Merry Christmas, Liberty HealthShare family! As we begin our annual holiday celebrations, we often think of times together with family and friends, and of special memories growing up – or watching our children grow up – through the years. Many times, those thoughts center around traditions, or on a story of a special Christmas memory.
With that in mind, the staff here at Liberty HealthShare would like to share with you some of our cherished memories and traditions. We hope you enjoy!
Lena H., Member Services
Mine is the memory of my son’s first Christmas, in 2015. It was amazing how much he loved Christmas, with all the lights and decorations! It was my first Christmas that I had with a family of my own. To this day, he still loves Christmas and everything about it!
Julie C., Member Resolutions
Every year for Christmas we go to my husband’s country, Honduras. I buy clothes and shoes all year to take to our nieces and nephews. After school starts I buy all kinds of school supplies on sale and create boxes and send them to my sister-in-law, who works in a school there with children who barely have money for shoes. I also collect shoes and clothes I find on clearance and create boxes to send to them at Christmas. My mother-in-law makes tamales that we eat on the 24th, and we then stay out in the streets for the fair all night long. The party normally continues until the morning.
JoAnne C., Member Services
In June of 1972 “The Flood of Agnes” hit our small town in Corning, N.Y. Our family home, with my parents and seven kids, was filled with mud and damaged to the point of gutting out the entire first floor. My dad’s family business, Cuda’s Meat Market, was also destroyed. Needless to say, we were in dire need of help.
Many Christian volunteers came from Newark, N.J., for the entire summer to help our small town. We were placed in a trailer for the holiday season. That December the New Jersey family showed up at our trailer door with a truck load of Christmas gifts and food for my entire family of nine, which included handmade dolls, mittens and scarves. I recall that very special Christmas in 1972, as a small child, and what a blessing they were to our family and small town in upstate New York. To this day my family still remembers that miraculous and glorious Christmas, and the good deeds of strangers who came to do God’s work. Jesus IS the reason for the season!
Tari T., Human Resources
My parents now live in a smaller home on Portage Lakes and with the size of our family now, we rotate holidays because we need more space. My sister, Tami, hosts Thanksgiving. In the past she has hosted foreign exchange students. To make them feel more at home, she incorporated a dish from their country. This allowed us to have exposure to new tastes and foods. She continues that tradition still without the foreign exchange students.
Melissa L., Operations
On Christmas Eve, we go to dinner every year at a Thai restaurant – our little spin of The Christmas Story – then we go home to open our Christmas Eve pajamas, make hot chocolate, scoop up the dog and go look at Christmas lights!
Catherine T., Medical Bill Processing
On Christmas Eve, we have a traditional meatless Slovak dinner. We have pierogies, sour mushroom soup, and bobalki – which is pieces of baked rolls added to fried sour kraut. We also have oplatki, which is a wafer that everyone breaks a piece off of and says a prayer. After dinner we relax until church, then drive around and see Christmas lights. Just a family night!
Deanna A., Marketing
We make our Christmas cookies all day Christmas Eve, until dinner, and then after dinner we go to candlelight service at church. It makes for a very full, fun Christmas Eve!
Karla D., Medical Bill Processing
After Christmas Eve services we load up and go to a hotel, sometimes in Marietta, Ohio, or sometimes a hotel here in Canton. We enjoy the pool and hot tub and breakfast, watch TV, and then go to a Chinese place for lunch.
Darrick B., Communications
After my kids and my brother’s kids open up gifts at home on Christmas morning, we all get together at my parents’ for a huge brunch. Usually we have a couple extended family join us too – aunts, uncles, and cousins. Brunch is a little bit of everything – like a fantastic homemade breakfast buffet with French toast, waffles, sausage, eggs, bacon, and so much more it’s ridiculous. And delicious! After we’re done eating, we make our way to the living room, where the huge tree sits sparkling in the corner bay window, loaded with gifts for all of my parents’ grandkids, as well as whoever else is joining us. This is where my brother’s family and mine exchange gifts too, so the haul is often spilling out into the middle of the floor. I’m usually the “Santa,” grabbing gifts from under the tree and passing them out. We all wait for everyone to have at least one to open, then the kids (and everyone else) are free to open them up and enjoy the bounty! It’s a fairly simple tradition, but it’s one we all love and look forward to every year.