John J. York (Mac)

GH’s John J. York (Mac), wife Vicki, daugh­ter Schyler, grand­son Eli and dogs Win­nie and Belle

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if you’ve seen the movie A Christ­mas Story, you have a pretty good idea of what the hol­i­day sea­son was like for GH’s John J. York as a kid. “I don’t know where they ac­tu­ally filmed it, but it looks like it’s my school and my neigh­bor­hood — and that’s me grow­ing up!” mar­vels the legacy player who brings Mac to life. “I re­mem­ber it like it just hap­pened this morn­ing — wak­ing up and go­ing to the front win­dow of my house on Christ­mas and see­ing a blan­ket of snow cov­er­ing ev­ery­thing. Big snowflakes float­ing down, that mag­i­cal glow around the lights…

“I was very lucky,” he adds, “to have those great mem­o­ries grow­ing up.”

The Chicago trans­plant watches the movie with his fam­ily ev­ery year — per­haps be­cause he’s been cel­e­brat­ing in sunny Cal­i­for­nia for decades now! But the more things change, the more they stay the same. “Ev­ery year, my dad, my brothers and I would go up to the at­tic and pull out all these old, dusty boxes filled with spi­der­webs and Christ­mas dec­o­ra­tions and set them all up — and that’s kind of what we do now,” he says. “My wife, Vicki, has col­lected An­nalee Christ­mas dolls. So we have boxes in the garage filled with rein­deer, snow­men and San­tas, and we’ll pull those out and dec­o­rate to the Christ­mas songs.

“We’ll also get a Christ­mas tree while Schyler’s here with Eli,” he con­tin­ues. “That’s al­ways a tradition.”

Schyler and Eli would be York’s daugh­ter and grand­son, who only makes the hol­i­day sweeter. “Eli­jah’s a year and a half old, so this will re­ally be his first Christ­mas,” says York. And while they’ll be sepa-

rated for Santa’s of­fi­cial visit, Grandpa has got a huge gift com­ing his way — the chance to in­tro­duce his fa­vorite guy to that win­ter won­der­land of his child­hood! “A few days af­ter Christ­mas, Vicki and I will travel with Schyler and Eli to the Mid­west, and for a week and a half, Schyler will work and we’ll get to babysit and see as much of my fam­ily as we can,” he grins. “I don’t get to see ev­ery­one very much — and there are a lot of us spread across Mil­wau­kee, Chicago and Min­neapo­lis. My mom and dad had six kids, those six kids gave them 10 grand­chil­dren, and from those 10 grand­chil­dren, I want to say there are about 50 kids. Who­ever we get to see, it’s go­ing to be great!”

(sec­tion con­tin­ues)

The hol­i­days don’t seem to leave the Yorks dog tired — not even Win­nie andBelle!

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