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December 16 2018

On the 4th Day of Christmas: Ericka Andersen Remembers

by Ericka Andersen Sylvester

I was so fortunate to grow up in a family where the holidays have always been sweet. My favorite things are small details that paint a childhood Christmas full of whimsy and wonder. We always got to pick out a new Christmas dress from K-Mart and usually performed in the yearly church Christmas play, whether it was a traditional Christmas story or a modernized version entitled "Live! From Bethlehem!"

In my family, we always opened one present on Christmas Eve and the rest waited until morning. My two sisters and I always snuggled close together in one bed for the night, waking up frequently in anticipation of Santa Clause. I was known to get up in the middle of the night and spy to see if our stockings were full yet.

We were usually up by 5 or 6 am, rushing into the living room to dig into knitted stockings stuffed full of gadgets and candy and lip gloss and stickers and all the cheap trinkets that fill up a sock for $10 or less. After opening presents one by one, we headed to the kitchen as my Dad cooked his famous biscuits and gravy (he still does). Usually, I had received several new books and could be found relaxing on my bean bag chair or on a couch cushion devouring a title. Not much has changed there!

I will always cherish those Christmas mornings as a kid, especially before I learned the truth about Santa Clause. It all reminds me how lucky I am to have an intact family that gave me all the love and care I could ever dream of -- on Christmas Day and 364 other days a year as well.

Independent Women's Forum is an educational 501(c)(3) dedicated to developing and advancing policies that aren’t just well intended, but actually enhance people’s freedom, choices, and opportunities. IWF is the sister organization of the Independent Women’s Voice.​
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