WPGW Holiday Traditions
from the Staff
Christmas is upon us and we at WPGW would like to wish you and
your families a wonderful Christmas, and hope that next year will bring joy, prosperity, and wonderful
memories full of love and excitement.
Christmas with WPGW wouldn't be complete with out our holiday
traditions. Like your family, our traditions are important to us, and we would like to include our
listeners and our advertisers in our family. Because without you we couldn't keep our traditions
Make sure you join us Christmas Eve and Christmas Day as we will
continue with our favorite and best holiday tradition here at WPGW. We will be bringing you once
again continuous Christmas music to help lift your spirits for the
From WPGW General Manager John Boggs
The Gift of a Grandmother’s Heart:
My very first memories of Christmas are not of Santa Claus and reindeer, nor of the baby
Jesus in a manger. What I remember are brightly colored boxes with extraordinary tinsel and cut-outs adorning all
of the exposed sides. The Christmas tree only served as a marker for the place where my grandmother put the gifts
that she wrapped so elegantly for everyone in the family. Each present was decorated according to the theme she
selected for that family member. Since many of us were fortunate to have multiple gifts, they all fit within that
year's theme. It may have been a train, with each present representing different cars of the whole train. Or the
largest box in the group would have an appliqué of cowboy chaps, with other boxes having appliqués of a hat, a
scarf and boots.
My grandparents were not wealthy. They spent foolishly on their grandchildren each Christmas.
It's one family tradition I continue proudly. But more than anything, my grandmother made each gift even more
special with the time, effort and creativity she applied to the wrapping. I know there were financially tight years
for them. It seemed in those years, the coverings for our presents were even more extraordinary. Grandma wanted to
make sure that what she felt the contents may have lacked in value, she made up for in
These masterpieces would appear under Grandma's Christmas tree after Thanksgiving. Each of us
would spend hours identifying the themes and looking at the details applied to those packages that belonged to us.
We would even brag about how our theme was better than that of a sibling or cousin. The Christmas tree became the
focal point until Christmas day, as new presents were added to an existing theme or a completely new batch of
presents with a new theme appeared all at once. As you might imagine, Grandma never needed to put cards on these
gifts as it was obvious which presents went together, and it was almost always evident which theme was for which
When it came time to finally unwrap Grandma's creations, Mom always wanted us to be very
careful, so we could save the appliqués and handmade tinsel that Grandma had so lovingly crafted. Each of us were
trained to be hesitant about ripping off wrappings, because of the effort that Grandma put into them. But Grandma
was as excited about our reaction to the present inside as were most of us kids. So occasionally, with permission
from the artist, all of the decoration was destroyed in uncovering the contents that had been disguised so
As I aged and became an adult, and Grandma's energy gave way to old age, this family
tradition faded. Even so, Grandma's gifts were always wrapped with obvious care and love, but in her later years
they lacked the elaborate schemes that once caused us to brag that our packages were prettier than the packages of
another. Her last Christmas, we all attempted to take a little more time and effort in the presents we gave to her.
She noticed, and I hope in doing so she understood how much difference she made in our lives with her special gift
As I grew up, I resisted many family rituals. Our absolute obedience to some of them offended
my sense of independence as an adolescent. But today, I mourn the demise of many of them. I love these traditions,
and what they have come to mean in my memories of family and holidays. I have started several of my own over the
years to replace those that we no longer practice. I want my children and grandchildren to have as many rich
memories of the holidays and time spent with family as I am fortunate enough to have.
The Power of a letter:
This is a famous letter I try to read each year to instill the Christmas spirit within myself. It must be good
because it works every year.
You have probably read it before. But as I have found, good literature no matter how much you
read it never fails to inspire.
A famous letter from Virginia O'Hanlon to the editorial department of The New York
Sun, first printed in 1897:
“We take pleasure in answering thus prominently the communication below, expressing at the
same time our great gratification that its faithful author is numbered among the friends of The
I am 8 years old. Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus. Papa says, "If you see it in The Sun, it's
so." Please tell me the truth, is there a Santa Claus?
Virginia, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a
skeptical age. They do not believe except they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by
their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men's or children's, are little. In this great universe of
ours, man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by
the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.
Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and
devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary
would be the world if there were no Santa Claus. It would be as dreary as if there were no Virginias. There would
be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment,
except in sense and sight. The external light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.
Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies! You might get your papa
to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas Eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if you did not see Santa
Claus coming down, what would that prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa
Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies
dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that's no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all
the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.
You may tear apart the baby's rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil
covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that
ever lived, could tear apart. Only faith, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture
the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, Virginia, in all this world there is nothing else real
No Santa Claus! Thank God! he lives, and he lives forever. A thousand years from now,
Virginia, nay, 10 times 10,000 years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of
Traditions of Christmas Past, Present, and Future
WPGW’s Sam Thomas
Murdock Family Christmas Tradition:
We never really had a lot of traditions with Christmas until I had
siblings. It is a
little tough to have traditions when you are the only child and grandchild till your six. But ever since I was six years old,
we always had Christmas at my parent’s house.
It’s always been a big to-do because my grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins would
come over for Christmas Dinner.
Even today I still don’t know how we can fit so many people in the house, but we
cooks the turkey and ham, and usually the sides like potatoes, corn, green beans. Mom, my sister Jess, and I
usually gets the snack stuff ready: Veggie Tray, cheese ball platter, cheese tray, cookies, peanut butter
balls, pie. Dinner has always been pretty big with my family. My sister and I usually did
the decorating and getting the table ready for the party. Even though most of us are
grown up now, my sister and I are out of the house and on our own. The big Christmas dinner is
something we still get to do.
Trying to fit nearly 25 people into two rooms.
Childhood Memory of a tradition I still try to use at
When me and my siblings were kids my mom would read to us the Christmas story of
Jesus’ birth. We’d
stay up a while after she read it, ate snacks and played around but kept an eye on the television because NORAD, as
I can remember always gave the “Santa Sighting” updates. When Santa came close to Indiana,
we’d go to bed, then mom would come in and read us “The Night Before Christmas.” It’s a tradition I still do to a
point. I usually
read the story before I go to bed.
Since I started working here at WPGW. Every time I get the chance to
work Christmas Eve I always give the NORAD “Santa Sighting” over the air, as I sign-off. It was a part of my childhood,
that I like to share with other kids.
I suppose you can say it’s the child in me wanting to know where Santa is
New Traditions that I hope become family
I’ve been married now a little over three years. We were engaged for a year before the we got married. The Christmas before our wedding and
we started our own Christmas tradition for just us. Every year for Christmas we
go out and pick out one special ornament or decoration for Christmas. The
Christmas we were engaged was a homemade decoration I made. It was a pair of
hearts that I painted. They were connected on a string so we could hang them in
the apartment. The hearts had our names on them. And since we’ve picked out a special decoration for our Christmas. It is my intent, that when we get to the point when we might start a family of our own, that those
decorations will be used for our children. That they can have a tree of their own, with ornaments we choose as a
family. And when they grow up and move away from home that they will become
their ornaments that they can remember and share what Christmas and family means to them.