What are your spe­cial mem­o­ries?

Times of the Islands - - News -

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.”

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