MOUNT GILEAD — Diana Wood enjoys a simple holiday tradition.

“One of my favorite traditions I do with my kids is decorating our tree the weekend after Thanksgiving,” she said. “We put Christmas music on, set the tree up and decorate it with ornaments that they have made over the years.”

Her children are ages 17 and 20 and Wood has a one-year-old grandchild.

“We do have special ornaments; they are western boots and hats that their father bought the year before he passed away, along with the ornaments the kids have made over the years.”

Wood’s family enjoys cookies and popcorn while decorating.

For some residents it’s about homemade dishes.

Becky Creamens of Edison responded, “Mine is my mom’s macaroni and potato salad. No one can make them like her.”

Sharon Levings Thompson of Cardington has vivid childhood memories.

“The Christmas that stands out in my mind, is when I was a young girl of about 10. We, my parents and seven siblings, lived in a big old farmhouse out in the country. It was Christmas eve and I can remember a knock at our door, after my dad opened it, here came Santa with a big, old burlap bag thrown over his shoulder into our living room,” she recalled.

“He emptied that bag of oranges, walnuts and other treats onto the floor — and with a Ho! Ho! Ho! he left just as he’d come in. I found our many years later, that it was our kindly old neighbor man, just down the road from us. That memory is one that I’ll always cherish,” Thompson said.

By Anthony Conchel

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