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Pleasant Christmas Memories


Magepunk Fashionisto
I've had some pretty shitty holidays, and I understand why a lot of folks hate Christmas. It's militantly materialistic, Santa Claus is a crazyass lie (once we find out he's not real, nothing is quite the same), we haven't actually had a new Christmas song that's unanimously good for a very long time (other than covers of old songs), and it turns out that most of our older relatives are actually really terrible people. A holiday so focused on spending our hard-earned money and guilting us into donations this and presents for people we aren't sure we're friends with that, and enduring ill-advised family reunions with relatives we'd really rather not so much as think about...
Not to mention, there are folks like me who have to work on Christmas because it's the busiest and most profitable time of year for our employer(s.) So we couldn't participate in holiday festivities even if we wanted to.
I get it. Christmas ain't what it used to be.

There is something I want to share with you guys though, that I used to do way back in the 1990's and early 2000's... it was called Coleman's Winter Wonderland.
We had a very eccentric and kind plant nursery owner who had slow business in the winter (he couldn't have flowers and edible plants outside, so he was limited to Christmas trees.)
Inspired by It's a Small World at Disney parks, he made this brilliant Christmas display during the holidays to get more people to stop by and pick out a tree. He went and purchased old animated window display figures from stores around the area and in New York City, and it became this whole thing where people in my community would go see them all set up.
Soon, people set up a craft fair to go along with it, and a popcorn stand, and homemade cookies and candy, and Coleman bought more and more animated figure displays until they utterly overshadowed the Christmas trees.
There was the Nativity, the north pole, a candy cane forest, trains and miniatures, a skii mountain, Victorian carolers, woodland animals playing, a circus with clowns for some reason, and I distinctly remember an all-white glass gazebo enclosure with sparkling white polar bear teddies riding and operating a snowy ferris wheel and snowman assembly line.
He even built a wooden Santa's Workshop, the Snow Castle, and a gingerbread house for kids to play in. There was Santa's Storytime from the local library that took place every hour or so, and sometimes we had carnival rides in one section of the field nearby.
People really came together for this thing. It united my community in the warmest, cheeriest of ways.
I will never forget my Ava taking us there, and the smell of popcorn everywhere, and the light-up icicles hanging from the white ceiling, and the lounge room with the brick fireplace going, and literal halls decked with literal boughs of holly, and my GOD you guys... it was AWESOME.
My hometown is still upset at the closure of Coleman's. I think Mr. Coleman passed away, and his family sold his animatronics to stores and the local Centre for the Arts. But their cold, clinical museum environment just isn't the same.

Coleman's Winter Wonderland is my all-time favourite Christmas memory. What's yours?
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just happy to be here
Thanks for sharing, that looks like a blast. I would have loved to see that as a kid (and now)! Christmas can be a little much at times, but at its best, that's part of what can make it so magical - all this unnecessary, impractical stuff we do because it's fun and beautiful and brings people joy. I think it's sweet that the community worked together to maintain that.

I'm lucky enough to have a lot of happy Christmas memories. Making decorations and crafts with my mom, going for a walk in that one neighborhood with the really good Christmas displays, flooding our backyard to make a mini skating rink, getting together with my extended family for a big party on Christmas eve. As a kid, there's something so special about those times, like you've entered a different world for while.


profound asshole
holidays thankfully have not lost their charm for me after childhood, and even when the actual days of the holidays are shitty, they always feel better because of how much of a festive person i've been raised to be, and how sentimental i am for them. my mother and sister were always super into holidays, christmas and halloween especially, and seeing all the tacky decorations and hearing the classic music on the tv and radio every year were great pick-me-ups in an otherwise rough life at home. i still remember the warm feelings i'd get from helping them set up way too many decorations, or hanging their 75 ornaments they've collected over the years on the christmas tree. looking back fondly on how my eyes and nose would burn relentlessly from all the cinnamon pinecones my mom stuck in every corner of every room, and eagerly waiting for the chocolate chip cookies we'd make every year, and how my mom would always save a few for me to bring to school as a snack. possibly my most favorite part of every year would be when we would all drive out to the rich neighborhoods and see all the lightshows every halloween and christmas, or how we would drive out to the pumpkin patch or pine tree farm to get our pumpkins/tree every year, spending time as a family.

my mom isn't around anymore, and i don't see my sister very often anymore, so i can't celebrate christmas the same way i did during my childhood, but they always feel special to me because every year i reminisce about all the warm, tender memories of the past, and it always makes me feel that much closer to my mother and sister, even if they aren't there in person, it feels like they're both there in spirit. every month leading up to the big 3 holidays at the end of the year are much brighter, happier, and more hopeful than they usually are, and i have my mom and sister to thank for that feeling that i'm very grateful to have around this time of year. i have a lot to owe to christmas, and i sincerely hope that if i ever have children i'm able to give them a similar experience every year.


