The Commerce Journal


December 22, 2011

Trips to grandparents' house make lasting Christmas memories

Commerce — I love Christmas. This sentiment is shared by most, but not all of the people I come in contact with. In fact, I know several people that just can’t stand the annual holiday. Many of them do so for religious reasons, expressing their distaste for the “commercialization” of Christmas. But I can’t help but love Christmas, regardless of cliche it might be.

Christmas was always a special time for me as a child. When my grandparents on my father’s side were still alive, we would drive down to San Antonio every December to visit them. One of my grandfather’s many talents was architecture- he built more than 300 houses in the San Antonio area, and he and my grandmother lived in one of the houses he had built. It wasn’t the most extravagant home, but it was very large with a kitchen, two dining rooms, two car garage, living room, game room, four bedrooms, and office and three bathrooms. As a child, it seemed almost never-ending. Beyond that, the house sat on at least an acre or two, which allowed me and my twin brother to spend countless hours “exploring.” Visiting my grandparents’ house was always something to look forward to.

But Christmas time was even more special. My grandmother and grandfather (who we called Papa) would cook various treats that they would keep in blue and white tins. Papa made these chocolate covered peanut butter cookies that would knock your socks off. A tree would be put up in the living room, and me, my brother and my mom would decorate it every year. My favorite decoration was this Santa Claus nutcracker.

Christmas day my uncle and aunt would arrive. My uncle, who at six feet tall is easily the tallest member of my immediate family, would scoop me and my brother up, one in each arm. We would settle down in front of the fireplace, with my twin and I in matching green chairs, and begin opening presents from youngest to oldest.

Whenever the gift opening was over, I would take the LEGO set I was invariably given each year and scramble to the pool table in the game room, which was the best place to open the box full of tiny plastic pieces and swiftly arrange them in the proper order.

I’ll never forget those early Christmas days at my grandparent’s house. Times change, however, and both of my grandparents passed away before I graduated high school. Now, my family has our own tradition.

My dad always buys a real Christmas tree, which my mom waters with knock-off Sprite to keep it green longer (it really does work well). On Christmas Day, my little brother will wake me up (I used to get up before 7 every Christmas, but now that I’m in college, I value sleep) and get my family, sans my father, together to look through our stockings. As the years have progressed, these stocking gifts have become more and more elaborate. Then, we make monkey bread, which is basically biscuit dough covered in cinnamon sugar and baked. After the monkey bread is finished, we wake up dad, eat breakfast and open our presents youngest to oldest just like when my grandparents were still alive.

Every family does Christmas differently, and many celebrate multiple Christmases. Regardless of how you do it, I hope you have a very Merry Christmas.


Note: This column appeared in the Dec. 22 edition of the Commerce Journal.

Text Only
  • This is ‘Our Commerce’

    Commerce, Texas is a unique community in north east Texas and yet in some ways very typical.

    June 26, 2014

  • IMG_2998.JPG Lions reveal true character

    Character is revealed during times of success and times of tragedy. Texas A&M University-Commerce, and specifically the Athletics Department, showed its character last week when two student-athletes were tragically killed in a car accident.

    June 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Father's_Day_1.jpg A short history of Father's Day

    There are more than 70 million fathers in the United States today. 

    June 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Judging pianists

    “The Van Cliburn Competition is the most important piano competition in the world,” says John Giordano of Fort Worth, who was chairman of the Van Cliburn jury for 40 years.

    June 10, 2014

  • Junk.jpg Enough with the junk

    Let’s play a game.

    May 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lessons learned from decades of making speeches

    I’ve been making speeches to various groups since 1973 when I made my first chamber of commerce speech in Dumas, Texas.

    May 27, 2014

  • Yard full of turtles

    Barbara Ellison of Cameron loves her backyard. It is full of flowers and birds. Occasionally a squirrel will drop in for a meal. “I could stay out here from morning ‘til night,” says Barbara. “It’s so pretty and we enjoy taking care of it.”

    May 13, 2014

  • Mapping Texas’ rocks

    Jim Runge of Eldorado is always doing unusual things.

    April 28, 2014

  • Motel a real winner

    I traveled to Kingsville to do some filming and interviewing on King Ranch.

    April 17, 2014

  • Fighting more than just fires

    For the past few weeks I’ve been attending a Citizen’s Fire Academy hosted by the Greenville Fire Department. 

    April 4, 2014

Featured Ads


How many games do you think the Lions will win in 2014?

7-9 wins
4-6 wins
1-3 wins
     View Results
Must Read
AP Video
Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit New Bill Aims to Curb Sexual Assault on Campus Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey Raw: Obama Eats Ribs in Kansas City In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo NCAA Settles Head-injury Suit, Will Change Rules Raw: Japanese Soldiers Storm Beach in Exercises Raw: Weapons Fire Hits UN School in Gaza Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship Broken Water Main Floods UCLA Two Women Narrowly Avoid Being Hit by Train Crayola Announces Family Attraction in Orlando
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide