My Favorite Christmas Memories


My Favorite Christmas MemoriesToday, we have teamed up with several different bloggers to share some of our favorite childhood Christmas memories. To enjoy more of these articles, please see the group’s main page at Tackling Our Debt. Happy Holidays!




Christmas Through the Eyes of a Child

Christmas was always a huge holiday in our household.  Since my parents were generally frugal, we didn’t get a lot of toys or gifts throughout the year.  Therefore, my parents went out of their way to make Christmas special for us.
I still remember laying in my bed as a child, anticipating Santa’s arrival.  Would I hear him come into the house?  Would I be able to stay awake long enough to find out?  Fortunately, I always fell asleep and Santa was able to deliver my gifts without being discovered.  The next morning, my sister or brother would rush into my room and wake me up around 6:00 a.m.  In hindsight, I’m sure that my parents had wished we would sleep in a little longer!!!  Regardless, when we entered the living room, we would always see what appeared to be a giant mountain of toys.  I can remember clearly how the huge amount of gifts that we received looked in front of the tree.  I’m not sure if we really did receive a ton of gifts, or if it just seemed that way. It was definitely a special occasion in our household, and I have fond memories of Christmas from throughout my childhood.


Christmas Through the Eyes of a Parent

Now that I am a parent, I am seeing Christmas from the other side.  Obviously, I want to buy my daughter everything that her heart desires. Yet, I know that that is a bad deal – both for her and for me.  While my children certainly will be getting some presents and toys this year, it won’t be excessive. Truth be told, we really didn’t spent that much money on them at all.  Since they don’t get toys or gifts thoughout the rest of the year, hopefully they will see the same mountain of toys that I clearly remember as a child.

Since becoming a parent, my favorite Christmas memory is of my (now) 3-year-old daughter during Christmas 2011.  On Christmas Eve, we made cookies for Santa and sat them out with a glass of milk.  On Christmas morning, Santa had eaten the cookies and drank the milk. To our suprise, Santa also had written both of my daughters a letter.  As my husband read the letter to my daughter, her eyes got huge with disbelief.  She simply could not believe that Santa had written her a letter. She thought it was the most amazing thing that she had ever seen!  I will never forget the look of wonder and excitement in her eyes.


I love Christmas – not only because “Santa” visits our home, but also for the religious holiday and the traditions of the season.  Now that I am a parent, I am truly looking forward to seeing my children’s eyes this Christmas as they see the huge mountain of gifts before their eyes.  I can only hope that they will have the same fond memories of Christmas that I do and that - one day – they will realize why Santa didn’t buy them every single thing that they wanted.  Now, I am going to leave you with my favorite Christmas song.  Happy Holidays, everyone!


About Holly

Holly Johnson is a wife, mother of two, and frugal lifestyle enthusiast. She is the co-founder of Club Thrifty and a staff writer at Get Rich Slowly, Frugal Travel Guy, and U.S. News and World Report's "My Money Blog." Holly has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Kiplinger Personal Finance, Fox Business, and Daily Finance.


  1. I used to love Christmas when I was a child, but for all the wrong reasons. I was only interested in the presents and I had no real appreciation of what the day was actually supposed to be about.
    Still, I have plenty of great memories of Christmas as a child and I am sure to enjoy many more with my own child, when he gets old enough to participate in the festivities.
    Glen @ Monster Piggy Bank recently posted..Novemeber 2012 Goal ReviewMy Profile

    • Ohhhhhh…….Christmas is so much funner with kids. This time next year you will have a nearly one year old to spend the holiday with!

  2. I love the idea of the letter from Santa – that seems like a tradition you could do every year that could be so meaningful to keep and look back on =)
    Mrs. Pop @ Planting Our Pennies recently posted..PoP Balance Sheet – November 2012My Profile

  3. Josh Groban is a great musician – his Christmas music is top-notch. I can only imagine how much fun it is to make Christmas memories with your children. I do love spoiling my cousins but I have recently tried to restrain myself because they do get SO many gifts…no reason for me to spend $50 on each of them :0
    DC @ Young Adult Money recently posted..Saving Money Grocery Shopping – $100 Giveaway!My Profile

  4. That’s a great Christmas song. I remember not being allowed to go downstairs until 7 am so I would sit on the stairs with my brothers just waiting. We’d each take turns checking the clock every thirty seconds. Such great memories :)
    Mandy @ MoneyMasterMom recently posted..Know your Prices: Win $100 bucks!My Profile

  5. Great song! I remember pestering my parents starting what seems like 5:00 am to get up and go downstairs. Thankfully my parents were pretty gracious.
    John S @ Frugal Rules recently posted..Giveaway: Four Simple Ways to Save Money on GroceriesMy Profile

  6. I love me some Josh Groban! Christmas really does change throughout the years. I think it’s going to be more amazing as a mom now, I can’t wait!
    Catherine recently posted..My Favorite Childhood Christmas Memories @PlungedinDebtMy Profile

  7. Christmas as a parent is the absolute best.. There is nothing better than seeing a big smile on your little ones’ faces, and on Christmas morning, they light up as big as ever…

    Great writing, Holly.. I remember feeling just like that when I was a kid as well..

