CoalTown Christmas Stories

Christmas Memories submitted by our readers:

A collection of our readers favorite Christmas memories, folklore and traditions.

Submit your story for a chance to have it featured on our website or Facebook page!


Lights Out

Submitted by Ednamerle

One evening my husband, Gary arrived home from work to find the lights out. I had prepared a lovely candlelit dinner to celebrate our 14th wedding anniversary and our two young sons, Chuck and Al, were so excited by the special occasion.

“Hey,” Gary joked, “did you forget to pay our electric bill?”

A few months later, during the Christmas Eve candlelit procession, the church was packed and silent when Al who was sitting on the far opposite end of the pew with friends yelled out, “Hey, Dad, did they forget to pay their electric bill like Mom?”

My husband busted out laughing, I on the other hand was mortified. Thankful the darkness hid my Christmas red cheeks of embarrassment! 

Merry Christmas, Jesus is the reason for the season!

Dog Gone It - A Christmas Eve Rescue

Submitted by Thad

It was 32 years ago. I had been a member of the volunteer fire department for 6 months. It was Christmas Eve. We had our families in for dinner. Adults at the dining table and the kids at card tables.

We were just starting dessert when the alarm came in. We headed out of the station, sirens wailing, air horns sounding and red lights lighting the sky. As we turned onto a side street off of Main, we saw the flames and smoke. It was a two-story house fully involved. As I was preparing to attack the fire, I noticed a girl, maybe 6, sitting on the stairs crying, tears making streaks down her soot-covered face, crying “my puppy.”


We went in and knocked down the fire. I noticed a puppy on the floor, hair singed, soggy, soot covered and not breathing. I picked it up and blew into its nose. Nothing. I tried again. Nothing. I slapped its rump, like a baby being born, and got a whimper. I puffed a couple of more breaths into it and stuck him inside my coat.


When I came out, the little girl was sitting there with her mother, still crying. I sat down between them and looked at the little girl. She was trying to tell me between her suffering sobs that her puppy had died. I opened my coat and the puppy stuck its wet, singed head out and whimpered. The little girl’s face lit up like a candle. She hugged and kissed her puppy and then handed it to her mother, jumped up, threw her arms around my neck. I still cry every time I think of that night, and it added to my already deep-set feelings of how dear life is.

Merry Christmas and God Bless

Greatest Gift Karl K.JPG

A Bushel and a Peck and a Hug Around the Neck

Submitted by Karl K.

Christmas was really tough as Dad and Mom both had been sick and money was just not there in 1950. None the less, we had each other. I knew there would be little or nothing in my stocking that Christmas, and I, along with the others, accepted this and just enjoyed the season as it was. When you are used to having nothing, getting nothing is not an issue.


Inside my stocking that Christmas, I found a handwritten note from my mother. “You are my greatest gift, I love you a bushel and a peck and a hug around the neck.”


Those words impacted me to the depths of my very core. My mother lived another 23 years and every card she sent me was signed the same way. I carried her words with me during two tours of duty and I carried on the tradition with my own son.


All these years later, I received a card with a photo of my son’s family on the front of it. My eyes welled up with tears, as I read about all that they had been doing, wishing I could be with them. I put the card on the table nearby to feel as if they were with me. It was a bit before I noticed something written on the backside. We love you, Dad….a bushel and a peck and a hug around the neck! Signed, “Your greatest gift.” 

O' Christmas Tree

Submitted by Anne


When I was a youngin' I remember sitting on daddy's lap near the old wood stove in his favorite rocking chair. My daddy didn't have much to say, but when the winter came on, especially around Christmas time, he'd share a memory or two from his childhood. I was about 7 years old or so when I asked him if we could get one of those fancy store bought trees. He shook his head slightly and stared into the fire, took a drink of coffee and let out a weary sigh. I guess my question must have jarred something in his memory. He told me when they were growing up, he and my Uncle Ted, Aunt Lillian and Aunt Bertha – all children of my daddy's parents – would go to the brush about a week before Christmas to look for an oak limb to serve as a Christmas tree. They then cut it, pulled it home, set it up and began decorating.

Daddy told me how they used an old flour sack around the bottom of the tree for the ‘snow’ skirt and prickly berries, acorns and hedge apples (whatever they could find) for decorations. They had paper chains, a star covered with chewing gum wrappers (this was before every household had a roll of aluminum foil), a string of popcorn, and tinsel and icicles, which were used over and over. One year his mama bought two decorations for electric lights, but since they had no electricity the decorations had to hang on a branch. He said they thought it was beautiful anyways.


Daddy's long gone now, but that glimpse into his childhood was one of the greatest gifts he could have ever given to me. I have carried that memory tucked away in my heart for more than 70 years. My Christmas wish for anyone who reads this dusty old memory of mine, they will take the time and realize the greatest gifts we are given have nothing to do with material things. Gifts given freely from the heart will last a lifetime. God bless everyone and Merry Christmas to all. 


My favorite Christmas memory is my grandson being naughty and I told him that santa would bring him coal. He quickly replied, So what? Dad will fire up the grill! Submitted by Hank

My favorite Christmas memory is from when I was around 7 or so. I woke up much earlier than everyone else, around 5 AM or so. My parents had a rule that on Christmas morning we couldn’t come down stairs until 7:30 AM. I tried my hardest to wait. I even put on some of the clothes that were in my dress up box. I had on a princess dress, cowboy boots, a tutu, and a snorkel with goggles. It was just before 6AM when my excitement got the better of me and I raced down stairs and started opening up all my presents. I must have woken my parents up because they came down about 10 minutes later. They just looked at me and walked away. My dad later told me that the only reason I didn’t get in trouble was because of how ridiculous I looked. He said he didn’t think he would be able to keep a straight face if he punished me. Submitted by Twila

I was the designated present peeker. I was an expert at peeking and then refolding and taping the wrapping so nobody noticed so eventually my little brother had me help him peek at his gifts too! lol.