By Rick Banas of Gardant Management Solutions

In keeping with the spirit of the season, I wanted to share with you some favorite holiday memories from residents of the assisted living communities Gardant operates.


Marion, age 75

“My best Christmas memory was when my grandma would come to visit. One year after she left, my sister and I couldn’t find our dolls. Our mother said we should take better care of our things. We gave up looking for them. After a few weeks, we received a box in the mail. Inside were our dolls. Our grandma had made new clothes for them, including wedding dresses. We loved her so much.”


Joan, age 92

“I got proposed to and engaged for Christmas.”


Barbara, age 83

“My late husband and I were married on Christmas Eve. We had 34 wonderful years together.”


Lynette, age 76

“I always enjoyed singing and listening to the piano and organ during family get-togethers.”


Harlan, age 81

“When we woke up and went downstairs to open our gifts; we would always say “Look at all the presents.”


Joyce, age 82

“When I was little, my Dad and I would go get a Christmas Tree.  When we would bring the tree home, my Mom would say we need to cut a hole in the ceiling because the tree was so tall.” (She recalled that this happened when she was five and every year thereafter).


Betty, age 83

“When the tree was too tall to get through the door to get in the house”


Carole, age 87

“I had the measles one Christmas and was so sick and weak that I couldn’t even go look at my presents.  Not my best memory, but I recovered and still enjoy Christmas.”


Fannie, age 97

“When my husband got out of the service and was home for the holidays was the best memory.  That way we could celebrate everything together.”


Donna, age 84

Donna lost her husband about a month and a half after Christmas. They knew it would be their last together so “we just put everything we had into being together; being with friends and family and enjoying each moment. The entire family was with us. It was the best holiday, and I still love Christmas.”


Dan, age 70

Dan said he was about four years old. His family went to celebrate Christmas with his paternal grandparents. They had an old coal cook stove and a coal house stove. They also had a crank phone and a three-hole privy. Dan’s mother hung their stockings, literally clean stockings, on the wall behind the coal house stove. In the morning, Dan found his stocking full of fruit, ribbon candy and two melted chocolate drops.


Debbie, age 70

Debbie was about five or six. Santa visited them; they fed him milk and cookies.


Sherron., age 79

“I have two sisters. They always shared a bedroom; I always had my own. Every Christmas Eve we would all snuggle together in the same bed while waiting for Santa to stop.”


Donna, age 83

“Remember the Cabbage Patch Doll Craze? Yes! Me too! So much so that I went and stood in line in the freezing cold for hours just to try and get 1 of 200 dolls that were reportedly dropped off at a store in Rockford, Illinois (I lived in Clinton, Iowa). Subzero weather mind you, but I got one! My daughter was happy. I would do it again, especially if the dolls came with fudge.”


Wishing All of You a Safe and Merry Holiday Season!


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