I actually like Christmas more in the last few years than I did as a kid. When I was a kid and young adult I hated having to deal with it. The presents and food were fine and all, but everything else and all the feelings involved made it awful.

Present day catto enjoys the pretty lights and decor. She also enjoys giving presents when she can afford. Last year she could only afford to give to niece and nephew, and that's fun cuz I try really hard to find them a good gift they'll love and they seemed to really like their gifts. Sis-in-law was surprised at the thought I put into getting them things they really would like, not just large quantity or expense like her family tends to do cuz rich. I only spent like $20 each on them, but they really loved their gifts. I hope to do as well this year, but sadly bro has moved because Navy life and his family went with them, so best I'll get is to see them virtually open their things. I plan on getting mum and dad something, but I dunno what yet. Dad is easy, something Lions (football team) or food related and he's happy. Mom is harder, quite the particular beast that one is.


Mr. Villanous charm
>Get into the My Little Pony fandom years ago
>My little sister finds out
>Buys Applejack and Rainbow Dash plushies for me as Christmas gifts
>Speechless for like 5 minutes afterwards

Got plenty of pleasant Christmas memories, though I am on phone so will have to limit the amount.

Last year I went to my dad's for Christmas. Ate a lot of good food and had a lot of fun. Played Settlers all day, too. Aaaand my dad's wife STILL have a damn winstreak of 5.


Seizing the memes of production


Slippery When Wet
I used to be really into Christmas, even through my twenties. I loved the music, I'd start listening to it in November. I would unapologetically wear a Santa hat wherever I went. I liked buying presents, wrapping them and putting them under a decorated tree, I loved the food and the smells. I loved waking up at my parents' house on Christmas morning, opening gifts and sitting around in our pajamas through the middle of the day, just relaxing.

I wish I knew what happened. My side of the family kind of dissolved - parents divorced when I was in my early thirties, I am no longer in contact with my dad. I always feel like decorating for Christmas is a chore.

I miss loving the holiday.


Birb Fanatic
I've gone abroad for Christmas before, to Germany. The last time (in 2016) wasn't all that pleasant, for reasons I'd rather not get into. My visit around 2009, though, was really nice. My family and I stayed in what I think was a flat with a great view of a garden. We, of course, went to Christmas markets and also partook in some of the country's traditions. There are some people living there which I hardly ever get to see, and our visits to Germany have become much less frequent. It's unlikely we'll all be able to go there together now (family stuff, too complicated to explain). I really miss those days. Things have been getting better for us all. Christmas is always a great time with the family, even when I'm in boring old England. It never snows here even though it's cold as hell. Seriously, sometimes I wish we could just borrow the German weather for a few days because I would LOVE a white Christmas for once in a while!


Birb Fanatic
Also, I always sang with my school choir at a local event where a massive tree was lit up. I participated in the school play a few times, even sometimes being the narrator. Once, I played the Russian version of Santa and put on a weird accent that didn't even sound remotely Russian. Most of the plays were retellings of Jesus' birth, including one that had Scooby-Doo in it of all things. I went to a Christian primary school, so 99% of the Christmas stuff was religious, but I didn't really care. I liked the story anyways.
In high school, I was part of another choir that sang at a church. Again, loads of carols and the like, despite my high school being non-denominational. Still, I love going to churches, especially at Christmas time. There really is something magical about it all.


Birb Fanatic
One more thing!
Close to where I live, there used to be a Christmas shop which only opened at the tail end of the year. It was actually located within another shop, and they had many different hidden rooms that normally weren't used. It was beautifully presented, with many of the compartments styled to look like old storefronts. I have fond memories of going there every year, especially when I visited it with my aunt one time - it was the night before my brother was born.
Sadly, they don't operate the Christmas shop anymore. :(
The regular shop is still there. It's pretty nice. They sell jewellery, soaps and the like. Not the kind of thing I'd usually buy, yet nice to look at.

Deleted member 111470

I was 10 at the time I think. We were at my grandma's place, the whole family - it was snowing outside but the weather was soft and pleasant. We had so much food, everything prepared for this moment. I remember one of the gifts I got was an encyclopedia about space.

After we had lunch, me, my brother and cousins went out to play in the snow. Our friends in the neighborhood also had the same idea. Someone got a new sled for Christmas and we all took turn riding it, pulling it around, enjoying ourselves in the snow. I thought the day would never end. I still have a photo of all of us as kids then.

No other Christmas has been better.


Magepunk Fashionisto
One of my favourite Christmas gifts was a tamagotchi connection! I absolutely loved it, and I remember meeting other kids who had them, and we'd meet up and have our pets visit one another. It was so wholesome and cute.