Town leaders reflect on Christmas

Published 9:18 am Tuesday, December 20, 2016

By JOYANNA LOVE/Senior Staff Writer

MAPLESVILLE — Members of the Maplesville Town Council took some time this holiday season to reflect on special memories.

“When my siblings and I were younger we would always celebrate on Christmas Eve night,” Patty Crocker said.

She said her father got off work really late. When he got home, the children would “pile into his truck and ride around and try to find Santa Claus,” Crocker said.

Every year the children would see a red light in the sky and exclaim it was Santa. They would then try to return home before Santa arrived.

When they returned, they always found Santa had gotten there first.

Now that Crocker has children of her own, they celebrate on Christmas day. Crocker said they read the Christmas story from the Bible before opening presents. The family enjoys Christmas brunch before extended family members stop by.

A Christmas that stands out for council member Hal Harrison is when he received a special gift.

“As a child the Christmas of 1991, my parents got me … a four-wheeler that I had wanted and surprised me with it,” Harrison said.

He said the Christmas was memorable because he had wanted an ATV for a long time, and his parents had said they were not getting it for him that year.

Last Christmas was also a special one for Harrison as he and his wife remarried in December.

Harrison said now Christmas celebrations seem to last the month of December as they visit extended family.

“I hope people don’t get so consumed with the material things, that they just truly appreciate their family and friends,” Harrison said.

Family is also the focus of council member Sheila Haigler’s memories of Christmas celebrations.

“I am from a small family with only one sister. My husband is from a large family with nine children. Christmas was always a big time in the Haigler house. We gathered at Mr. and Mrs. Haigler’s house on Christmas Eve. We would be everywhere; elbow to elbow. There would be a pile of gifts so high you couldn’t see over them.  The kids would have so much fun opening the gifts and playing with the paper,” Haigler said.

Each boy received a “noise maker” from their Aunt Carol. Haigler said the children enjoyed them, but it made hearing conversations challenging.

“There was always food and we enjoyed the love and fellowship of family. We no longer meet together due to the death of PaPa and MaMa being 96 years old but the memories of Christmas are retold each Christmas as our smaller families meet together,” Haigler said.

Haigler also started traditions with her immediate family.

“When David and I started our family, we also started a Christmas tradition on Christmas Eve; before the children went to bed we would read the Christmas story to them and we would pray.  As they got older and learned to read we would each read a verse,” Haigler said.

Council member Sheila Hall described her Christmas celebration as “traditional.”

“The main part of the family meal at my mother’s,” Hall said.

She says her most memorable Christmas is when she was seven years old and “received my first talking doll.” That was 42 years ago, and no one in the area had seen one before. An older cousin had driven from Detroit to give it to her.

Hall said her favorite part of the holiday season is “sharing love with family.”