Frank & Amy’s Christmas Memories

Frank R. Hermans

frank r. hermans | christmas memories | dec. 2018

Nathan and Amy Riemer with the Christmas Bush. Andrew, the editor of Frankly Green Bay, asked me for a Christmas Top 10 list, anything I wanted to write about. After going round and round, I thought about Amy and I celebrating 10 Christmases together now. We have so many memories and three children since then, so here are some of our favorites. On a side note, it's a great idea to make a list of memories together and write it down. It makes them so much clearer.

Start a tradition!

One Christmas when Amy was about 4 years old, she and her dad went Christmas tree shopping. Her mom stayed home with her brother, Nate, because he was just a baby. Amy and her dad picked out her favorite tree but it looked more like a bush. Dad didn't have the heart to say no, so it was the year of the Christmas bush!

My brother Mike and I found all our presents hidden in the crawl space in Denmark, Wisconsin. I was reluctant, as I like surprises. Mike meticulously ripped off the scotch tape and looked. My mom and dad never knew!

When I was 17, our family was a little down and out. Mom and dad divorced and mom and I were working at Fleet Farm. I took the initiative to get our family Christmas tree. I drove out to the Denmark wilderness in my '79 hatchback Pinto and cut down a Charlie Brown Christmas tree off the property of Natural Beauty (The poinsettia kings!). Someday I will drop off $40.

After all the Christmas presents were purchased, Amy's dad would sometimes go and get Nate and Amy something special just from him. One year he got Nate a skateboard and Amy a Ministry t-shirt (yep she is cool).

Of all the Christmas's I've been thru (53) I can honestly remember only one where I got exactly what I wanted. I must have been an awesome little boy my 5th grade year. I wanted “Hugo the Man of a 1,000 Faces,” and I got him! Amy found an original online two years ago and bought it for our show. I should have known theater was in my future.

Three years ago my sons, Austin and Blake stayed up with me till 3 a.m. putting everything together for our younger ones. To this day the steering does not work on the electric car Jack has and the basketball machine is in my office. I now get everything put together for me beforehand.

Christmas 2009, Amy got a special surprise from me under the tree at her parents' house. We had dated for about six months and I knew she was the girl. A diamond ring and she said, “Yes!” Best Christmas ever!

One of Harrison's (my 7 year old) first experiences with Santa. It was at Bay Park Square. Harrison went right up to Santa and held Santa's hands and told him in his hysterical gibberish what he wanted for Christmas. Just precious.

Three years ago Amy was eight and three-quarters months pregnant on Christmas with our miracle baby (I had had a vasectomy), Vivian (now almost 3!). Vivian was possibly going to be quite the Christmas present. We'd personally like to thank her for letting us enjoy Christmas (Amy was a bit tired and uncomfortable) with our families and she stayed put till Dec. 29. I still remember Amy holding Jack (our 5-year-old) eight months pregnant waiting in line for Santa. What was I doing? Taking pictures of course!

Every Christmas season Amy and Nate would bake and decorate cookies with their mom, Bev (she makes a lot of the costumes for LMBF). Then mom would hide them from dad to make sure there were some left for Christmas.

A brand new memory will happen this year as Harrison makes his singing debut with Let Me Be Franks. At select shows (non-school nights) Harrison will open the show with, “I Want A Hippopotamus For Christmas.” It will knock your socks off! See you at the show!

I hope you enjoyed my little ditty and hope it gives you a little holiday cheer. I know you have many holiday memories and could probably write your own Christmas musical. I take all the experiences I've had every holiday season and put them into our newest Christmas show at the Meyer Theatre. We invite you out to see our 19th all original Christmas musical, “A Frank's Christmas at Schroeder's Department Store.”

Merry Christmas, everyone!

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