Saturday, December 10, 2016



When Celia suggested we each write about an aspect of Christmas this month, I had so many ideas I had trouble choosing. I decided to share the first Christmas I remember. I was three years old and we lived in Bakersfield, California.

Even though our house was small, our Christmas Eve family get together was at our house that year. My mom was Daddy’s second wife and much younger than he was. In fact, his eldest son was two years older than Mother. I was the little darling second family, shy and quiet—most of the time. My younger brother wasn't born until I was ten. 

My niece, Linda Camille, was six months old that year and just sitting up alone. My brother-in-law, Buster Reed, was everyone’s favorite because he was such a truly good man. You can understand why I wasn’t surprised that he knew Santa and had arranged for him to fly into Bakersfield for our gift exchange. Sure enough, Santa arrived and he knew all our names as he handed out gifts. He gave me a doll buggy and a large doll. I don’t remember what anyone else received, but I remember Linda’s eyes growing wide as saucers as she stared at Santa. Mine probably did too.

There I am with my
doll and buggy
After Santa had given out gifts, Buster had to take him back to the airport so he could fly to the North Pole in time to deliver all the other children’s toys that night. In reality, Santa was Buster’s older brother, Roy, and the suit was very realistic. I suspect my sister made it as she was an excellent seamstress. Years later, when Roy had passed on and my half-brother, Herschel Johnson, was Santa, that suit was still impressive. In fact, several teen-aged girls who were guests for the evening were flabbergasted and said Santa almost made believers of them again.

I’m happy my own daughter was able to see that Santa a couple of times. I treasure the memory of Santa knowing my name as he wheeled in my doll buggy. We didn’t have much money, and I later learned that my mother had lovingly refurbished a second-hand buggy she’d bought in poor shape. The result looked perfect to me. I wish I’d have been able to keep it, but when we moved back to Texas, all we could bring had to fit in our car. We looked like the Grapes of Wrath in the reverse direction. Sadly, only small things could be included. At least I have a photo of me with the buggy.

Thanks to all of you precious readers who follow this blog. Our members value your comments and the time you spend reading our posts. Blessings to you whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, or another holiday! We love you!

Amazon bestselling and award-winning author Caroline Clemmons has released her new Christmas romance, ANGEL FOR CHRISTMAS, now available from Amazon at
She also has a Christmas novella in the bestselling box set, WILD WESTERN WOMEN -- MISTLETOE, MONTANA, available from Amazon at
She lives in North Central Texas with her Hero and a menagerie of rescued pets. Find her at and join her newsletter subscribers to receive a free novella as well as be notified of contests, new releases, and other news. Find all her books at her Amazon Author Page:


  1. Wonderful Christmas memory, Caroline! I wish you could have brought the doll buggy with you to Texas. It surely would have been a treasured keepsake. Merry Christmas!

  2. Oh! I had a doll buggy, too! I'd forgotten about that, but Santa didn't deliver it in person. But it did appear under the tree, and yes, it also held a big baby doll.
    This was the sweetest memory of your Christmases, Caroline. I loved makes those of us of "a certain age" nostalgic and happy with a kind of bittersweet feeling. I also got a little wooden ironing board and iron one year...remember those? And the best was a little sewing machine that actually worked. Thanks so much for sharing this memory with us.

  3. Caroline, what a warm and sentimental trip down nostaglia lane. Thank you for sharing your special story and taking us back with you. I too wish you had been able to take your buggy with you. But alas, you have those fond memories. I love those little buggies and have one on my balcony with dolls and bears resting in it--I got it years ago and not as a child--I just like them. Like you I have such fond memories of those times when Santa was #1 in my mind. Wishing you much success with all your books and Happy Holidays to you.

  4. Caroline, I loved this memory. What a great one for sure. I don't remember Christmases back that far. What a treasure you've shared with us. Thank you and Merry Christmas to you and your family.

  5. Caroline, it certainly doesn't seem to make much difference how much money a family has or what the gifts are, does it? It's all about spirit, joy in the celebration, and love. I so enjoyed reading about your Christmas memory. All the best to you and yours.

  6. What a sweet post, Caroline. I can't remember that far back, though maybe a special memory such as your buggy would be something that would stick in my mind. Thanks for sharing!

  7. Lovely Christmas memory, Caroline. Enjoyed the photo, too. You haven't changed a bit. Well, maybe a little bit, but I'd know that face anywhere. Wishing you and your sweet hero a blessed Christmas with your girls and fur babies. :)

  8. My first very vague memory was when I was 18 months old. I was staying overnight at Grandpa's house. His step-daughter (two years older then me) and I got up after Santa had come, and opened every single one of the presents under the tree. I vaguely remember tearing off the wrapping, but I vividly remember my dad throwing me in bed and bouncing. That was so fun! I wanted him to do it again. LOL.

  9. What a sweet memory. I remembering always asking for a pony. I was very specific and made it clear I did not want a toy but a real live pone. Poor Santa, it must have been hard. Each year I got a toy horse, which I loved and have never been able to part with.

  10. Caroline, your wonderful Christmas memory certainly sparked memories for the readers, just as it did for me! I too always wanted a real pony for Christmas as Danni did, and though I had to settle for toy horses, they were special to me. I still have one of the small statues that Santa brought me, though a bit tarnished!

  11. Christmas is magical at that age. I remember Christmas right before I turned three. My little brother & I got what we thought was a brand new sled. I later discovered that Dad had meticulously refurbished an antique sled. We had no hills to slide down, nor the imagination to do so. I could barely pull my brother around on it, but we had loads of fun anyway.


Thank you for visiting Sweethearts of the West!