Taylor, Jimmy & More Share Christmas Memories
Some are sweet, and some are a little...buggy.
As a child, Taylor Swift helped her parents on their Christmas tree farm in Pennsylvania. Her (unglamorous) job? Picking praying mantises from the trees. "[They would] lay eggs and form pods on the Douglas fir Christmas trees," she explains. "That is their favorite tree to infest. That's where I would come in. I would walk around the Christmas trees all day, pick them off, and put them in a little basket so the people wouldn't have bugs in their house! What a wonderful little hobby for a child!"
Joe Nichols recalls a more emotional memory. After his parents divorced, Joe's father let Joe and his two siblings know that they didn't have the money to buy presents, and that Christmas would be rough that year. "We lived in a little mobile home-type place in a little bitty segment of Pea Ridge, Arkansas. My brother and I went to this First Baptist Church in Pea Ridge -- really nice people who really cared about giving. This church group showed up at our door on Christmas Eve night with literally [big] lawn garbage bags full of gifts. They unloaded all of these gifts for us. To this day, it makes me want to cry. We had a great Christmas, and it had nothing to do with what kind of presents we opened. It was just that somebody went to the trouble of doing that for our family. I'll never forget that."
Jimmy Wayne recalls, "I was a recipient of the Angel Tree Program when I was a kid. My sister and I both were. Sometimes we'd get picked and sometimes we wouldn't. It was pretty tough seeing other kids in the neighborhood with new bikes and clothes, and [we had to go] back to school wearing the same clothes that we wore last year. It was ... tough times." But not every year was as difficult. Jimmy was the recipient of a memorable gift through the Angel Tree program one particular Christmas. "I remember getting a deck of UNO cards. Man, we thought that was a big deal!"
David Nail's favorite Christmas memory is a little more recent. Last year was the first time he celebrated the holiday with his (now wife) Catherine, who at the time had just become his fiance. He and Catherine were married on June 6, 2009.