Looked forward to for a year at a time, the Christmas season brings back memories stretching back to early childhood.
Several Marion residents, asked about their favorite Christmas memories, reflected and shared their favorites.
Todd Heitschmidt’s favorite Christmas was his least traditional one.
“When our family met in New Orleans a Christmas one year, it was so different from what we had traditionally done at home,” Heitschmidt said.
The warmer climate, the sights of the big city, the character of the place, all made for a unique holiday, he said.
Leland Heidebrecht’s favorite Christmas memory was a special gift he shared with his siblings.
“When I was in grade school, I got a wagon,” Heidebrecht said. “It was a Radio Flyer.”
Don Jolley remembers depression-era Christmases when his extended family all lived together in a north Topeka house.
“I was born in Topeka in a home that was owned by the vice president, of the U.S.,” Jolley said. “It was a big, three-story house.”
He enjoyed seeing Santa come deliver the family’s presents.
“He looked like my uncle Bob,” Jolley said. “I particularly liked to see him come because he always brought me a football.”
Jolley said his grandmother bought the house so the entire family could be taken care of during the depression years. After the economy improved and her children and grandchildren left for homes of their own, she rented rooms to railroad employees, Jolley said.
Rex Wilson’s best Christmas memories also stem from hard times early in life.
“Every Christmas, when I was a kid growing up, we were very, very poor,” Wilson said. “We got fresh fruit and candy that we never, ever got the rest of the year. The rest of the year, we only ate what we could grow in the garden and the pasture.”
Matthew Classen said his memories of Christmas past are all good memories.
“About three or four years in a row, I got farm set,” Classen said. “I accumulated a lot of cows and horses.”
Don Noller’s best Christmas memories revolve around his children, not his childhood.
“When my kids got old enough to realize what Christmas was and see their excitement, that was better than anything I’ve ever received,” Noller said.