Sharing Bridges® Residents’ Treasured Holiday Memories

With the holiday season in full swing, residents’ families reflect on their favorite festive memories with their loved ones.

Christmas Tree Shopping 
Pat Mansfield, Friend of Judy Brock, Bridges® by EPOCH at Pembroke Resident

I vividly recall the time Judy went out with her sister – but without me – to buy a Christmas tree. The two of them were like Lucy and Ethel! They brought a tree that was way too enormous, still covered with snow, into the dining room where it proceeded to melt all over the hardwood floor and leak into the cellar. Judy did a beautiful job decorating the tree, but I never let the two of them go tree shopping without me again!

Christmas Eve is also Judy’s birthday, so there are plenty of memories of the traditional birthday cake being part of the dessert buffet at Judy’s sisters’ and nieces’ Christmas Eve open houses. Judy didn’t cook that often, but when her parents came over on Christmas Day, she went all out preparing a delicious roast prime rib dinner. These are just a few memories which made Christmas time so special for Judy and myself.

Cherished Memories
Cyndy, Daughter of Jeanette Comeau, Bridges® by EPOCH at Pembroke Resident

For my mother, her favorite memory of Christmas goes back to her childhood. Although my grandparents didn’t have much money to spend among their nine children, my mom remembers receiving a shiny penny and an orange in the toe of her stocking each Christmas morning.

For me, my memories of our Christmases are also centered around time spent with family. I can remember going to my maternal grandparents’ house on Christmas Eve and helping Nani and Grandpa serve the Feast of the Seven Fishes, an Italian holiday tradition, to our huge family. Always jumping from one festivity to another, we also got to enjoy Irish Christmas traditions when we visited Dad’s side of the family! On Christmas Eve we would open one gift and the rest waited for Christmas morning. Those times are wonderful memories I will cherish for the rest of my life.

Together for the Holidays
Kathy Sheehan, Daughter of Joan, Bridges® by EPOCH at Pembroke Resident

My parents really knew how to rock a holiday! As the oldest of Walt and Joan Weisse’s four children, I looked forward to Christmas Eve the most. Relatives and friends would come visit and exchange gifts. My mom would have her annual drink to celebrate, usually a White Russian or a nice glass of white zinfandel, and her cheeks would immediately get red, soon to be followed by a good case of the giggles.

On Christmas Day, Mom always made her famous lasagna and blueberry buckle to take along when visiting relatives. She was always sharply dressed, with just the right accessory or sweater to give her a tasteful, festive flair. Dad always picked my brain to get Mom the perfect present every year. There were some hits and misses, but man, I always gave him an A for effort.

There was nothing Mom enjoyed more than having her family together for the holidays. When I had my own kids, we would make the rather long trek from the South Shore (maybe the small kids, no sleep and lots of stops on the Massachusetts Turnpike made it seem longer) to my parents’ house on Christmas Day. My kids had so much fun seeing their cousins, as my parents would put us all up for days! I am so thankful for all the good memories of past holidays, and somewhere inside my mother, I’m sure she is as well.

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