Special Christmas Memories From My Childhood

Mortgage and Lending with George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages NMLS #65149

Kathy Streib is hosting an ActiveRain Challenge this month titled "A December Challenge-Share A Favorite Holiday Memory With Us".  Kathy's challenge asks us to:

"share with us a favorite memory, or gift, or unusual challenge you have from previous holidays."

I have several special Holiday memories especially a recent one with my one and only grandchild. However, I have chosen a Special Christmas Memories From My Childhood, because it also gives insight into my past.

As many of you know I was born in the Azores, Portugal on a small island called Santa Maria. A Christmas tradition my parents had when we lived in Portugal was to wake me, my brother, and sisters up on mid-night Christmas Night. Mid-night on Christmas Night is when Santa Clause would come to our house, and my dad would play up his arrival.

The house we lived in had a slate roof, and the kitchen had a chimney over the stove, and pots & pans hung from the bottom of the chimney. My mother and father would make it a point of telling us that Santa would be delivery our presents at mid-night, but Santa would not come if we were not asleep. So we would make sure we went to bed early on Christmas Eve to make sure we had plenty of time to fall asleep.

At mid-night Christmas Night my mother would wake us up while my dad would go out side and throw rocks up on the roof. Then he would run inside to rattle all the pots & pans hanging from the chimney in the kitchen. Me, my brother, and sisters would jump from our beds and run to the kitchen to see if we could catch Santa. In fact one year I swore I had seen Santa's feet just before he made his way up the chimney.

This tradition of waking us up at mid-night continued when we came to the United States, but we did not have a chimney and lived on the third floor. So the throwing of rocks on the roof did not continue as well as all the noise with the pots & pans. But mid-night Christmas Night was still a very special time for us, and I would scold my brothers and sisters Christmas Eve night if they were not going to sleep. There was no way I wanted to take a chance on not getting my presents.

I wish I had continued this tradition with my two boys, but my wife and I did not. We followed the more traditional way of them waiting until Christmas Morning to open their presents. Christmas continues to still be a special day in the Souto household, but Christmas seem to have a little more excitement in the early years of my childhood.



 Info about the author:

George Souto NMLS# 65149 is a Loan Originator who can assist you with all your #FHA, #CHFA, and #Conventional #mortgage needs in Connecticut. George resides in Middlesex County which includes #Middletown, #Middlefield, #Durham, #Cromwell, #Portland, #Higganum, #Haddam, #East Haddam,#Moodus, #Chester, #Deep River, and #Essex. George can be contacted at (860) 573-1308 or gsouto@mccuemortgage.com

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 Info about the author:

George Souto NMLS# 65149 is a Loan Originator who can assist you with all your #FHA, #CHFA, and #Conventional #mortgage needs in Connecticut. George resides in Middlesex County which includes #Middletown, #Old Saybrook, #Middlefield, #Durham, #Cromwell, #Portland, #Higganum, #Haddam, #East Haddam, #Moodus, #Chester, #Deep River, and #Essex. George can be contacted at (860) 573-1308 or souto@snet.net


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William Feela
Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No.

George, great memory.   There are many great memories and I don't know how I would pick my favorite

Dec 06, 2017 05:20 PM #6
Myrl Jeffcoat
GreatWest Realty - Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent

That sounds like a delightful tradition you enjoyed as a kid, George.  The parents of my daughter's husband were from the Azores.  They told wonderful stories of living there.  They were on Sao Miguel.

Dec 06, 2017 07:54 PM #7
Nina Hollander
RE/MAX Executive | Charlotte, NC - Charlotte, NC
Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor

Good morning, George.. what a wonderful memory and what a wonderful tradition. It's always a shame that there are certain traditions we can't quite pass on to the next generation... but you can certainly keep it alive with the recounting of the stories.

Dec 07, 2017 01:55 AM #8
Gabe Sanders
Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales - Stuart, FL
Stuart Florida Real Estate

What a wonderful tradition, George.  Too bad it doesn't work in apartment houses as well.

Dec 07, 2017 04:47 AM #9
Sheila Anderson
Referral Group Incorporated - East Brunswick, NJ
The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133

Good morning George. Oh what a lovely story. Your parents sound like very special people.

Dec 07, 2017 06:50 AM #10
Pat Starnes, Brandon, MS
Front Gate Real Estate - Brandon, MS
Broker Associate, ABR, 601-278-4513

Your parents were so much fun! I guess they thought they might as well let you wake at midnight instead of perhaps at 3 or 4 a.m. after Santa had disappeared up the chimney. Thanks for sharing your Christmas memories from Santa Maria. It made me smile.

