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Top 5 Holiday Memories on Instagram

Santa with a child in their lap
Louise Keeton

‘Tis the season for memories! We asked listeners how they celebrate the holidays. From passed down customs to new traditions, they shared heartwarming moments spent with families and friends. Find these stories and more on our WCVE's Instagram.

J.B. Steinberg, Richmond

“When my sister, brother and I were little, my parents would hide our Hanukkah presents. We would play the 'hot and cold' game to find them every night. I can remember waiting behind a bedroom door and just being so excited I thought I was going to explode! Like many Jewish traditions I have no idea how it started. I think my Mom used to play [this game] when she was a little girl."

Ray Hendrick, Ashland

“The moment I saw what it was like to be Santa, was at my first Shop with a Cop event for the Ashland Police Department. We met with families in need who may not otherwise have the opportunity to celebrate Christmas. The faces of children lit up as Santa brought in baskets of gifts. Those kids were so excited! That’s where being in this position as Santa really matters.”

Sharalyn Garrard, Richmond

“Once I started working with the Elegba Folklore Society, I really began to understand what Kwanzaa is all about. In 2008, I became the production manager for the Elegba Folklore Society and helped produce three festivals a year, including the Capital City Kwanzaa Festival. Each year and each festival, our goal is to create cultural awareness and pride. We have had many excellent speakers such as Ruby Dee, Iyanla Vanzant, Bobby Seale and Dick Gregory and one year we had the creator of Kwanzaa, Dr. Maulana Karenga. That was a special honor. Each speaker brought a message of hope, pride and upliftment. I not only look forward to the speakers, I look forward to the feeling of community with festival attendees. Some people come every year and bring someone new. I hear hope in the applause for our speaker and I see it in the bustle of our African Marketplace as we honor the Kwanzaa principle of Ujamaa-Cooperative Economics.”

Rabbi Patrick Beaulier, Richmond

“Every culture has some sort of light ritual in the winter. Why? Because our ancient ancestors saw the change in season and witnessed increased darkness, cold, animals going into hiding, the death of the environment ... and they knew they were a part of this dying world. Making light in darkness was a spiritual and practical instinct. They were incubating light until spring when the earth would be reborn into the new. Hanukkah, particularly this year with the increase of anti-Semitism, is a way of us sharing light in a time not only of seasonal darkness, but spiritual darkness.”

Carolyn Richmond Peart, Hanover

“One year, Hanover Safe Place was having a lot of trouble achieving their mission because they couldn’t pay their electric bill. That became my goal. Raise enough money to pay the Hanover Safe Place electric bill for a year. Because I saw the women, I met the children and I saw how meaningful Hanover Safe Place is, then I got involved to make it bigger, raise more money. I knew we could do this. I knew we could do more.”

Photo of Carolyn Richmond Peart, organizer of Deck The Halls Virginia in Ashland with honorary co-host Cheryl Miller - WTVR CBS 6.