Tahlequah Daily Press

Local News

December 24, 2013

Locals recall celebrating family

The final in a three-part series about Christmas wishes

TAHLEQUAH — For many people, the most important aspect of celebrating Christmas is paying homage to the birth of Jesus.

Gift-giving is a tradition most everyone appreciates and partakes in to share in the holiday spirit. Mass, nativities and church Christmas programs are also important aspects of many celebrations.

Gathering around the nativity after midnight Mass during childhood is a favorite memory for Kae Jefferson.

“We prayed after my parents told us the story of the birth of Jesus and the Jan. 6 epiphany with the wise men’s arrival with gifts. It was so special and I was awestruck every year,” said Jefferson. “I yearned for Jesus from an early age.”

James Cochran enjoys watching people’s special Christmas happiness and cheer and  remembering the birth of Jesus Christ. Happy memories of Christmas for Cochran always drift to his mom making peanut brittle and baking homemade bread.

“She used to make two or three loaves of bread a week and one sweet loaf with cinnamon,” he said. “I miss the whole Cochran family getting together at Grandma and Grandpa Cochran’s little white farm house for Christmas. It was standing-room-only and wonderful.”

The excitement on his kids’ faces when they come down the stairs to see what Santa left for them also warms his heart.

Blake Cochran, a junior at Tahlequah High School, likes spending time with his family, especially at Christmas.

“It doesn’t matter what we do, it’s always fun,” he said. “Sometimes we go skiing in Colorado, and sometimes we visit grandparents in Arkansas.”

This year, they’re going to Arkansas to see Blake’s mother’s parents.

“I’m glad to go see all of them,” he said. “We watch football, hang out, and my grandma cooks a big meal for the whole family. I like it all!”

His job decorating consists of bringing the boxes of decorations down from the attic, then put them back up.

“My mom and sister do the decorating,” he said.  

Amy Cochran said her mom is really traditional, but Amy likes to blend both traditional and modern traditions.

“Mom always makes the same sugar cookies. She’s made them every single year of my life, and probably before,” Cochran said. “I like to change things up a bit every year, I’ll put the tree in different places. We may open gifts on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. And I change up the decorations. Last year, I had two wreaths on the front doors and this year, two bows, like a present.”

One thing she does every year is emphasize that Christmas is about family.

“My siblings get married, or move, but for me, it’s a time to think of my family,” she said. “I treasure a fourth-generation, small, gold ornament from my great-grandmother.”

Cooking holiday treats is at the top of the list

Cooking treats with her family tops the list for Tiffany Cochran, a freshman at the University of Oklahoma.

“Some of my favorite memories are making caramel with my dad and snow ice cream,” she said. “And when we were small, and lived in the country, he used to pull us behind a tractor in the snow on a big piece of metal from the chicken house.”

Good food, sweet treats and Christmas go together as much as any tradition.

Becky Boney said her family always make cookies.

“We make chocolate chip and sugar cookies and set some out for Santa,” Boney said. “My family meets on Christmas Eve and has ham, mashed potatoes, potato salad, all the good stuff.”

A diamond ring was her favorite gift as a child.

“Granny Vaughn used to send everybody a dollar. She didn’t have a lot of money, but she always remembered us, and we looked forward to getting that dollar,” Boney said. “Mom gave us Lifesaver card books; remember those?”

Many people who received a treasured gift as a child still have that item. Nita Murchison is among that number.

“We moved to Siloam Springs when I was small, around 1933, and mother knew I really wanted a Shirley Temple doll but didn’t know how she was going to afford it,” Murchison said. “Mother went to the store and found one half-price.”

Cheryle Trammel also cherishes a gift from her childhood.

“I have a stuffed poodle I got when I was 6, something I really, really wanted,” Trammel said.

She’s looking forward to watching her grandchildren – Kurt Trammel, 4 and Kannon, 5 – open their presents.

One of Mayor Jason Nichols’ favorite memories is of the music at Christmas.

“When I was 7 or 8, a group came by our house, singing Christmas carols. Mom wrapped us in a blanket and we sat on the porch for about five minutes. I’ve never seen anyone do that since,” he said.

This Christmas will be bittersweet for Dena Hubert. She lost her grandpa in February and her brother last December.

“It’s going to be our last Christmas with grandma, too. She said she just can’t do big Christmas anymore,” Hubert said.

Every Christmas for 45 years, they’ve gone to the home of her grandma and grandpa, Margaret and Sherman Clots. Her grandparents had 22 great-great-grandchildren, and Hubert has four grandchildren.

“The only gifts exchanged were what we brought for our grandparents. It’s what Christmas was meant to be. Grandpa would play guitar and my aunt would play the piano, and we would all sing Christmas carols. The five original kids would talk about favorite stories,” she said.

“Grandpa would sing the Christmas song he learned in California.”

1
Text Only
Local News
  • SR-WalkaMile1.jpg Walk a Mile 2014

    Men squeezed into feminine footwear Saturday by the hundreds to walk in solidarity with women on the issue of sexual violence – and their clop-clop-clopping echoed down Muskogee Avenue.
    The fourth annual “Walk a Mile In Her Shoes” brought men to Norris Park, accompanied by their enthusiastic female supporters, to walk – and often wobble – in high heels over a mile-long course to raise funds for Help-In-Crisis.
    “It hurts every year,” said John Christie, a Sequoyah High School student participating in his third Walk a Mile. “I get home, sit down, blisters come up and the calves hurt. But it is worth it. It’s for a good cause.”

