Gazette holiday memories

Employees at the Sequim Gazette return for another year to share some of their most memorable holiday experiences, gifts and traditions.

My most memorable Christmas was at age 6. Mom spent a lot of time locked in her sewing room that fall and the only thing she’d tell us was that Christmas was going to be special. When the morning finally arrived, we opened our gifts, surprised and delighted with everything, as only children can be.
Finally, Mom went in the other room and came back with a bag for each of us. Inside was a doll, handmade by my mother. They were muslin dolls with white socks for the faces, button eyes and yarn hair, and I was entranced; I couldn’t believe Mom had made something so beautiful. She also had made a few outfits and bonnets and we spent hours playing dress-up with them. They became part of the family and we loved the stuffing out of them.
— Cathy Clark, production designer

Growing up, I loved my family’s tradition of trekking from Bremerton to my grandmother’s house in Port Angeles. We’d eat candy until our stomachs hurt, visit with cousins, play some football (if it wasn’t too cold), play music, sing carols, etc. My sister and I would try fitfully to get to sleep upstairs in beds my mom and uncle slept in as children, waiting for Santa.
My grandmother passed away a few years ago, so I thought I’d try to start a new custom with my new family. One Christmas, I suggested to my wife and two stepdaughters that we throw sleeping bags under the tree and camp there for the night. See Kris Kringle get past us! Little did I know that our dogs — three at the time — and cat would join us. Now, it’s become our own tradition. Pets have come and gone, but we still keep guard beneath our little tree each Christmas eve and morning. And Santa manages to get past us every time.
— Michael Dashiell, editor

When Ed and I were first married, our holiday celebration would start on Christmas Eve at my grandparents’. It always included a holiday dinner and exchanging presents. First thing Christmas morning we would head to my parents’ for a Christmas breakfast and more gift exchanges. Brunch would be at Ed’s brother’s home and Christmas dinner at my aunt and uncle’s home. Late Christmas evening we would drag ourselves home with lots of goodies, loads of good cheer and very, very full tummies.
— Debi Lahmeyer, special sections coordinator

My favorite holiday memory was six years ago while living in New York. I volunteered for God’s Love We Deliver making care packages for Thanksgiving and Christmas. It was nice knowing the impact and effect for the families that would receive it. In the past, I had been on the receiving end of programs like this. Fifteen years later, to give back to someone who had helped me was rewarding.
— Marcus Oden, graphic designer

I have two special holiday memories from the 10 years I’ve lived in Sequim, besides office parties at Olympic View Publishing and the holiday bazaars here in town.
The first one is the “Narnia” Christmas, the second one is more recent.
The “Narnia” Christmas was special because I had the opportunity to attend a Christmas Eve service with my sister and our family, and the next day, we saw the “Narnia” movie together.
More recently, Sequim Gazette reporter Mark Couhig surprised me when he told me I was mentioned in his blog about Christmas gifts for co-workers. You’ll have to read the blog to find out what he said.
— Donna McMillen, production assistant

For a few years I’d pined for a Sega Genesis video game system. On Christmas 1995, my parents finally relented. I unwrapped the medium-sized box and froze from excitement. It came with an obscure game called Vectorman, a green orb man who shot laser balls out of his hand. I became a pro at this game and I was champ among my friends at playing it. Years passed and I aced sports games, superhero games and everything in between. Newer video game systems came and went in the marketplace, but I continued to play Sega even through college. My parents definitely got their money’s worth with that present.
— Matthew Nash, reporter
Last year I spent Christmas Eve with my family, stranded on the top of a Disney’s California Adventure ride. After an incredible water and lights show, we decided to go on one last ride before leaving the park for dinner. So, we boarded the Grizzly River Run raft and it climbed up, up, up and ... stopped. Diagonally. In the dark. For 20 minutes. On the very top of Grizzly Peak. Some of us handled it better than others. Finally, the raft took us downstream and bumped into another stranded raft. It was 25 more minutes before we were evacuated. I don’t think any of us will forget that.
— Amanda Winters, reporter
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