sound of their voices were so harmonious (almost angelic),” Jackson wrote, “it took me back to when I was a little girl. I closed my eyes for a moment and I was back at my Nanie’s house, surrounded by all of my family, laughing, smiling and singing. I wanted that moment to last forever so as soon as that song ended, I started playing, ‘God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen’ and was given another special memory.”

“My uncle (whom I called Nino, as he was also my godfather) who was sitting silently in a rocking chair in a corner of the room, started singing,” Jackson recalled. “Even though my Nino was well into his 80s, he still had a beautiful voice. It was so magical to be playing Christmas songs on my piano and listening to those beautiful voices that I hadn’t noticed the music and singing had drawn the rest of the family into the room but when the song was over, it became obvious by the complete silence that this special moment had touched everyone’s heart. I’ll cherish that beautiful memory forever, as it was the last Christmas Eve my uncle was able to spend with the whole family.”

Santa’s perfect suit| 2013

Leslie Nagby and her puppy, Skylar, sit on Santa's lap in 2013, during a holiday season trip. (Courtesy of Rob Nagby)
Leslie Nagby and her puppy, Skylar, sit on Santa’s lap in 2013, during a holiday season trip. (Courtesy of Rob Nagby)

“For the past 20 years, we have traveled with our dogs to the central coast in December,” wrote Riverside’s Leslie Nagby. “We visit the small towns and enjoy their Christmas parades, tree lighting ceremonies and town square Christmas carolers. In 2013, we had a new puppy named Skylar. My bright idea was to have a photo op with Skylar and Santa.

“Santa DID NOT want Skylar on his lap,” Nagby wrote, as he didn’t want dog hair on his suit.

“So, for the first time in at least 50 years, I sat on Santa’s lap and Skylar sat on mine. PICTURE PERFECT!”

The next year and every year since, Nagby wrote, “it was a new Santa and he loves having Skylar on his lap. And this became our Santa and Skylar tradition.”

Best. Gift. Ever. | 2002

Jo Sutt, left, is seen with her daughter, Jennifer Gonzalez, who is marking 20 years this year since a kidney/pancreas transplant. (Courtesy of Jo Sutt)
Jo Sutt, left, is seen with her daughter, Jennifer Gonzalez, who is marking 20 years this year since a kidney/pancreas transplant. (Courtesy of Jo Sutt)

“On Dec. 23, 20 years ago, we received a call telling us that organs were available for my daughter’s kidney/pancreas transplant,” Yucaipa resident Jo Sutt wrote.

“My first reaction was sheer joy at the prospect of a ‘new life’ for my girl, who had been so miserable, and so close to death for 11 years,” Sutt wrote. “That sense of joy was immediately followed by deep feelings of grief and sympathy for the family” experiencing the loss of someone they loved.

“Finally, my whole being was flooded with gratitude,” Sutt wrote. “Best Christmas and best Christmas gift. EVER!”

Cherished present | 1948

Fontana resident Dolores Higgins holds her Trudy doll, which she received as a Christmas gift in 1948, one of three presents she received that year. (Courtesy of Dolores Higgins)
Fontana resident Dolores Higgins holds her Trudy doll, which she received as a Christmas gift in 1948, one of three presents she received that year. (Courtesy of Dolores Higgins)

Fontana resident Dolores Higgins was born in 1939 and had no brothers or sisters.

“I recall it was a time when provisions were low and luxuries were nil,” she wrote. “But many shared the same experiences, so I really didn’t know we were less fortunate.”

Her family moved to Fontana in 1948, when she was 9.

Daily meals consisted of oatmeal for breakfast, a bowl of beans for lunch and “for supper (a bowl of beans BUT also cornbread!” That was what “we had every single day,” Higgins wrote. “There were no snacks in between.”

They never considered themselves poor, but felt fortunate to have a place to sleep and three meals a day, she wrote.

“During most Christmas times I was thrilled to receive one gift, Higgins said. “Our holidays were happy times, mainly because I had a mother and father who loved me and we appreciated all we had.”

That first Christmas in Fontana was a “very special time for me,” Higgins wrote. “It still is today (at age 83). That Christmas, I had THREE gifts to open. What a privilege that was.”

The first gift was a box of pink rubber ‘split’ curlers, or Ruby Lane doll curlers.

“Back then, they were for little girls; not dolls,” Higgins wrote.

The gift came from Aunt Mae, her father’s sister, who worked in a factory where the curlers were made. The second gift was a dark blue Biblical book on The Story of David, from Aunt Leota, her mother’s sister.

“My most cherished gift of all was my Trudy doll,” Higgins wrote. “Even though this was 74 years ago, I remember opening my gifts; especially my Trudy doll.”

She was in a shoebox asleep, Higgins wrote.

“I recall saying to my mother, ‘I love her, but … she will always be sleeping.’ When I didn’t notice, my mother turned a knob on the top of Trudy’s head and suddenly, she was awake! Then, my mother turned the knob once more and she was crying.”

Higgins still cherishes the doll today and, 74 years later, Higgins remembers it as the year she received three Christmas gifts.

“But, most of all, I’ll remember it as the Christmas I got my Trudy doll.”

Letter from Santa | 1957

Siblings, from left, Margie House Neal, Loyd House, Carolyn Greywood and Steve House experienced the holiday joy of a creative father on Christmas 1957 in Murrieta. (Courtesy of Carolyn Greywood)
Siblings, from left, Margie House Neal, Loyd House, Carolyn Greywood and Steve House experienced the holiday joy of a creative father on Christmas 1957 in Murrieta. (Courtesy of Carolyn Greywood)

“One December day in 1957, a note appeared at our door, addressed to ‘House, Children,’” Riverside resident Carolyn Greywood wrote.

Her memory is from growing up “in our tiny town of Murrieta in the ’50s and ’60s.”



Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *