Fulling Family Christmas


Dannika Fulling

Our attempt at a self-timer family picture!

Dannika Fulling, Editor

“Some Christmas tree ornaments do more than glitter and glow, they represent a gift of love given a long time ago.” Tom Baker summarizes how sentimental and magical Christmas truly is. It is a holiday full of traditions, some of which have historical significance and some that are entirely unique to our families. Christmas is full of love, tradition, and a sense of giving, and is a sense of magic that will last a lifetime.

Christmas cards began in 1843 England, and were very simple. In this age, they lacked family photos and read messages like, “Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year” and “Happy Holidays from us to you.” In 1915, the company now known as Hallmark began selling modern day christmas cards. They have “boomed” in sales and production, reaching 1.6 billion sales annually as families are eager to spread holiday cheer. Since then, people have put their own individual spin on the cards, including holiday letters giving family updates and school pictures. 

Growing up, I always loved checking the mail every day around the holiday season to check if there were cards. It made my day to see cards from far away relatives, old friends, and our growing family. To this day, I still look forward to seeing them. Now we receive cards even from my own sister, and it’s magical watching my own family grow up and have their own lives.

Thomas Edison is credited with inventing the light bulb, but it was Edward Johnson who came up with the idea of stringing lights around a Christmas tree. Before then, people used candles, which was a severe fire hazard. Since the invention of modern day Christmas lights, people have used them to decorate their homes, parks, and all sorts of things. They’ve played large roles in movies, and are the reason we have lines like, “It’s a beaut, Clark!” in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. 

Looking back to when I was younger, my family has always made an event of going to look at Christmas lights. My parents, my sister, and I would all pile into the car and go through the park in Olney, Oblong, and finish it off with Palestine. Once we got into the Palestine park, my sister and I would climb into the middle before going through the tunnels. Dad would always say, “It’s time for take off!”  When we got to the tunnels, we’d slow down and then speed through the tunnel with our eyes squinted to make it look like we were traveling at light-speed. It was the most magical experience ever, and is still one of my favorites to this day.

Christmas trees date back to Germany in the Middle Ages. The United States’ first Christmas tree lot was founded in 1851. In present days, around 77% of U.S. households display a Christmas tree every year. We have famous ones, like the Rockefeller Christmas tree, and ones that aren’t famous but are important to us. Locally, there are Christmas tree events like the lighting in Hutsonville, where you can buy a tree and decorate it for a cause or in memory of someone. Christmas trees are different for everyone, but they continue their impact no matter what.

My family has always made a day out of decorating the Christmas tree. We’ve alternated throughout the years between an artificial and a real one, but regardless we love decorating. Growing up, my grandma started the tradition of getting each grandkid an ornament with their name on it every year. She did this until the woman who made them passed away, and then began doing it on her own. It easily is my favorite tradition, as I now have my own Christmas tree full of my monogrammed ornaments. She even extended the tradition to our pets, which is even more sentimental now that they are no longer with us. Given the unique spelling of my name, she always says, “I love that I get to give you something with your actual name on it!” It means much more to me than she will ever know.

Christmas is the season where no matter the distance, my family is able to gather around, play games, and enjoy each other’s company. It is full of traditions like our Christmas pickle, our name ornaments, and seeing who gets Grandma Linda her favorite perfume every year. While we all hate White Diamonds, she claims “It’s just such an elegant scent.” While Christmas is known for its biblical purpose, we know it for its traditions. There is nothing better than a Fulling Family Christmas.