    Jefferson @SeeDebtRun recently posted..That Christmas Time of YearMy Profile

  8. Cool idea to share memories.
    Marie at Family Money Values recently posted..Leaving a Wealth LegacyMy Profile

  9. Isn’t funny how EARLY kids will get up when presents are involved? Yay for blogger holiday party link-up magic :)
    Lauren @ L Bee and the Money Tree recently posted..My Favorite Childhood Christmas MemoryMy Profile

  10. I used to love the excitement of Christmas Eve at my grandma’s. I was always there to help get ready and it was always so much fun with the hustle and bustle, then to have everybody arrive. I miss that!
    Money Beagle recently posted..You Never Know What Memories Will Become Long LastingMy Profile

  11. I absolutely loved Christmas when I was a child. I miss those days!
    Call Me What You Want Even Cheap recently posted..Do You Have Title Insurance?My Profile

  12. When I was a kid I was way more excited about the presents than anything else on Christmas. Now as an adult I love seeing my nieces and nephews go nuts over their presents, it’s a whole different kind of happy.
    Jordann @ My Alternate Life recently posted..Save On Groceries & $100 Give AwayMy Profile

  13. Tackling Our Debt says:

    Your childhood Christmas as well as Christmas with your kids sounds like a lot of fun. I love the idea of the Christmas letter from Santa.
    Tackling Our Debt recently posted..My Favorite Childhood Christmas Memories @TacklingOurDebtMy Profile

  14. The letter from Santa is so cute and such a great idea! I may have to implement that one next year when my daughter is older :)
    Mackenzie recently posted..Goals For December: Giving BackMy Profile

  15. The holidays create a lot of great memeories, particularly with family. My daughter’s birthday coincides (12/26) with the holidays and we generally have a party. It adds to the holiday festivities and memories.
    krantcents recently posted..Good Enough!My Profile

    • Awwww….that’s cool. So you have a Christmas/birthday party. My birthday is Jan 6th so it also gets lumped with the holidays sometimes. I certainly dont mind!

  16. I love spending Christmas around kids and seeing them light up. This year, my niece and nephews will be with us and I’m so excited to take them to do all the Christmas activities around us. Merry Christmas!
    American Debt Project recently posted..A Christmas StoryMy Profile

  17. Love the note from Santa. Maybe he will write one to my kids this year. ;-) Merry Christmas!
    Kyle recently posted..Weekend Reading: Save Money on Christmas Gifts, Decorations, and MealsMy Profile

  18. At your house does Santa bring all the presents? So, then, is your tree bare before the big day? My parents didn’t want to give Santa all the credit, so he’d bring a few things, but mostly the tags said, “from Mom and Dad”. My sister would line presents up by recipient and squeal with delight over having the most.
    Kathleen, Frugal Portland recently posted..Ten ways to save money grocery shoppingMy Profile

  19. We weren’t allowed to wake my parents up till 8am haha! Lovely post, Merry Christmas!
    Janine @ My Pennies, My Thoughts recently posted..My Christmas Time Traditions @apenny4athoughtMy Profile

  20. I can not wait to experience Christmas through my daughter’s eyes this year since she is old enough to participate. And we are receiving the best gift of all, family coming in from out of state with their baby girl who is nearly my little one’s age. Those two rascals are going to love romping around the christmas tree together!
    Jennifer Lynn @ Broke-Ass Mommy recently posted..Win $100 Cash with the ‘How to Save Money on Grocery Shopping’ Giveaway!!My Profile

  21. My brother and I woke up one year just after 2 a.m. For some reason my parents gave in and we opened presents at about 2:45 a.m. I still remember that (but have also remembered the mandatory nap time my dad instilled later that day).
    AverageJoe recently posted..My Favorite Christmas Moment–Learning the Value of ExerciseMy Profile

    • I would tell my kids to get back to bed! There is no way I would get up at 2:00 a.m. and let them open presents. Your parents are saints.

  22. Time and age do change experiences. We don’t have kids yet but when we do I am sure we are going to get right back on that Christmas wagon. It should be fun.
    Miss T @ Prairie Eco-Thrifter recently posted..How Controlling Holiday Spending is Like Controlling Your Holiday Weight GainMy Profile

  23. My husband’s family had a great tradition of putting their stockings at the foot of the bed so when they woke up early, it would keep them busy for a little while. The first year we did that with our daughter she was almost 3 and we had to go up to get her. She had everything strewn about, and it’s all little stuff like socks and toothbrushes, and she looks up and says, “Santa brought me this big shoe!” It was the sweetest thing ever.
    Kim@Eyesonthedollar recently posted..My Most Memorable ChristmasMy Profile

  24. Christmas as a kid is the best! My kids are grown up but I have a one-year-old grandson and I’d going all out this year! Thanks for sharing your memories with us!

  25. The reactions of our kids makes it all so much fun. Enjoy!
    Maggie@SquarePennies recently posted..Memories of Christmas Cookies PastMy Profile

  26. I remember waking up super early to see what Santa had left us. My parents would actually make us wait until 9:00 before they would wake up, I’m not sure whether or not they were playing some type of cruel joke. Those were fun times though waiting with my brother and sister for our parents to rise out of bed trying to see who got the biggest gifts.
    Justin@TheFrugalPath recently posted..Tracking Expenses: A Budget’s FoundationMy Profile

  27. No kids for us yet, but I’m excited to share our Christmas traditions with them when we do have them some day. My dad always joked that we woke them up as the, “butt crack of dawn”. Now my nephews wake us up so I know how they must have felt waking up soo early on Christmas.
    KK @ Student Debt Survivor recently posted..My Favorite Childhood Christmas Memories @StuDebtSurvivorMy Profile

  28. I enjoyed participating in this party with you! It sounds like you have some great childhood memories and some great traditions as a parent too!! These are such fun ideas. Love the letter to Santa especially!

  29. I still remember my childhood Christmases. It was just as fun as a parent, but in a different way. I’m looking forward to grand kids someday, and expect it will be equally as fun!
    Thad recently posted..New Moolala iPhone App is a WinnerMy Profile

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