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Revisiting our special Christmas memories

The holiday season is filled with special memories. From Thanksgiving staples, longstanding Christmas traditions, and annual New Year celebrations, this time of year is filled with vibrant recollections of family and friends, as well as an appreciation for the rituals and delicacies that help bring people together year after year.

We asked a few of our residents and staff to share some of their special holiday memories – along with some of their favorite family recipes. Just like Santa, they delivered more than we could have wished, and for that we are grateful!

Terri Schoonover, Administrative Services Assistant

"This Scalloped Pineapple recipe was handed down to me by my Mom, who probably got it from her mom. My grown sons still keep it in the file of family favorites, and each has learned to make it for their families or office gatherings. We seldom had leftovers but if we did, my boys would often fight over it for breakfast since the bread and sugars turn sticky and sweet."

Scalloped Pineapple


  • 4 cups bread cubes – Dry Texas Toast works well
  • 1 cup butter (not margarine) – softened to room temperature (don’t melt)
  • 1 ½ cups white sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • ½ cup half & half
  • 1 large can (20 oz) chunk pineapple with juice

Tear or cut up approximately 4 cups of bread cubes and set aside. (Dry, thicker white bread works better than fresh bread.)

Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar together well.

Add the eggs, half & half, pineapple with juice, and stir well.

Fold in the bread cubes.

Pour into an unbuttered 9x13 glass baking dish. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees F for 1 hour, or until bubbly and the bread cubes are browned.

Brenda Jerde, Human Resources Administrative Assistant

"This is one of my family's favorite recipes. My mother made these for Christmas. The grandkids loved these cookies. We still make these several times a year. The recipe comes from my mom, Betty De Wyke."

No Bake Cookies

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup cocoa
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup oleo

Stir all four ingredients together in a saucepan and bring to a rolling boil for two minutes. Take off heat and add the following ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • Pinch salt
  • 3 cups quick oats
  • 1 cup angel flake coconut

Stir to mix well. Drop off by teaspoonfuls on wax paper to cool. Work fast.

Residents Carolyn McCaul and Audrey Bancroft also shared some of their favorite Christmas celebrations, movies, and childhood toys with us. There are so many different ways for families to come together at Christmastime. We are thankful to learn more about the ways both Carolyn and Audrey celebrate the season.

Carolyn McCaul

What was your favorite gift you received as a child? A second-hand bike at age 12

Who has been the easiest person for you to buy a present? My younger sister (paper dolls)

What is a favorite Christmas tradition that you have carried on in your family? Going to midnight service in California.

What is your favorite Christmas movie? White Christmas (the original one)

Audrey Bancroft

What was your favorite gift you received as a child? Tiny Tears Doll

Who has been the easiest person for you to buy a present? Grandkids

What is a favorite Christmas tradition that you have carried on in your family? Before we opened presents, we would sing lots of Christmas Carols, often accompanied by children/grandchildren with their musical instruments. Plus, we would read from the Bible about the birth of Jesus in Luke 2:1-20. One of my granddaughters has memorized all of those verses and now she quotes the passage when we are gathered.

What is your favorite Christmas movie? A Christmas Story

PHOTOS: from left to right, Terri Schoonover, Brenda Jerde, Carolyn McCaul

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