Tahlequah Daily Press


December 27, 2011

Giving and receiving

From celebrating the birth of Jesus, to spending time with family and friends, local residents talk about what Christmas means to them.

TAHLEQUAH — Christmas evokes strong emotions in the young and old, and for many, its meaning includes celebrating the birth of Jesus, giving gifts and spending time with family and friends.

Fort Gibson resident Jennifer Bebo recently visited the Snowflake ice-skating rink with her family, including husband Lance, and daughters Sonrisa, 6, and Savanna, 6. Family friends, Ginger and Kalie DeShazo, also joined in the fun.

“To me, Christmas means seeing [the smiles on] my children’s faces and spending time with them, having baking disasters with them in the kitchen,” Bebo said, “and the ultimate surprise on Christmas morning.”

Ginger said Christmas is about celebrating the birth of Christ.

“Jesus’ birthday and time for family and friends, is what Christmas means to me,” said Ginger.

Sonrisa said, to her, Christmas is about giving to others.

“In student council, we give out gifts at the nursing home,” said Sonrisa.

April Roberts enjoys shopping and wrapping gifts.

“The birth of Jesus, is what Christmas means,” Roberts said.

Michelle Locust echoed earlier sentiments, saying she enjoys spending time with family and friends, and helping those less fortunate.

Linda Morgan Shoun, owner of Morgan’s bakery, said Christmastime means baking more than usual.

“[Christmas means] cookies, cookies, cookies, cookies and cookies, a blur of cookies and grandkids,” said Shoun “They like to help me cook. I have six grandkids. My oldest granddaughter bakes cookies on her own. And they always want to decorate a cake of their own when they visit.”

Deb Proctor, a bakery patron, has made a tradition of Christmas cookies at Morgan’s.

“Giving, family, and hope,” Proctor said. “I always take a box of Morgan’s Bakery Christmas cookies to my family in Texas and get another box for my brother when he comes from Kansas City.”

Ellen Haney, at Oasis Health Foods, said Christmas is a time when people around the world celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.

“It’s really a time of giving of ourselves and a time of reaching out to others,” Haney said. “That’s when I spend time with relatives, visiting friends and family. If you don’t have your parents with you any more, you really miss them. I miss the old traditional things mom used to cook and do, her tree with the old ornaments we saw as a child. I still have a few of them. Everything centered around my parents then.”

Sue Presley was surrounded by holiday quilts in her Serendipity Quilt Shoppe.

“The birth of Christ [is what Christmas is all about],” Presley said, “[Along with being with] friends and family. Being with those you love. I go where my children and grandchildren are.”

Haley Blakley was sweeping in Kimberley’s Boutique, and said she enjoys giving – instead of receiving – gifts.

“I like giving gifts more than getting them,” said Blakley. “Christmas is about love and joy and family getting together. This is the first Christmas in a while my whole family will get together, including sisters, aunts, uncles and cousins. We do dirty Santa, it’s the funniest thing in the world. We do it every year. And we eat all day and take a big family photo.”

Blakley especially enjoys her aunt Peggy Fredrick’s cranberry salad.

“She taught me to make it,” Blakley said, “and cousin Shannon Fields mashed potatoes. They’re so good.”

Getting his hair cut at Kimberley’s, David Stand said, giving gifts comes from the story of the Magi.

“It’s a time of giving and receiving,” said Stand. “More giving, it’s better to give than receive. We were taught by the wise men to give, and what we receive is more than what we could even give in return from a spiritual standpoint.”

Christ’s’ birth and family traditions give meaning to Christmas for Clare Fennell.

“My mom wraps the gifts in different paper, and we play a game to figure out which gifts is whose,” Fennell said.

Sue Fennel, mother of five, said wrapping gifts in this fashion is a fun, creative way to let them discover which gift is theirs.

“I use different symbols: a snowflake, bells, Christmas tree, angels, holly or mittens, and they have to play games to figure it out,” said Sue. “We’ve always done that.”

Tommye Wright especially looks forward to spending time with her grandchildren, being with family and friends and having them all healthy.

“The grandchildren will spend the night, and in the morning, we’ll get up and make Christmas pancakes shaped like Christmas trees and snowmen, and drink hot chocolate with marshmallows,” Wright said.

At Junie’s Closet, Amanda Watson Harris said Christmas is about celebrating Jesus’ birth, and spending time with friends and family.

“It’s filled with love and happy times, I love it,” Harris said. “We lay down by the fireplace and watch movies. It’s perfect.”

Connie Singleton said she loves how Christmas brings family and friends together.

“It reminds people of their faith,” Singleton said. “And brings people home. It’s old-home weekend starting with Black Friday after Thanksgiving and the last two weeks before Christmas. It’s the time of year you see people out and around, and everyone comes home.”

Decorating a display at Edie’s Fashions, Terri Fite said the birth of Christ is the reason we celebrate Christmas. She likes being near dear friends and family.

