What are your special memories?
Sweet times with family and friends are among the thoughts of the season. Locals share their memories of past celebrations as we get ready for the most wonderful time of the year.
November and December are about holidays and traditions. Yet, most of us celebrate differently. TOTI Media is sharing a selection of holiday memories from among our friends in Southwest Florida:
Fran Peters, Island Vacations of Sanibel and Captiva, Inc.
“Charades with as many people who could crowd into the living room, ages 1 through 90. We taught the youngest different signs of song, book or movie and watched in hysteria as our 80-[plus]-year-old Pops got down on his knees and tried to get us to guess the word horse in a title. Something about seeing such a wide spread of ages, all enjoying the same game, still brings a smile!”
Alan Isaacs, of Fort Myers, executive director of the Jewish Federation of Lee and Charlotte Counties
“My wife [Naomi] insists that we celebrate each of the eight days of Hanukkah as if it was the only day of Hanukkah. The kids had to be home for dinner every night and there would be presents after the candles were lit and we’d sung the blessings. We’d make real sure that we all remembered the real meaning of Hanukkah—and it wasn’t the presents! It is the freedom to be a Jew.
Bonnie Grossman, of Fort Myers, actress, creative director of Harry’s Senior Moment Improv Troupe
“When I was a teenager in Boston, I was hired to be a ‘Miss Holly’—Santa Claus’s helper in Filene’s Department Store— one Christmas. My family kind of adopted two young shoeshine boys when I was Miss Holly. They came home with me and we gave them gifts, as did the store.”
Claudia Goode, of Fort Myers, director of operations/ curator at Abuse Counseling and Treatment, Inc. Arts for ACT Gallery
“A little boy was in shelter with his mom and several siblings. His No. 1 wish was a home for his mom, and No. 2 and 3 were toys for his siblings. Puts everything into perspective … and still brings tears to my eyes after 18plus years.”
Joshua K. Jones, of Cape Coral, director of operations at Invest in America’s Veterans Foundation/ Southwest Florida Military Museum & Library
“Thanksgiving lunch at my uncle’s home in Orlando is my most cherished holiday ritual. But last year also included several dishes from South America, Germany and Italy. It is different every year, and I always look forward to it.”