    April 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • adams-christopher.jpg Michigan man gets 13 years on plea to rape, sodomy of girl

    A 28-year-old Michigan man will spend about 13 years in an Oklahoma state prison after pleading guilty to four counts of first-degree rape and one count of sodomy involving a 13-year-old girl.
    Christopher Dale Adams, of Lake Orion, Mich., received a 13-year prison sentence for each of the five charges, to be followed by seven years suspended. All sentences will run concurrently.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • logan-amy.jpg Police take down pair on pot distribution charge

    Tahlequah police officers arrested a pair Sunday night for allegedly possessing marijuana with the intent to distribute it.
    Tahlequah Officer Cody Warren said police were asked to investigate when 35-year-old Amy N. Logan, of Tahlequah, allegedly took a family member’s car without permission.
    While Warren was speaking with the owners of the vehicle, Logan arrived along with 26-year-old Theoplilus James Mollie, of Tulsa.

    April 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • land-lisa.jpg Two nailed with meth, pot hidden in bag of chips

    Two people were arrested early Monday morning when Tahlequah police stopped a vehicle near Basin Avenue and found methamphetamine and marijuana hidden in a bag of chips.
    Tahlequah Officer Cory Keele said he noticed a Nissan heading north on Park Hill Road, and the vehicle later stopped in an intersection.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • gawf-johnny.jpg Nylon case doesn’t fool deputy; drug charges to be filed

    A Tahlequah man is jailed at the Cherokee County Detention Center after being arrested on drug possession charges.
    Deputy Michael Cates stopped Johnny Lee Gawf, 25, near Stick Ross Mountain Road and U.S. Highway 62. Gawf did not have his driver’s license and had a no-bond warrant for failure to pay.
    When Gawf was asked to step out of his vehicle, he allegedly reached into a pocket and pulled out a black nylon case, which he claimed to be a pocket knife. Gawf sat the case in the seat of the vehicle.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • ts-CN-citizenship.jpg Dual citizenship still OK for tribes

    It’s been almost a year since the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians in Oklahoma was forced to close its casino, leaving about 150 members without jobs.
    Right before the operations was shuttered, Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker offered a plan to absorb UKB employees, scheduling three employment registration meetings in September 2013.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • TPS to hold graduation at Doc Wadley, after all

    A letter obtained by the Tahlequah Daily Press states that graduation exercises for the Tahlequah High School Class of 2014 will be held at Doc Wadley Stadium on May 23.
    Tahlequah Public Schools received an invitation from the city and Northeastern State University to hold the graduation ceremony inside the NSU multipurpose event center, and the district was initially agreeable. But the necessity of limiting invitations to 10 or 15 per student because of seating concerns drew heavy criticism from seniors and parents.

    April 22, 2014

  • Woman allegedly went after relative, then cop

    Deputies say a 22-year-old woman assaulted a family member Saturday, then attacked an officer when he tried to arrest her.
    Deputy Bryan Qualls was sent to investigate the domestic disturbance at Hilltop Circle. Donna Wilder, the alleged victim, told Qualls that the suspect, Kaylynn Sharp, was hiding in the garage, and had struck her in the face several times.

    April 22, 2014

  • jn-city-pool.jpg City of Tahlequah progressing on bond projects

    Just more than a year after the city began collecting a sales tax funds for use on capital improvements, crews continue to work toward finishing several of the projects.
    “We’re going to deliver everything we said we would,” Tahlequah Mayor Jason Nichols said Friday.
    The $21-million-plus bond issue approved in 2013 includes about $10 million worth of street projects. South Muskogee Avenue will eventually be widened into a five-lane stretch; East Fourth Street’s widening project is underway; and West Fourth will become, at least in part, a three-lane road.
    Projects will also focus on parts of North Grand, East Allen, Bluff, Crafton, and North Cedar.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • duvall-dustin.jpg Four men charged with burglary

    Four local men are facing burglary and stolen-property charges in Cherokee County District Court.
    Prosecutors have charged the four men with second-degree burglary and knowingly concealing stolen property.

    April 21, 2014 3 Photos

Poll

How confident are you that the immunizations for infants and children are reasonably safe?

Not at all confident.
Somewhat confident.
Relatively confident.
Extremely confident.
undecided.
     View Results
Tahlequah Daily Press Twitter
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
Bon Jovi Helps Open Low-income Housing in Philly Pipeline Opponents Protest on National Mall Hagel Gets Preview of New High-tech Projects S.C. Man Apologizes for Naked Walk in Wal-Mart New Country Music Hall of Fame Inductees Named 'Piles' of Bodies in South Sudan Slaughter New Yorkers Celebrate Cherry Blossom Blooms SCOTUS Hears Tv-over-Internet Case Justice Dept. Broadening Criteria for Clemency Chief Mate: Crew Told to Escape After Passengers 'Miss Meadows' Takes Holmes Back to Her Roots Biden: Russia Must Stop Talking, Start Acting David Moyes Out As Manchester United Manager Raw: Leopard Bites Man in India Iowa College Finds Beauty in Bulldogs High Court to Hear Dispute of TV Over Internet Stowaway Teen Forces Review of Airport Security
Stocks