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MagicalMemories THE BEST PRESENTS OF ALL I think most people get nostalgic over the holidays. It’s a magical time of year, one rich in tradition and childhood memories. When you’re young, you may think that the presents you get will always be the best part about the holidays — the things you’ll remember most vividly the rest of your life. But as we age, I think many of us are surprised by the moments from our childhood holidays that end up standing out.
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look forward to it at the time, I got to play an active role in the holiday preparation, and the exertion of the activity helped to ingrain the experience firmly in my mind. To this day, there’s nothing I associate the holidays with more than the smell of fresh pine needles. My own kids are a little too young to be working with sharp tools, but I do want to pass on this tradition to them one day. For now, Chelsea and I will keep building our artificial tree as the kids write their letters to Santa. These days, seeing the excitement on their faces every Christmas morning is my new favorite part of the holidays. Whatever memories or traditions you’re family honors this year, I hope they prove just as magical. Chelsea and I couldn’t enjoy this time of year without the confidence you’ve shown us. Thank you for your support. We truly appreciate you approaching our firm in your time of need.
Though my younger self would be shocked, I don’t remember most of the individual presents I received during the holidays. Of course, growing up, we didn’t have a lot of money, so the holidays were pretty lean in my household. The most I’d expect on any given year would be one or two gifts under the tree. So I tend to remember the excitement I felt running downstairs early in the morning more than the individual toys themselves. The one exception was in 1988, when I got the complete Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles action figure set. Not to reveal my age, but I was a huge “Turtles” fan. Between “Ghostbusters,” “Transformers,” “ThunderCats,” and other high- concept cartoons, the ‘80s were certainly an interesting time for television. But for me, no Saturday morning would be complete without those pizza-loving ninjas. What made unwrapping those action figures on Christmas morning so special was that I didn’t just get Leonardo, Donatello, Michelangelo, and Raphael — I got the whole set. It came with Master
Splinter and Shredder as well as minor characters, like Bebop and Rocksteady. This gift in particular stands out just for its sheer magnitude and how much fun I had playing out scenes with all these different action figures. As excited as I was for the presents that year, my favorite childhood Christmas memories had little to do with gifts. What I remember most fondly wasn’t any particular present underneath the tree but the tree itself. When I became old enough to wield a saw, every year, my parents would take me to pick out a pine. We went to one of those Christmas tree farms, where we’d walk around and I’d try not to pick one that was too large. After all, I would be the one to actually cut the thing down. At the time, I didn’t appreciate being out in the cold, sawing away at the base and trying not to get blisters through my mittens. But looking back, I treasure those memories. It wasn’t until I was older that I realized how special this tradition was. Not every kid got the opportunity to fell their own Christmas tree. Although I didn’t
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1 –Tom Dickerson
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