Christmas memories reason to smile

By Theresa Schmidt - bio | email

LAKE CHARLES, LA.(KPLC) -One of the upsides of getting older is all those happy memories of Christmas stored up pm which to reflect.

It's been decades since Martha Johnson was a child but she remembers as though it were  yesterday. "We decided we were going to wait for Santa so we'd hide on the roof. We'd take the ladder out, crawl up there and sit up there waiting and waiting and looking for Santa and 'course we'd fall asleep. And our parents would find us on the roof the next day. We'd get in all kinds of trouble after we opened the presents of course."

Juanita McLeod can't stop laughing as she remembers the coconut cake tradition."We celebrated Christmas with coconut cream cake. When my stepmother would bake the cakes she would put them up in the loft and she'd climb the ladder and put them up there until the next day. Well, my sister decided she would go up there to see what she was putting up there. She climbed the ladder and when she got up to the top she stuck her elbow in the cake. So after that we had coconut cake every holiday."

Minnie Sweet Goings remembers a Christmas beautiful, simply because of those determined to come home."We had all planned to be out of town and my son showed up pretending to be UPS in his military uniform, and my youngest son was gone and he came back home and I cried because I hadn't prepared for Christmas. So, my son told me, 'Mom, it's okay. We're together and that's all that matters this Christmas."

You can see in Alan Perkins' eyes how vivid the memories are of one Christmas past. "One Christmas I got a shotgun and a bunch of toys."

Lucille Hebert's eyes twinkle and she giggles as she remembers back to her brother trying to play Santa:  "My next to oldest brother tried to play Santy Claus with a burlap sack over his head, for a Santy Claus Suit."  Reporter: "And how did that go?"  Says Lucille,"It didn't go very good."

Ruth Lucille Withers is 82 but those memories of Christmas toys are etched on her brain. "Well, my favorite Christmas memory is getting toys. I'd get up at night and they had the toys and I'd go steal 'em and look into them and wrap them back before Mama and Daddy would wake up."

And it's never too late to make some new memories. Hebert was the life of the party with her animated house that danced around atop her head.  Reporter: "Have you ever seen a sillier hat that that?"   Lucille admits, giggling, "No."

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