Dec 07, 2017 07:36 AM #11
Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi
NMLS #216987, IL Lic. 031.0006220, WI Licensed. APMC NMLS #175656 - New Lenox, IL
708.921.6331 - 40+ yrs experience

Enjoyed reading your story of your childhood Christmas celebrations, George Souto ... how cool that you almost caught Santa!!

Not too late to re-start the tradition with that grandbaby ...


Dec 07, 2017 08:40 AM #12
Lottie Kendall
Today | Sotheby's International Realty - San Carlos, CA
Serving San Mateo County and San Francisco

What a delightful memory, George. Family holiday traditions are special ones.

Dec 07, 2017 03:18 PM #13
Hannah Williams
Re/Max Eastern inc. - Philadelphia, PA
Expertise NE Philadelphia & Bucks 215-953-8818

I love this story George Souto the old traditions and memories of our childhood are so close to our hears . Especially our memories of Santa Clause

Dec 07, 2017 04:07 PM #14
Lisa Von Domek
Lisa Von Domek Team - Dallas, TX
....Experience Isn't Expensive.... It's Priceless!

What a lovely memory George Souto and your parents made Christmas and Santa quite an event - how fun !

Dec 07, 2017 08:40 PM #15
Debbie Reynolds
Platinum Properties - Clarksville, TN
Your Dedicated Clarksville TN Real Estate Agent

That is a lovely memory, George and one so similar to my husband's. Those early Christmases were some of the best ever.

Dec 07, 2017 09:02 PM #16
Doug Dawes
Keller Williams Realty - Topsfield, MA - Georgetown, MA
Your Personal Realtor®

Christmas to a kid can be such an exciting season. I liked the part where you are certain you saw Santa's feet George Souto 

Dec 08, 2017 05:04 AM #17
Patricia Feager
Selling Homes Changing Lives

George Souto - I love reading stories about how people celebrated Christmas from different countries and yours was on exception. You didn't just write a story, you painted pictures in my head. I could actually see your dad throwing the rocks high on the roof tops, as if he was trying to get a baseball out of the park. And I could see you loosing your temper with your siblings because if you didn't get presents, it was because they were misbehaving. Oh, I love those stories. We celebrated on Christmas Eve too and it was a fun family tradition.

Thank you, so much for sharing this very special Christmas memories of days of yore. I enjoyed it very much. 

Dec 08, 2017 11:27 AM #18
Mike McCann - Nebraska Farm Land Broker
Mike McCann - Broker, Farmland Broker-Auctioneer Serving Rural Nebraska - Kearney, NE
Farm Land For Sale 308-627-3700 or 800-241-3940

Hi George Souto   Thanks for sharing your rocks o the roof and pots and pans.  That is awesome.  Every year when our kids were young I would put a pan of carrots and other veggies out in the front yard.  After they were asleep I would go out and chew up a bunch of the food and let it drop on the ground around the pan.

I deer hunt and had a couple hooves that I put on sticks and if there was any snow...would make some deer prints over the top of any foot prints.

My son still gives me a bad time about that....thanks for reminding me of that memory!!

Dec 12, 2017 10:20 AM #19
Kat Palmiotti
Grand Lux Realty, 914-419-0270, kat@thehousekat.com - Monroe, NY
The House Kat

What fun! I love hearing your story about the way you celebrated growing up in the Azores, especially since my grandmother's family was from there as well. Thank you for the insight into your memories!

Dec 18, 2017 03:11 AM #20
Gayle Rich-Boxman Fishhawk Lake Real Estate
John L Scott Market Center - Birkenfeld, OR
"Your Local Expert!" 503-755-2905

Oh the special antics our parents would go through for making the Christmas tradition a lasting one! 

Dec 18, 2017 03:24 PM #21
Jan Green
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

Telling your kids your childhood story must be very special.  That's a very different story than the traditions of today.  Keep those memories alive!   Merry Christmas!

Dec 20, 2017 09:33 PM #22
John Juarez
The Medford Real Estate Team - Fremont, CA

Traditions from the “Old Country” are special, George. By the way, my grandfather, Filesbino Enos, was born in Faial in the Azores. He came to the U.S. in the early 1900’s. Through the generations and blended marriages most of our memories and customs of the various cultures that have combined to make my family what it is have been lost.


Dec 30, 2017 04:09 PM #23
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
New Hampshire Home Stager

I don't think we ever forget that anticipation we felt as a kid going to bed on Christmas Eve. Nothing like it.

I loved the part about your dad throwing the stones and rattling the pans.

Jan 05, 2018 12:35 PM #24
Paul McFadden
Paratex - Seattle, WA
Pest Control, Seattle, WA.

George: I didn't know about you. What a wonderful and different place to grow up. Thanks for sharing!

Jan 05, 2018 01:05 PM #25
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