Christmas special, different

By Lillian Bowe

PNT staff writer

lbowe@pntonline.com

For Dianne Parker, Portales city council member, Christmas has always been a very special time for her family. Parker’s youngest daughter was due on Christmas day, but was born more than a week late, and two of her grandchildren were born only a few days after Christmas.

“Just having my daughter and my grandchildren near Christmas is just so special,” Parker said.

Having Christmas with the her whole family is always a great memory for Parker.

“What better gift is there than having a daughter and grandchildren for Christmas?” Parker said.

Here are some other favorite Christmas memories from officials:

Michael Lucero, Portales city council member:

“Probably the first Christmas with my all my children together. Having all four of us at Christmas time was great. My whole family getting together as we always have a nice celebration,” Lucero said.

Leo Lovett, Portales city council member:

“My favorite Christmas memory would be seeing my children’s eyes light up on Christmas morning,” Lovett said.

Lovett said he loves to see them so excited about what Santa brought them under the tree and the Christmas memories are on going and every year brings more great memories.

Keith Thomas, Portales city council member:

“I have so many great Christmas memories, but when I had all my family here together to celebrate Christmas is my favorite memory,” Thomas said.

Thomas said a few years ago his father passed away and his children now are scattered all around the country and it is hard to bring them all together.

Curry County Manager Lance Pyle:

“My wife was four months pregnant with our daughter, Laikyn Paige, and we were all excited about what 2013 was going to bring,” Pyle said.

A camera was set up on a timer and Pyle’s brother-in-law began a countdown to three.

“But instead of yelling ‘cheese’ he yelled ‘Lacey (Pyle’s sister) is pregnant!,’ Pyle said.

“The camera snapped 10 photos in succession and was able to capture our excitement and facial expressions. We all laughed and some cried and my brother-in-law got us lined up for a ‘real’ photo this time.”

The second photo was preceded by another surprise.

“Well instead of saying ‘cheese’ at the end of the countdown he yelled ‘And it’s twins!,’ again capturing our surprised facial expressions.”

Clovis City Manager Joe Thomas:

“The joy of my daughter and my grandson being born are the most memorable to me,” he said.

In 1975, four days before Christmas, his youngest daughter was born; and in 1996, two days after Christmas, his first grandson was born.

He plans to spend the holiday with his family.

Sandra Taylor-Sawyer, Clovis city commissioner:

“You know there isn’t one Christmas over the others that has just been completely over the top, because all of them have been,” she said. “I’m really just glad to be alive and be able to give of my services as people are in need.”

U.S. Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M.:

“Many of my favorite memories of Christmas are of spending time enjoying the New Mexico outdoors with my family — the whole family loves to get out the skis to test the snow when we get the chance. My most memorable Christmas moments are of cross-country skiing with my wife Jill in the new snow in the arroyo near our home.”

Robert Sandoval, Clovis city commissioner:

“There have been a lot of memorable things that have happened throughout the years but I can’t really attribute anything to Christmas,” Sandoval said.

Two of his children live out of the state, and one of them rarely joins them because she is a nurse. But the rest of the family tries to spend the holiday together.

“We always spend Christmas together with the family,” he said.

The Sandoval family usually starts the holiday with a Christmas Mass and ends it with a home-cooked meal.

Chris Bryant, Clovis city commissioner:

“Oh golly, that’s a tough one. I have a large family (five children and 10 grandchildren), so every Christmas is memorable to me because all the kids and grandkids come over,” he said.

CMI correspondent Brana Vlasic contributed to this report.

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