I Wish That Everyday Could Be Like Christmas!

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Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year! The decorations are always beautiful, the time with family is wonderful, but if we were to be completely honest, one of our favorite parts of Christmas is the presents! Looking back over the past holidays, I think we could all agree there is that one favorite gift you will always remember and always cherish! Here are some of our staff’s favorite gifts they ever received on Christmas!

The best Christmas present I ever received was my cat Eddie. He was a gift the year I graduated from Wofford. He loved Christmas because he would sit under the tree on the fuzzy tree skirt for hours and would get lots of turkey treats from my mom. He died 5 years ago but he’s still my #1 favorite present of all time! – Karen Truesdale

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The best Christmas present I ever received was a blue Volkswagen Beetle. And by the expression on my face below, you can tell I was completely surprised! I was 15 years old, had just received my permit to drive and had not even begun to think about what kind of car I wanted. Little did I know, my parents had bought the car 6 months ago and had been hiding it in their friend’s garage that whole time. I loved that bug and enjoyed it for 5 wonderful years! – Shawn Kinard

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My best Christmas gift was in 1973. My parents told me we did not have a lot of money for Christmas and not to expect a lot from Santa that year. When I got up that morning, the only thing I saw was this really cheap blue raincoat. I knew we did not have a lot of money but my goodness – a RAINCOAT – come on! They could see the disappointment on my face. My mom told me to at least act like I was happy about it and let my dad take a picture of me with my new coat on. She told me to put my hand in my pocket and smile and I DID! There was a key to a 1968 Pontiac Firebird. It was red with a black vinyl top and black interior. I loved that car! That is still my favorite car from the several cars I have had since then. – Tanya Henderson

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Although I think they’re pretty common now, the “My Size Barbie” really spun my wheels as a child. I loved all Barbies, but a 3 foot tall Barbie was something to really treasure. I think they were over $100 when they came out in 1992 and I was devastated when my mom told me that they were too expensive. On Christmas morning there she was beside the Christmas tree. Because I’m a tall person in general, she wasn’t technically “My Size,” but that didn’t take away from the excitement. I wasn’t one of those who kept her in pristine condition either so over the next three years, she rode beside me in the Barbie Jeep, had her hair cut and ultimately lost the princess dress and wore my own favorite outfits.-Hannah Barfield

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My grandfather used to tape record us opening up presents on Christmas morning back in the early 1980’s. I grew up in an extended family home living with my parents and grandparents. Back in 1992 when we lost my grandfather we all felt very sad. I remember the family feeling the loss of the family patriarch and sadness throughout the day. As Christmas day went on, my mother and I found the cassette tapes that he had kept and played them for the rest of the evening. This was the best present that I could have ever had. It was a step back into my childhood.- Michael Bays

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The Christmas morning I remember most was when I was probably 10 years old and received a saddle from Santa. I had been horseback riding for about 2 years and continued to do so throughout high school – so receiving my first saddle was a big deal! I remember it hanging over the back of a chair in our living room, chestnut leather shining in all its glory! I was so excited. – Courtney Mebane

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My favorite Christmas gift was when I received a Sport 4-wheeler when I was about 15 years old. Unfortunately for my parents, this just opened the door to me spending about every weekend racing up and down tracks and trails in the woods. – Zandr Tesolowski

What is your most favorite present you have ever received for Christmas?

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Happy Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is always a time to look back on our lives and be thankful for all that has been provided to us. We’re thankful for the memories we’ve created with the families and friends we have. We’re thankful for the delicious food we will never be able to eat enough of. We’re thankful for the traditions that may or may not have been created on purpose! Here are some of the memories and traditions our staff is most thankful for!

I have numerous memories and traditions for Thanksgiving. One of the biggest traditions my mom and I  have is waking up around 5:00am every morning on Black Friday to get the best deals. Most people hate it, but we find it insanely fun trying to save every penny we can! We love a bargain! But my favorite part of any holiday is the fellowship I get to be a part of. Even though my family is rather small compared to most, I love spending time with them. It’s something you can’t take for granted because tomorrow is never guaranteed. – Shawn Kinard

One of our traditions is we celebrate “Thanksmas” the Saturday after Thanksgiving in West Virginia with my husband’s family and extended family of Aunts, Uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews. It is the day we “kick off” Christmas with a white elephant gift exchange, delicious food, great football, and an enjoyable time with family that we only see annually on “Thanksmas!”- Cathy Boggs

My favorite memory for Thanksgiving was 18 years ago. It was the first thanksgiving that I was married. We invited lots of family over for dinner. My husband put the turkey on the smoker. Little did I know, the neck and giblets had to be discarded first.index He overheard me on the phone asking a relative where I would find them!!! The look on my husband’s face was priceless. I am thankful he can still put up with me 18 thanksgivings later. Now, I enjoy every second of making a flawless family Thanksgiving dinner.  – Catherine Culler

My favorite part about Thanksgiving is the time with my family; we do eat a great deal but we try to relax, take walks and take time to reflect on how blessed we are. If I had to go with a food favorite, my grandmother’s stuffing would win for my Thanksgiving side dish! Even though my grandmother joins us for the meal, my mom makes the stuffing now. It is different from your typical stuffing; it is heavier like a dressing but still has that yummy cornbread taste! – Rebecca Faulk

Some of our favorite things about Thanksgiving are:

  • Spending time with family
  • Watching the parade
  • Football games on TV and in the backyard with our now teenage boys
  • Preparing the meal is as much fun as eating it
  • The Clemson v. Carolina game! It is always a fun way to kick of Thanksgiving weekend!
  • Putting up the Christmas tree!                                     – Julie Brown

I am thankful for my mother.  She is the youngest of 10 kids and has been cooking full meals since she was 10 years old.  Every year she makes a flawless Thanksgiving meal that is on the table at 12:00pm sharp.  It’s only when you get older that you realize all the time that it takes to prepare a huge feast and how expensive it is! Turkey and all the trimmings is not cheap. 🙂 I’m 42 and I’ve never had to cook for Thanksgiving.  My mom likes to do it all.  Now that I’m married and have to spend the holidays with two sets of families, I appreciate my mother’s food even more. She just makes everything yummy!  Here’s one of my favorites that my husband specifically asked for this year:

Baked Corn

-2 cups of corn
-2 eggs well beaten
-2 cups of grated Monterrey Jack cheese
-1.5 cups of sour cream
-½ cup soft bread crumbs
-1 (4.5 oz.) can of chopped green chiles
-½ tsp salt
-¼ tsp pepper
-½ cup grated cheddar cheese

Combine all ingredients except the cheddar cheese.  Pour into a 2 quart baking dish.  Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes.  Top with cheddar cheese.  Bake 5 minutes more.  Let stand for 10 minutes before serving. It’s delicious! – Karen Truesdale

As I was growing up and right up to about 5 years ago, my family would travel to Huntersville, NC to my Great Grandparent’s farm.  My grandfather’s brother and sister lived there and still own about 30 acres.  My grandfather would perform the prayer and it was always remarkable and well received by all in attendance.  After the meal, we’d all go out to the pasture and shoot skeet or feed the cows (sometimes, they did not have cows).  My cousins and I would always find new things to discover in old shops and barns scattered around the property.  If the weather did not cooperate, we could always sit around and listen to my grandfather talk about farm life back during the Great Depression or my uncle’s war time experiences during World War II.  Many memories have been etched into my family there in Huntersville!  Today, we celebrate Thanksgiving on Lake Hartwell with Julie’s family and my mom as we await the annual Clemson vs. USC game! – Drew Brown

What are some of your favorite traditions or memories from Thanksgiving?