“I love all the Christmas music and hearing it during the season,” Fite said. “Music is Christmas to me.”

Text Only
  • rf-Zoe-thing.jpg Conference attendees get words of encouragement

    Words of encouragement and door prizes were bountiful Saturday morning at the annual Zoë Institute’s Women’s Conference.
    Ten women shared words of wisdom in areas from happiness to health, and 100 gifts were given out, including the grand prize of gasoline for a year.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • sp-symposium-art-panel.jpg Panelists discuss impact of Southeastern art

    Until recently, most people had a certain expectation of American Indian art – and it didn’t include images familiar to people in and around Cherokee County.
    “A lot of times, when people think about Native art, they immediately think of Plains art or Southwestern art,” said Roy Boney (Cherokee), Tahlequah artist and moderator of the panel discussion “Southeastern Indian Art: Building Community and Raising Awareness,” held Friday, April 11, at the NSU Symposium on the American Indian.
    Boney and the other panelists are frustrated by the divide between mainstream expectations of Native American art and their need for genuine self-expression.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • rf-Teacher.jpg Dickerson believes in putting the student first

    As a child growing up in Elk City, Cherokee Elementary teacher Debra Dickerson lined up the neighborhood children and animals to play school.
    “I’ve been a teacher ever since I could talk. My mother always said she knew where I was because she could hear me bossing everyone,” she said.
    The classroom then was a blanket tossed over limbs of her big cherry tree on Eisenhower Street. Recess was spent tree-climbing, running, riding in the bus (her red wagon) and being creative.
    “Those were the days before video games and TV,” she said.
    Dickerson, 2013-’14 Cherokee Elementary Teacher of the Year, believes a classroom should be a safe haven for children, because school is often the best part of their day.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • kh-trash-pickup.jpg Cleaning things up

    Lowrey was part of the Cherokee Nation’s Career Service Center contingency of 11 volunteers. Other volunteers cleaned up trash along the roadway from the Cherokee Casino to the NSU campus.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • SR-NinthAmendment.jpg Right to privacy leans partly on Article 9

    While the other articles of the U.S. Constitution’s Bill of Rights are straightforward – at least, enough for Americans to bicker over in court – the Ninth Amendment might cause a bit of confusion.
    It reads: “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”
    There are no rights enumerated, and it might be difficult to argue one’s Ninth Amendment rights in court, though it has been done successfully.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • stickball-2.jpg Stickball

    The American Indian Science and Engineering Society and Native American Student Associationat Northeastern State University hosted a traditional stickball game as part of closing cultural activities during the 42nd annual Symposium on the American Indian Friday. Participants included, from left: Nathan Wolf, Disosdi Elk and Chris Smith.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • green-bldng.jpg City council to discuss ‘green building’

    Tahlequah City Council will hold a special meeting Friday, April 11, at 5:30 p.m. to discuss, among other items, applying grant money to renovate the city’s “green building” at the corner of Water and Morgan, near Norris Park.

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • alcohol-info.jpg Alcohol screening can be critical

    It has been decades since Prohibition brought Americans gangsters, flappers and speakeasies, but statistics for alcohol addiction are staggering.
    Millions of Americans suffer from alcohol addiction and abuse, which affects families and friends.
    Today, April 10, is the annual National Alcohol Screening Day, and raising awareness through education, outreach and screening programs is the goal, according to the website at www.mentalhealthscreening.org.

    April 10, 2014 1 Photo

  • jn-CCSO-2.jpg Law enforcement agencies to get new facility

    Area law enforcement agencies will soon have a new training facility in Cherokee County.
    The Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office is building the new training room near its gun range, located north of the detention center. Sheriff Norman Fisher said tax dollars were not used for the building.
    “This is something we’ve been trying to work on, and it was built with no money from the taxpayers,” said Fisher. “It was paid for with drug forfeitures and gun sales.”

    April 9, 2014 2 Photos

  • Holiday Inn.tif Promise Hotels to build Holiday Inn Express prototype

    Tulsa-based company Promise Hotels broke ground recently on the nation’s first new Holiday Inn Express & Suites prototype. The new 46,000 square foot, 80-room hotel will be in Tahlequah near the intersection of South Muskogee Avenue and the highway loop.
    Construction will begin immediately with an anticipated completion date of February 2015. The $7.22 million hotel will feature a new contemporary look with an indoor pool, sauna, fitness center, and larger meeting room.

    April 9, 2014 3 Photos


What to you think of a state Legislature proposal to forbid cities from raising the minimum wage? Choose the closest to your opinion.

The federal government should set the minimum wage across the board.
States should be allowed to raise their minimum wages, but not cities.
Both states and cities should be allowed to raise their minimum wages.
Cities should be allowed to raise their mimum wages, but not states.
There should be no minimum wage at all.
     View Results
Tahlequah Daily Press Twitter
Follow us on twitter
AP Video