Seniors share special Christmas memories of family, gifts and fun

by Trish Rudder

When the holidays come around, sometimes the special memories come back to visit us, especially the older we get.

Some of our resident seniors shared their special memories with The Morgan Messenger last week.

Wanda Woods said she was a “military brat” since both her father and husband served in the military.

When she was about seven years old, her father was not with the family over the holidays, and her mother’s parents came to visit to support her mother.

As a child she knew her mother was feeling low and Woods went into the kitchen to help her bake cookies. She said she still feels the special bond that was forged between them “while baking Christmas cookies with my mom” and that remains a special memory for her.

Woods’ four-year-old brother, Scott, wanted a toy water-fueled rocket and he got one for Christmas that year.

“Our grandfather put it together and set it up on the dining room table. He pumped and pumped the rocket and at ‘blast off,’ the rocket didn’t move, but the water went all over the dining room Christmas tablecloth.”

“It ruined the paper tablecloth.”

“But my mother didn’t get mad. She laughed and then we all laughed, too,” said Woods.

“Our grandfather called my brother ‘my little buddy’.” He said “little buddy, let’s try this in the bathroom over the tub.” Woods said her grandfather filled the rocket up and pumped it. “It shot up, and if there was no ceiling, it would have gone up further!” All to the delight of her little brother, and a special memory for Woods.

Glenna Davison (left) and Wanda Woods shared some Christmas memories at the Senior Center in Berkeley Springs.
photo by Trish Rudder

Woods said when she had a family of her own, her youngest son, Jeffrey was about seven and he had a little blue teddy bear that he called Blue Bear.

“It was threadbare and I repaired it over and over again, and I told him I couldn’t repair it anymore. So he wrote a letter to Santa Claus to take it to the North Pole to fix it,” she said.

On Christmas Eve Woods said she was asleep on the sofa when Jeffrey put the bear under the tree. The bear was gone the next morning and Jeffrey was devastated. After all the gifts were open, she asked Jeffrey to gather up all the wrapping paper in a trash bag and take it out to the trash can at the back door.

“I said, ‘Jeffrey look at the radiator’.” She said Blue Bear was sitting on the radiator, repaired and wearing a new ribbon.

While preparing Christmas Day dinner, Woods said she took a few moments here and there during the meal prep to stitch up the old toy bear and add a new ribbon.

When her son saw the bear on the radiator, “Jeffrey’s face lit up, and that was better than any toy he got for Christmas that year!”

Glenna Davison, who was born and raised in Morgan County, shared a special memory when she was a child.

“As a kid, mother made Christmas special. She would put money on lay away at the bank and always tried to get the special gifts we wanted. One year when I was 10, I wanted a bride doll, but she couldn’t find one. But she bought a doll in a long evening gown that was close as she could get as a bride.”

“And I still have it. That was 71 years ago!” Davison said

She said the evening gown on the doll was a burgundy colored chiffon with a black velvet top and long puffy sleeves.

“She stands on a table top in the living room,” Davison said. “I started collecting dolls and have many brides dolls.”

Bettie Everett Stotler is 91 years old today, December 19. She was born and raised in Morgan County, grew up on a farm and had six siblings – three sisters and three brothers.

Going sledding was a fond memory around Christmastime.

“We had plenty to eat and we had fun. We all worked together,” she said. “We didn’t have a lot of money, but we had each other.”

Della Buscher has lived in Morgan County for about 18 years. She is from the D.C. area where she lived and raised a family of six children.

She said she was an elected official as a councilwoman in Bladensburg, Md. for 16 years.

Her son, John Buscher, was at the Senior Center with her and has moved to Morgan County to be close to her.

He said his mother has an artistic background and made the holidays special from her art creations she made for the community and for the family. He said Della Buscher entertained at their home.

“She held special events with the community at home,” he said. “She always made things special for the family and for the community.”