Share a favorite Christmas memory

Although I came from a “lots of kids, not much money” kind of family, we were never deprived of fun-filled Christmases.

One Christmas Eve, the family was gathered in the living room, listening to holiday music, watching the bubble lights on the tree and wondering what Santa would bring.

Though we tried every year to catch a glimpse of the man in red, we never succeeded. During the chaotic noise that night, my dad suddenly yelled for us to be quiet. He had heard something! Reindeer hooves? Jingling bells? We held our breath. Suddenly, we all made a mad dash to the door. We would finally catch Santa in the act!

As we threw open the door, we found a giant box blocking the entrance. It was filled with beautifully wrapped gifts! We couldn't get past the box, and the outdoor lights were inconveniently turned off. We stampeded to the windows, positive we would see reindeer pulling a sleigh across the snow-covered yard. But once again, St. Nick had magically come and gone without any of us seeing him.

Our disappointment was quickly forgotten as we descended upon the gifts. It was an exciting and fun night.

I still ponder how my folks had pulled that off. Who made the delivery? Why didn’t we see or hear a vehicle leaving the yard? They’re gone now, so I can’t ask them, but I hope they know they were really good at making Christmas special for us kids. It was magical.

Judy Bennett
Northern Plains Electric Cooperative


Christmas 2014 was a special holiday for me. It was just two-and-one-half months since a massive brainstem stroke had rendered me immovable, and robbed me of my ability to speak or swallow. I was a patient at Craig Hospital in Englewood, Colo.

What made this Christmas memorable for me is my husband and five children (two in college and three in high school) all making the long road trip (1,110 miles) to spend Christmas with me. I hadn’t seen the kids since leaving Mandan’s Vibra Hospital almost a month earlier. Since I still couldn’t move anything but my eyes, my husband and kids opened presents for me and placed the opened gifts around my room. The best gift to me, however, was getting to spend the day together with them all. Thank you, Jesus, for this opportunity!

Yvonne Sortland-Stegner
Formerly of Slope Electric Cooperative

Christmas Eve 1983 was a bitterly cold night. My husband and I were first-time parents of a 6-month-old baby boy, and he was hospitalized in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at Medcenter One in Bismarck. The hospital had a beautiful Christmas Eve service in the cafeteria. There weren’t many of us there, but there was a sense of family among us that night.

The hospital auxiliary made a red velvet Christmas stocking for our son that was bigger than he was. The NICU nurses were extremely kind and compassionate. They knew us well, because our son had been their patient for several weeks after being born prematurely. They allowed us to take our son to the family room for a few precious moments. It was a quiet and intimate time for our new little family and we felt very blessed on that holy night.

Cindy Klapperich
Dakota Valley Electric Cooperative


My favorite Christmas memory is when my family had a big Christmas party. My Grandma Jodie hosted the party. Many of my aunts, uncles and cousins came to the party, along with my mom, dad, my siblings, me and, of course, my grandma.

We played games, worked on Christmas puzzles, ate good food and even had a birthday cake for Jesus! It was a blast! We also had a talent show, in which we played instruments and sang songs. The best part of the party was when we played a dice game to win prizes and presents. If I rolled doubles on the dice, I got to pick from lots of fun prizes under the Christmas tree. We played this for a long time, so I won lots of things! It was fun! I love spending time with my family, and this is why I will always remember this special party.

Ellie Vetter, 8 years old
McLean Electric Cooperative


My favorite Christmas memory was when I was convinced, as a young child, we had a special Christmas visitor. While we were eating supper, I heard thumping on the roof and jingle bells outside of the house. I asked Dad what they were. He just shrugged and went outside onto our porch. I got kind of suspicious, so I asked Dad if he was making the sound. He shook his head.

My siblings and I ran to the living room, and under the Christmas tree were our overflowing stockings. We looked out the window and saw a red light blinking in the distance. I was thoroughly convinced it was Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. I'm sure that was an airplane now, but back then it was exciting to see Rudolph’s nose. I will always treasure this childhood memory.

Emelie Schaper, 12 years old
McKenzie Electric Cooperative



JANUARY: What is the biggest issue facing your local community that the N.D. Legislature should address during the 2023 legislative session?

Deadline for submission: Dec. 12

FEBRUARY: What workforce challenges are you experiencing in your local community?

Deadline for submission: Jan. 13

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