The Herald Bulletin

Evening Update


December 20, 2012

Heather Bremer: Christmas memories through the years highlight what’s important

I remember Grandma hanging her handmade ornaments on the branches of my grandparents’ tiny tree. I remember how she delicately nestled the kissing Santa and Mrs. Claus figurines into the folds of her snow-white tree skirt flecked with glitter. I remember the ceramic tree in the opposite corner of the room, the one with the tiny bulbs my siblings and I loved to rearrange.

There were plates of Grandma’s decorated sugar cookies and two or three pies. There were candles that Grandpa placed in the windows. And there were aunts, uncles and cousins, who spent every minute we weren’t eating at play.

This was Christmas at Grandma and Grandpa Schwartz’s house.

I remember Dad driving through a snow-covered countryside into town so we could see houses decorated to the nines in lights. I remember Mom fixing smores in the fireplace and rushing one or two flaming confections to the sink to be extinguished. I remember my brother’s wonder at a brightly lit tree shining in the morning darkness, surrounded by presents of all shapes and sizes wrapped in papers of all colors.

There were pajamas at the door, left by the Christmas Fairy as a bribe/threat to stay in bed. There were warm cinnamon rolls that Mom had ready before the first gift was unwrapped. There were lottery tickets that Dad stuffed in the stockings to add a little more excitement to the day’s festivities.

This was Christmas Eve and Christmas at Mom and Dad’s house.

I remember walking the beach with Mom and feeling the waves rush over my toes. I remember putting Christmas lights on a palm tree and a third-floor balcony with our roommate, Dusty. I remember a condo filled with two families just getting to know each other.

There were awkward moments when traditions clashed. There were smiles all around when my first Christmas gift from my fiancé couldn’t have been more perfect. And there were discussions about our impending nuptials that would bring our families together forever.

This was Christmas our first year in Florida. And this will be Christmas this year.

There won’t be many presents. Stockings stuffed full of goodies and, yes, lottery tickets will be all Santa’s left us. There won’t be a giant tree covered in twinkling lights. Its grandeur will be replaced by the simplicity of a small albeit beautiful spruce. There won’t be a beach. In fact, I’m hoping for snow.

But we’ve never needed the presents. Or the tree. Or an exotic locale.

Because family is what is important. This year more than most.

It’s been a week since too many families in Newtown, Conn., were robbed of the opportunity to create a lifetime of memories with their precious children. There will be presents left unwrapped, an empty seat at the dinner table, tears at the sight of a lit tree. Sadness has overwhelmed the season of joy.

So, remember those families as you sit down to dinner next to an aunt you can’t tolerate. Or when mom leaves the plastic wrap on the turkey. Or when you don’t get everything on your wish list.

Then remember just how lucky you are and cherish every moment.

Merry Christmas and happy holidays!

Heather Bremer, a former Herald Bulletin reporter/designer, writes a weekly column on movies, television and pop culture. Contact her at

Text Only
  • FEA - HB0420 - Cross carrier - JC 2 Crossing over to Christianity

    Tim Hanshew lives by 1 Corinthians 1:18: “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” For the past six years, he has shared that power by carrying a large wooden cross throughout Anderson.

    April 19, 2014 4 Photos

  • 2014 Debutante Cotillion participants

    The 11 participants in this year’s Debutante Cotillion Beautillion Militaire were asked a variety of questions, including their influences, words that describe themselves and favorite “words to live by.” The event begins at 4 p.m. Saturday, April 26, at Madison Park Church of God, 6607 Providence Drive. Call Antoinette Davis at 620-2229 for tickets, which are $270 per table or $30 each.

    April 19, 2014

  • FEA - HB0420 - 1008 Location, location, location When imagining the house of a farmer, people don’t tend to envision the home built by George and Nancy Likens. By pouring time and attention into their haven since they originally constructed the house in 1975, they have created an updated and lovely environment in the perfect setting.

    April 19, 2014 6 Photos

  • Timmons, Theresa mug Theresa Timmons: Dinosaurs run amok at mamaw's house I love my new job as a grandparent. It includes playing imaginary tennis with imaginary tennis rackets, making elaborate tents in the living room, and hair-pulling.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • FEA HB0420 schooltornadodamage Reliving the Orestes tornado of 1922 Spring is a time of new life and hope. A time when grass becomes green and flowers begin to bloom. But with the beauty of the season often comes the arrival of devastating storms. The spring of 1922 was no exception to the residents of Orestes.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Back in the News: April 20 The Herald Bulletin looks back at stories from the Anderson Daily Bulletin and The Anderson Herald newspapers. 10 Years Ago – 2004 April 21 – The Edgewood Baptist Church now is completely inside the town limits of Edgewood. The Town Council made it o

    April 19, 2014

  • 14th annual dog walkathon at Shadyside Park The Madison County Humane Society will host its 14th annual dog walkathon on Saturday, May 3. The walk will be at Shadyside Park between 8 a.m. and noon (rain or shine.

    April 19, 2014

  • Stringer, Maleah mug Maleah Stringer: Volunteers needed to spend time with shelter animals Shelters can be extremely stressful places for many animals, particularly those who have been in a loving home. This is why we want people to come into the shelter and spend time with our animals — to help keep them adoptable so that when the right person comes along they are ready.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Community Briefs: April 20 A compilation of community news items as published in the Sunday edition of The Herald Bulletin.

    April 19, 2014

  • Bailey, Jim mug Jim Bailey: Wages were much less back then, but so were prices If you have any questions about what economists mean by inflation, just look at yesterday’s buying power. Those old western movies talked about wages of $1 a day. That wouldn’t even buy a burger at a fast food joint today by the time sales tax is added in.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

Reader Pet Photos

We're looking for your best pet photos! Share your photos of your favorite non-human companions in our new photo gallery. Click here to upload your photos

Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
More Resources from The Herald Bulletin