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Real moms remember Christmases past

Real moms share favorite childhood Christmas memories and that one gift they’ll never forget.

In today’s fast-paced world, is it possible to give our children lasting, meaningful memories like these?

Shannyn: Cabbage Patch doll

All I could think about was adopting my very own Cabbage Patch doll for Christmas. I was 8 or 9 years old and the dolls were flying off the shelves. I overheard my mom talking with my aunt about how she couldn’t afford to buy one for me. The conversation didn’t bother me because I knew Santa would take care of it. The next morning, there she was: Unwrapped and under the tree. Looking back now, I realize that my parents must have sacrificed much to help Santa. At that young age, the doll was the greatest gift — and my wise-old age now, my parents’ love was the greatest gift of all.

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Sandy: Breakfast with Dad

My favorite part of Christmas was getting up in the morning to eat with my dad. We put toast in a bowl, added sugar and then poured hot milk over it. Later, I’d spend the day with my best friend Melanie. How I miss our younger years.

Marnie: Pink ballet slippers

There was nothing like waking up on Christmas morning to see those gorgeous wrapped gifts under the tree. I was pretty young when I tore the shiny paper off one gift to reveal a shoe box. I was desperate for ballet slippers, so when I opened the box and discovered a hat and mittens inside, I was devastated but tried not to let my disappointment show. After all of the gifts were opened, my brothers and I emptied our stockings. The joy of finding a pair of pink leather ballet shoes in my stocking was overwhelming. That was 30 years ago, and I remember it like it was yesterday.

Bailey: A puppy

I was in the fourth grade when we moved — right before Christmas. We were barely moved in, let alone decorated. I missed my friends and my old school. Mom and Dad tried to make it special, and Santa brought nice gifts, but I was sad inside. Until my dad took me for a walk before Christmas dinner. We stopped at a nearby farm and there in the cozy barn was a litter of puppies! When Dad told me to choose one, I couldn’t believe it. I visited “my” puppy every day until he was old enough to come home with me. My Christmas buddy and I made a lot of great memories in our new home.

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Stephanie: Renewed faith

I was 14, and Christmas had lost its magic for me. Our family had hosted our annual Christmas Eve open house and it was predictably boring. On the way to Midnight Mass, I thought about how there wasn’t a single gift that would satisfy me this Christmas. The very minute we parked the car in the church lot, it began to snow — our first snow of the season. It was beautiful and peaceful with light shining through stained glass windows and sacred Christmas carols playing in the background. It was a life-changing moment for me: I felt it was a personal Christmas gift from God, restoring my faith and the beauty of the season. To this day, it’s still the best gift I’ve ever received.

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