Building Christmas Memories Through A Child’s Eyes

Every year I like to know the Christmas memories of my friends in the writing community. Today, Carra Copelin shares a memory of her childhood, a recipe and a synopsis of her newest Christmas themed story. Welcome Carra!

by Carra Copelinsanta

I love Christmas, from religious services to Santa Claus, Nativity scenes to Christmas trees. I love it all. We start decorating our tree the Friday after Thanksgiving, hang the outside lights, and set up the train board under the tree. There’s the shopping, driving around the neighborhoods looking at all the homes decorated with lights and the baking…yum! This year I’ve taken to woolgathering, more than in recent years, and I thought I would share a memory with you.

Circa 1952, I remember the decorated store windows of Neiman-Marcus, Sanger Bros, and A. Harris in downtown Dallas, Texas. We would bundle up in heavy coats, hats and gloves and walk along Elm, Main and Commerce Streets looking at the scenes depicting Santa’s workshop, outdoor scenes with elves and furry animals, and cozy living rooms on Christmas morning. One I remember, in particular, depicted Clement Moore’s, Twas the Night Before Christmas. The animated mannequins portrayed every aspect of the classic poem, including the dad in his cap, smoking a pipe and watching Santa about to rise up the chimney. It was so magical seen through a child’s eyes. Through the years, the tradition disappeared and I can’t help thinking my own children missed something wonderful.tree

I’m wishing wonderful Christmas memories for everyone. Enjoy the season and also the enclosed recipe!


Texas cinnamon chocolate cake

2 c. flour
2 c. sugar
1/2 c. butter
4 tbsp. cocoa
1 c. water
1/2 c. shortening
1/2 c. buttermilk, yogurt or sour cream
2 eggs, beaten
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 c. butter
4 tbsp. cocoa
6 tbsp. milk
1 tsp. vanilla
1 lb. box powdered sugar
1 c. pecans, chopped (optional)

Combine flour and sugar. Bring butter, cocoa, water and
shortening to a boil in a saucepan (do not leave
unattended!) and then pour the mixture over flour and sugar,
beating well all the while.
Add buttermilk (you can substitute 1/2 cup milk with 2
teaspoons white vinegar), eggs, vanilla, soda and cinnamon.
Mix well and pour into greased and floured 9 x 13 pan.
Bake at 350 degrees for 40 to 45 minutes.
Five minutes before the cake is done, melt together butter,
cocoa, milk and vanilla for icing.
Pour hot mixture over powdered sugar and beat. Stir in
Spread on cake while it is warm, as soon as it is taken from
the oven.
Good to take on picnics and trips. Keeps well and can be
served straight from the pan.~~~

A Santa For Chrubypjohnson.wordpress.comristmas

Merry Hernandez has lost both her father and her brother in the last year to unfortunate circumstances, and, due to a bad economy, stands to lose her business, Very Merry Events, as well.,. No one is spending unnecessarily for parties they can plan themselves. While that is bad, she regrets most not participating in the  Riverwalk Christmas Pageant in San Antonio, Texas, where her father always played Santa and handed out toys to the children. Will the handsome stranger and his father be able to help her fulfill her dreams?

Sam Claus has journeyed to Texas with his father to help him make a young woman’s Christmas wish come true. Due to the older man’s illness, Sam doesn’t see a way to help Merry Hernandez. Throughout their evening together on Christmas Eve, too many circumstances occur that he can’t explain. Will Sam be able to turn the tide of events in her favor?

Will Sam and Merry realize their special connection and reach their Happily Ever After?

Contact CarraHead Shot 2013 2

She loves to hear from readers so please leave a comment .


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9 thoughts on “Building Christmas Memories Through A Child’s Eyes

      • I think it’s how hard my parents worked to make Christmas a magical time. My dad used to put footprints in the ashes in the fireplace. And there was never a cookie or glass of milk left in the morning. Ornaments on our tree (which was fresh) were handmade and I’ve carried this tradition over with my own children. My mother cooked and cooked and cooked. I know she had to have been exhausted, but she always seemed to enjoy every minute.


  1. Carra, I used to love those animated store displays. In Lubbock, Hemphill’s was the store to see and we never missed it. After I moved to Dallas, Neiman’s still had them, but I never go to downtown Dallas any longer. I wonder if that’s why they’ve disappeared?


    • Because you don’t go downtown? I would say that’s expressly why they stopped and I for one volunteer to take you, if they’ll start them up again! As a child of 4 or 5, the displays seemed real. I think I’d give just about anything to see them that way again. Merry Christmas to you!


  2. Hi Carra, I too loved the Christmas window displays as a child, only they were up in the frigid north land. Minneapolis that is. The big stores were Daytons and Donaldsons, and they always designed beautiful Christmas windows such as you describe. Years later Daytons (used to be the parent company of Target) devoted one of their upper floors to a Christmas village and Santa. It drew people from all over the Twin Cities and required standing in line to get walk through it. Ah, those were the days!


  3. I love Christmas. As a child, I felt almost sick with excitement thinking about Christmas morning. Now, while I still anticipate, it’s even better to see the excitement on the faces of my niece and nephew.


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