A favorite Christmas Memory that has stayed with me...

Real Estate Agent with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices 01238708

Selecting a favorite Christmas Memory was not that easy for this Active Rain Challenge i.e.:  to narrow down was the hardest part, since I have had so many wonderful Christmas memories over the years. It was just a question which one should I write about! Having said that, the memory of this one has stayed with me even to this day.

 To give you a little background about me:  My first ten Christmases were celebrated in Communist Hungary, where religion was against the law. If you were caught as a practicing Christian, you were considered an enemy of the state, potentially punishable not just by a lack of promotion, but you could even be charged as an enemy of the state, hence prison was also an option, or should I say, at the discretion of the political powers you could end up in jail.  

Some people were afraid to wish you a “Merry Christmas”, since the politically approved greeting was “Wishing you Pleasant Holidays” or “Happy Holidays” for short.

Instead of Jesus or Santa Clause bringing the presents, it was “Uncle Winter” aka  ”Jack Frost”. The tradition was the identical as the Christian Christmas, the only thing was different was the terminology. The children waited in the living room until midnight, when the parents opened the “family room” door and with that came the surprise, there was a Christmas Tree decorated with ornaments, candles, sparklers as well as candy wrapped in holiday wrapping and of course there were presents under the tree. (How did we survive with all those fire hazards on flammable pine tree?)

Every Christmas Eve, my father had a large “Holliday Party” at our home, for his staff, his friends and a select few coworkers. He was high up in the ranks at a large factory (that produced Locomotives all over the globe, particularly to other communist countries), hence he was able to entertain and garner a huge turnout.

I was just waiting for midnight, so by then only a few of his close friends would stay and we could get on with the gifts and my “presents”.

Anyway, midnight finally arrived and here was my moment, as the double doors opened, I notice there was a train set that was going around the Christmas Tree. I was ecstatic, since I always wished I had one, then to boot there was a military officer’s cap made from decorative shiny paper. One would think this would be an ideal Christmas evening, getting the presents I always wanted.


Well things turned out a bit different. My father and his friends never had a train set like that, when they were growing up during the depression and World War Two, so their inner childhood came out and they started playing with the train set into the wee hours of the morning. I went to bed crying and asking my mother when will I be allowed to play with my presents? She assured me I could play with it all day tomorrow and the rest of the time until I get tired of playing with it.

As Marcus Aurelius said in his Meditations:  Everything material rapidly disappears in the universal substance; every cause is rapidly taken up into the universal reasons: and the memory of everything is rapidly buried in eternity.

The memory of this Christmas remained with me for the rest of my life.

Now if you are looking to buy a home in the greater Los Angeles where you can create your own memories not just during the Christmas Holidays, but all year around please reach out to me directly.

If you are looking for a pet friendly Beverly Hills Realtor who can handle and sell the most difficult properties that no one else could, please reach out to me directly!! If you are considering buying or selling a home, a luxury home, luxury investment real estate, luxury vacation homes, or luxury beach properties in Southern California, Los Angeles, Century City, Westwood, West Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Marina Del Rey, Venice or Malibu, feel free to contact me at 310.486.1002 (m) or homes@endrebarath.com or visit one of my websites at http://www.endrebarath.com.  I contribute a portion of my commission to local animal rescue organizations.




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  1. Ginger Harper 12/28/2017 12:33 PM
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Wanda Kubat-Nerdin - Wanda Can!
Prado Real Estate South - St. George, UT
So Utah Residential, Referral & Relocation REALTOR

It is amazing how adults can revert to children-like tendencies when experiencing something magical for the first time. It unfortunately got in the way of your Chriatmas enjoyment. Thank you for sharing the story Endre, it is endearing and heartfelt.

Dec 27, 2017 10:32 AM #27
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Endre Barath, Jr. - Such a beautiful story about family history not often heard in America. Your parents sound terrific. Were you really that little once upon a time? You were such a beautiful boy and you look happy and content with no fear. Your parents did a great job making you feel secure and you learned a lot since that photo was taken. Obviously love sustained you and helped you to develop into the wonderful man you are today who chose the best wife too.

May you never forget the meaning of Christmas and just how important it is to wish others a Merry Christmas. You're a really good man and I wish you the very best always.


Dec 27, 2017 10:47 AM #28
Silvia Dukes PA, Broker Associate, CRS, CIPS, SRES
Tropic Shores Realty - Ich spreche Deutsch! - Spring Hill, FL
Florida Waterfront and Country Club Living

Endre, I had to smile reading your train story. One year, my father built a train set compkete with mountain, tunnel, villages - the whole bit -  for my brother for Christmas. Guess who had more fun?

Dec 27, 2017 05:36 PM #29
Gayle Rich-Boxman Fishhawk Lake Real Estate
John L Scott Market Center - Birkenfeld, OR
"Your Local Expert!" 503-755-2905

Endre, I would be most interested in why this particular memory is so strong for you. It's such an eye-opener viewing how children around the world experience this monumental season. Fascinating to be sure. 

Dec 27, 2017 09:57 PM #30
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
New Hampshire Home Stager

Such a bittersweet story. I can see why that memory would haunt you today. That picture is adorable though. I so wish that sweet little boy had been able to play with his trains that night!

Dec 28, 2017 07:54 AM #31
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy


What a beautiful post, and a wonderful picture...What sticks in my mind is the quote by Marcus Aurelius, one of my favorites...he was very wise.

