Mr and Mrs and all the lit­tle Christ­mases

Townsville Bulletin - - Your Christmas Txts -

DO not bother mak­ing jokes. This fam­ily has heard them all.

No, they do not com­mu­ni­cate di­rectly with Santa Claus. And they do not cel­e­brate the hol­i­days all year.

The com­ments are part of life when your last name is Christ­mas, es­pe­cially when two of your fam­ily mem­bers are named — yes — Mary.

‘‘Peo­ple ask me all the time, ’What were your par­ents think­ing?’’’ said the younger Mary Christ­mas, 30.‘‘I never minded. It’s a con­ver­sa­tion piece.’’

It all started on Christ­mas Day 1935, when the elder Mary wed­ded Henry Christ­mas. They had Bob Christ­mas, who mar­ried Peggy and had six chil­dren.

Mary was born first and was named for her grand­mother. The spirit of the sea­son took hold again when Christy Noel, now 23, was born.

And it does not end there. Bob’s brother mar­ried Cathy Hol­i­day, and they had a daugh­ter named Carol. And Bob’s sis­ter mar­ried into the White fam­ily, be­com­ing Jeane Christ­mas White.

The Christ­mas fam­ily lives up to its cheer­ful name. They are a lively bunch, fin­ish­ing each other’s sen­tences and laugh­ing at a con­stant stream of jokes. ‘‘You can tell we’re a happy fam­ily,’’ said the elder Mary Christ­mas, who is 90.

So what is Christ­mas like at the Christ­mases’?

Christ­mas Eve in­volves a fam­ily din­ner, a church ser­vice, the read­ing of the Christ­mas story from the Bi­ble and then one gift per fam­ily mem­ber.

Christ­mas Day in­cludes a big fam­ily brunch with bis­cuits and gravy, and a Christ­mas din­ner.

De­spite the Christ­mases’ light­hearted talk about their name, they take it se­ri­ously, too. ‘‘It would be my goal that our lives as a fam­ily ex­em­plify not just the birth of Christ, but the life of Christ,’’ said Robby, 28.

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