That's Christmas To Us!

That's Christmas To Us!

All of us have some special things that say "Christmas" to us. Our unique memories, experiences and dreams are part of what makes the holiday meaningful.

Rick Cundiff

We took our cue for our staff question this month from a Pentatonix song, “That’s Christmas to Me.” We were curious what special memories, traditions, songs, food or experiences mean it’s really Christmas to our TJM family. Here’s what we said:

Deanna Thomas

What’s Christmas to me?

Christmas is a time for love, and a time for giving. It always feels like it’s the time we have waited for all year. Whether it’s decorating our home, holiday parties at work, or planning get togethers with friends and family, Christmas is a time that brings lots of love, laughter, and cheer to everyone (unless you’re a Grinch).

For my family, Christmas starts immediately after Thanksgiving, not a minute before because the turkey deserves his moment in the spotlight too. Our home is fully decorated, inside and out, and I do mean FULLY. We always find the largest live tree that will fit inside our house, set up a Christmas Village that has about 30 houses. Our front yard and roof are both covered in lights, I’ve even managed to find light up characters from the cartoon Rudolph and The Island of Misfit Toys.

Seeing people going for walks, or cars doing a slow drive-by, lets us know that we have brought some joy to those around us. I can’t lie, seeing all the lights inside and out of our home makes me extremely happy and I feel like a kid again!

Christmas Eve brings a time of giving in our home. We always cook more than we can eat so that the kids can go around our neighbors and share a plate of food to some neighbors that we’ve noticed don’t get too many visitors. We want our neighbors to know we are there for them. This also helps the kids understand that Christmas is a time for giving, and not just about receiving. Christmas Day is our time for spending with family. Everyone comes together and spends the day stuffing our faces, and just enjoying the company of one another. I love baking too, so Christmas always gives me a reason to find new recipes to try, and I have an office for of coworkers to use as taste testers!

Angel Dominguez

As a kid, Christmas was about spending time with the whole family. No school for almost two weeks (which was my favorite thing). The warmth in the apartment from the oven being on for what seemed like days. All my cousins, uncles, grandparents under one roof. The smells of all the food. The lights from the Christmas Tree. Then after eating, going with my mother to church.  Usually in the snow.

Times have changed. My grandparents, parents and most of my uncles and aunts have passed. My cousins all moved to different parts of the world. So, Christmas has taken a turn. It’s about spending time with those most important people in my life.  Those “ride or die” people that have earned my respect and love.  The older I get, the smaller the crowd. 

Christmas is more important to me now, for many different reasons. The faith-based belief behind Christmas is stronger now. The people I spend it with are chosen and in many ways, more important in my life. This Christmas is extra special. Grateful for my friend and my sister for helping me stand when the world was beating me down.  For not turning their backs on me.  I have a lot to be grateful for. Spending Christmas with quality and not quantity.

Shannon Moore

Christmas is such a fun holiday. I love the fun that is to be had between decorating, cooking, and the magic for the kids. It continues the grateful perspective of knowing the many blessings that our family has and our ability to help/give to others. The time spent with family is also highlighted with such warmth and appreciation. 

The season really hits for me the weekend of Thanksgiving. I have all fall decorations up leading up to Thanksgiving, and then after Black Friday shopping with my mom (an annual tradition), we take it all down and put the Christmas decorations up. 

Christmas Day is not complete without our family breakfast comprised of egg casserole and pastries. Typically, we have a few holiday celebrations to try to split time between all the branches of family and friends. So the time in between morning present opening and evening dinner, I most enjoy. The kids are semi-settling down with their new toys, and sometimes there is a Christmas miracle and we all get to take a nice afternoon nap. 

Rick Cundiff

What’s Christmas to me? It’s the sound of Christmas carols on the radio, especially the favorites of people I love – For my wife, that’s “O Holy Night.” For my Mom, it was “Silver Bells.”

Christmas to me is the sight of lights on houses and utility poles, giant decorated trees in the town square, red, green, even white lights everywhere. It’s Santa Claus at the mall.

Christmas to me is the smell and taste of my grandmother’s homemade cornbread dressing – lots of sage!  It’s the warmth of the oven, and the warm memories of big extended family dinners on Christmas Day. It’s remembering when Santa Claus visited my cousins and me on Christmas Eve and knew our names. It’s laughing now recalling how my Dad always missed those visits somehow, even the year several neighborhood dogs chased Santa!

Family and friends near, sharing stories new and old, reveling in our togetherness – that’s Christmas to me.

Rick Cundiff

Rick Cundiff

Content Director, Blogger

Rick Cundiff spent 15 years as a newspaper journalist before joining TJM Promos. He has been researching and writing about promotional products for more than 10 years. He believes in the Oxford comma, eradicating the word "utilize," and Santa Claus.