My Favorite Christmas Memory

My Favorite Christmas Memory

This was my favorite Christmas.
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My favorite Christmas was definitely the one that we had when I was in the seventh grade. Everything was as close to okay as it ever got around there and things were good. There was so much snow on the ground.

I remember worrying about how Christmas was going to turn out because I would constantly hear the arguments between my stepparents about how they were going to manage to afford to buy seven kids Christmas presents. It was a lot of pressure on them, but the day Christmas actually came I think we were all pleasantly surprised. I can still remember the tears that I cried when I opened up the present that had my very first cell phone in there. I was in such shock because I remember my stepfather repeatedly making it a point to let me know that I wasn't going to get a cell phone this year. I had wanted a cell phone more than anything else. Not to mention, a group of people from a church brought each of my siblings and I a huge cardboard box filled with presents for us all!

I still to this day believe that was probably the best Christmas that we ever shared together. There was no arguing, no yelling. We were just all together as a family and we loved each other. I wish every year had been like that one.

Later that night, we ended up having a bonfire party and a bunch of my stepparents friends came over and I was actually allowed to sit outside with the grown ups and join in on adult conversation. I felt so loved that day. If only every day could have been like that.

Cover Image Credit: Larisa Koshkina

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The Thank You My Dad Deserves

While our moms are always the heroes, our dads deserve some credit, too.
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Dear Dad,

You’ve gone a really long time without being thanked. I'm not talking about thanks for things like opening the Gatorade bottle I couldn't or checking my tires when my car’s maintenance light is flashing, but rather the thanks I owe you for shaping me into the person I am today.

Thank you for teaching me what I deserve and for not letting me settle for anything less.

While the whole world was telling me I wasn’t good enough, you were there to tell me I was. Whether this was with boys, a friend, or anything else, you always built my confidence to a place I couldn’t build it to on my own. You showed me what my great qualities were and helped me feel unique. But most of all, you never let me settle for anything less than what I deserved, even when I wanted to. Without you, I wouldn’t be nearly as ambitious, outgoing or strong.

Thank you for giving me someone to make proud.

It’s hard to work hard when it’s just for myself, but so easy when it’s for you. All through school, nothing made me happier than getting a good grade back because I knew I got to come home and tell you. With everything I do, you give me a purpose.

SEE ALSO: 20 Things You Say When Calling Your Dad On The Phone

Thank you for showing me what selflessness looks like.

You are the prime example of what putting your family first looks like. If me wanting something means that you can’t get what you want, you’ll always sacrifice. From wearing the same t-shirts you’ve had since I was in elementary school so I could buy the new clothes I wanted, to not going out with your friends so you could come to my shows, you never made a decision without your family at the forefront of your mind. If there is one quality you have that I look up to you for the most, it’s your ability to completely put your needs aside and focus entirely on the wants of others.

Thank you for being the voice in the back of my head that shows me wrong from right.

Even though many of your dad-isms like “always wear a seatbelt” easily get old, whenever I’m in a situation and can’t decide if what I’m doing is right or wrong, I always can hear you in the back of my head pointing me in the right direction. While I may not boost your ego often enough by telling you you’re always right, you are.

Thank you for being real with me when nobody else will.

Being your child hasn’t always been full of happiness and encouragement, but that’s what makes you such an integral part of my life. Rather than sugarcoating things and always telling me I was the perfect child, you called me out when I was wrong. But what separates you from other dads is that instead of just knocking me down, you helped me improve. You helped me figure out my faults and stood by me every step of the way as I worked to fix them.

Most of all, thank you for showing me what a great man looks like.

I know that marriage may seem very far down the road, but I just want you to know that whoever the guy I marry is, I know he’ll be right because I have an amazing guy to compare him to. I know you’re not perfect (nobody is), but you’ve raised me in a such a way that I couldn’t imagine my kids being raised any differently. Finding a guy with your heart, drive, and generosity will be tough, but I know it will be worth it.


Dad, you’re more than just my parent, but my best friend. You’re there for me like nobody else is and I couldn’t imagine being where I am now without you.

Love you forever,

Your little girl

Cover Image Credit: Caity Callan

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To The People Who Stayed By My Side When I Was Down, Thank You

People come and people go; but to those who stayed I could never thank you enough.

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Thank you for hearing me out and wanting to stay.

To those of you who have not heard me out yet; thank you for waiting till I am ready to talk.

Most of all, thank you for wanting to stay.

It has been an emotional few months and I have lost a lot of people in my life and I can honestly say that I do not blame them for leaving. I have pushed a lot of people away and when I was going through my situation I honestly did not think that anyone would want to be part of my life. I knew my family would still be a part of my life but that is only because they are my family. I have been very closed off and some people have reached out to me letting me know that they are here if I ever needed someone to talk to. Of course, I would reply back being kind and appreciative but in the back of my mind, I wonder if they truly care for me or if they just wanted something to gossip about. Now, I am not saying that everyone who asks how you are doing just wants something to gossip about. But, I have recently learned that the people who truly care for you will stay through the good, the bad, and the damn ugly. People who are willing to accept you and your flaws (no matter how bad they are) are people that you want in your corner.

So, to all the people that are part of my past; thank you.
Thank you for wanting to be part of my future and wanting to see me grow. Thank you for giving me the support I needed to pick myself up from the ground and get back on my feet. Thank you for believing in me and for having faith that I could be a different person. Thank you for checking up on me and genuinely wondering if I was okay and not just wanting another piece of gossip. Knowing that you cared for me then and still care for me now makes me cry every single time and when I say cry I mean my ugly cry that no one should be witnessing.

To the new people that know about my past and still wants to be part of my future; thank you.
Thank you for still wanting to be part of my life even though we just met. Knowing that you still want to grow with me even though we've only known each other for a short period of time means so much to me. It makes me realize that I am worthy of the good things in life. I am worthy of good people in my life even if I am changing day-by-day.

To all the people who stayed; I can't thank you enough right now but I hope that one day I will be able to repay you. Not just for staying when I felt like I had no one but for everything.

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