Everything material rapidly disappears in the universal substance; every cause is rapidly taken up into the universal reasons: and the memory of everything is rapidly buried in eternity.  A

Dec 28, 2017 12:42 PM #32
Hannah Williams
Re/Max Eastern inc. - Philadelphia, PA
Expertise NE Philadelphia & Bucks 215-953-8818

Marvelous story  Endre Barath, Jr. adults are the biggest children  .  I was afraid you were all going to get arrested  .I was relieved  

Dec 28, 2017 02:46 PM #33
Liz and Bill Spear
RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 www.LizTour.com - Mason, OH
RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton)

Geeez....that kind of Christmas memory might scar you enough to join the Army! :)

Dec 28, 2017 03:32 PM #34
Debra Leisek
Bay Realty,Inc Homer Alaska - Homer, AK

Thank you for sharing your Christmas memory and some of your history. People dont always understand what freedom means. We take things for granted, like being able to speak our minds or share our feelings. I would like to hear more of your life and how you feel about people of this day and age complaining when they have so much.... Happy New Year to you Endre Barath, Jr.  

Dec 29, 2017 12:00 AM #35
Georgie Hunter R(S) 58089
Hawai'i Life Real Estate Brokers - Haiku, HI
Maui Real Estate sales and lifestyle info

What a cute story and picture too.  How strange it must have been to grow up where religion is against the law.  Do you appreciate that we can still say Merry Christmas in this country, even though it might be politically incorrect?

Dec 29, 2017 12:27 AM #36
Pat Starnes-Front Gate Realty
Front Gate Real Estate - Brandon, MS
601-991-2900 Office; 601-278-4513 Cell

Oh Endre! How disappointed you were when the adults began to play with YOUR holiday presents. Your story is priceless. Thanks for sharing it as well as the photo of yourself under the tree.

Dec 29, 2017 07:29 AM #37
John Juarez
The Medford Real Estate Team - Fremont, CA

Endre: what a wonderful story! We all have memories that we will always cherish. I enjoyed sharing yours.

Dec 29, 2017 08:34 AM #38
Corey Martin
Martin Presence Group - Ruston, LA
Real Estate and Management Solutions

Sometimes we forget how much the world has changed recently. Or that it will likely change drastically in the future. Thank you for sharing your memory with us and reminding us that we have so much to be thankful for this holiday season. 

Dec 29, 2017 02:56 PM #40
Hella Mitschke Rothwell
(831) 626-4000 - Honolulu, HI
Hawaii & California Real Estate Broker

My heart hurts for you, Endre. No wonder you never forgot that Christmas memory.

Dec 29, 2017 06:57 PM #41
Joy Daniels
Joy Daniels Real Estate Group, Ltd. - Harrisburg, PA

Thank you for sharing.  The picture of you under the tree is wonderful and I hope cherished.  Have you ever heard the quote "sometimes you will never know the true value of a moment until it becomes a memory" ?  A memory can be pondered. . .Happy New Year Endre!

Dec 30, 2017 07:12 AM #42
Beth Atalay
Cam Realty and Property Management - Clermont, FL
Cam Realty of Clermont FL

Hi Endre Barath, Jr., one of my friends who lives in New York is from Hungary, although he was born in the states, his dad migrated many years ago and escaped on foot from Hungary to Austria, I've heard many unfortunate things from him similar to what you've shared.
Your story truly touched my heart, I can almost see you in excitement waiting for your presents and asking to play with them. 
Wishing you a wonderful New Year my friend!

Dec 30, 2017 12:31 PM #43
Mary Yonkers
Alan Kells School of Real Estate/Howard Hanna Real Estate - Erie, PA
Erie/PA Real Estate Instructor

Very touching memory from your childhood,  Endre Barath, Jr. Thanks.

Dec 30, 2017 04:38 PM #44
Lisa Von Domek
Lisa Von Domek Team - Dallas, TX
....Experience Isn't Expensive.... It's Priceless!

Endre Barath, Jr. what an emotional story for you to share and a window into what others still face in many countries today. 

Wishing you and yours a very Happy New Year!


Dec 31, 2017 11:49 AM #45
Lynn B. Friedman
Atlanta Homes ODAT Realty Call/Text 404-939-2727 Buckhead - Midtown - Westside -- and more ... - Atlanta, GA
Concierge Service for Our Atlanta Sellers & Buyers

Endre Barath, Jr. 
Thanks for the Christmas memory - long way from there to Rodeo Drive...
Happy New Year -
Your Atlanta AR friend - Lynn

Dec 31, 2017 11:12 PM #46
Jim Paulson
Progressive Realty (Boise Idaho) www.Progressive-Realty.info - Boise, ID

Thanks for sharing my friend.  Maybe this is the year we can meet in person!  When you are ready to take a break from all the Glitz and Glory of Beverly Hills, come to Idaho and I can show you that simpler times still exist here. 

One of my clients coming here from Riverside recently said "I think I will like Idaho where it is legal to carry a gun, but where Marijuana is still illegal."  Our previous CEO of our Realtor's association was shocked when he first moved here and heard a commercial for a local car dealership "Buy a truck - get a gun".

I liked your comments about being a "Pet Friendly Realtor" and donating to Pet Rescue Organizations.  Thanks and have a Blessed 2018!

Jan 02, 2018 12:45 PM #47
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Endre Barath, Jr.

Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002
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