Christmas is all about tradition. And one of our traditions at The Walton Sun in the last few years is to ask residents of this coastal community what they want to find underneath their tree this Christmas. Many were eager to share their hopes and dreams, which we are sharing with you.
Miramar Beach resident Carol Annino said since she usually does not buy jewelry for herself and has not bought any in a long time, she would love to find a small box with a silver bracelet inside under her tree. (Me too, Carol!)
Walton County Tourist Development Council's new Executive Director Jim Bagby's heart's desire is for nine TDC members working in harmony for the betterment of the destination. Good luck to ya, Jim.
Sandestin resident Kent Lillie would like a Ferris wheel for Christmas.
Santa Rosa Beach's Jim Carter wants a new car to give to his lovely wife. Awww, how sweet!
"That one is easy," said Hilary Butler. "Since animal welfare advocacy is a passion of mine, my hope is that my one gift would be that all the homeless animals would get adopted to forever homes for Christmas!"
Freeport's Eileen West would like to see her kids and all seven grandkids under that tree, “but a big old bag of cash” would be nice too, because then she could go see them.
DeFuniak Springs' Erin Adkinson only wants to see the looks of joy on her girls' faces when they see what Santa has brought to them Christmas morning, (followed by lots of turkey and a cozy nap).
Chef Gio Filippone said he has everything he wants: a beautiful wife and two great and beautiful little girls.
WaterSound Beach's Joan Luchese wants peace and joy throughout the world ... and an Apple laptop computer.
Good health is all that Blue Mountain's Jim Shepherd wants.
Blue Mountain's Edmond Alexander would like the GPS numbers for Larry (Dead Fish Charters) Pentel's fishing spots, with directions on how to catch fish like he does.
Eastern Lake's Gary Cooper would like to find retirement notices from every Senator and Congressman currently in office.
Miramar Beach's Jim Reagan would like to wake up Christmas morning to find Keith Knight’s Mercedes under his tree!
Hanie Nasri said he already has all that he wants in his new granddaughter.
Point Washington's Joan Vienot says, "Underneath the package containing the solution to world peace, I would like to find enough money to buy happiness, the keys to the kingdom, and a ticket on my ship coming in. But, I would settle for paid registration to a plein air painting workshop. After that, I wish for everyone else a package full of loyal and fun friends like I have been blessed with!"
"A large bucket of ENERGY — and I don't even need a bow on it!," said Sandestin's Mary Damroth.
"The map to the Fountain of Youth," said Santa Rosa Beach's Karen Schoonover.
"A check from the Social Security Administration indicating all financial woes of the world are solved and prosperity and peace reign over all the world," said Karen Kolenberg.
As for musician Sean Dietrich, he wants smoked oysters, saltines, and cream cheese. "It's tradition," he said.
Sandestin's Sam Reda said the greatest Christmas gift that he and 300 million other Americans could receive would be to discover that we have been dreaming, and “the fiasco” called ObamaCare was only a dream. "Then, with a new plan designed and developed by experts, signed by both political parties, properly tested and implemented, with sound financial parameters, we could then provide real, quality affordable healthcare for all citizens. New year's resolution ... don't get sick!"
Sharon Maxwell hopes people whose lights shine onto the beach get new lighting, not expensive, but turtle friendly for the sea-turtle season.
"A much faster metabolism!" said Nancy Strother.
Michelle Uhlfelder hopes to find something she didn't wrap under her tree. "As a wife and mom of two, I'm usually wrapping everything ... even my own gifts!"
"Two tickets to paradise!" said Sandestin's Peggy Lillie. "Oops! I'm already here! So, a winning lottery ticket that would fund the building and support of a Med Vet Oncology Clinic for pets in the Panhandle."
"A happy plant," said Sherry Londe. "When someone eats the leaves of a Happy Plant, it makes even the grumps in your life have a better day."
DeFuniak's Sara Comander said she is so blessed there is really nothing material she wants. "As I get older, I realize that family and friends are the best gifts of all."
"I have always been a true believer in Santa Claus," said Russell Carter. "I know many hope for peace and harmony throughout the world at Christmas time, so, since others have covered that, I ask for keys to a new Austin Martin ... any color will do."
Suzanne Harris would like to find a donation had been made to St. Jude Children's Hospital in her name. "They give free care to children with cancer."
"I have it on good authority that the Ho-Ho boy got my message about a sound bar for my TV," said a hopeful Stacey Brady.
Mary Lutz would like a magic wand to wave over family and friends to keep them healthy in the new year.
Melanie Barrett hopes to find the swimming pool she has ordered.
Michele Silberman would like to find a Bible opened to John Chapter 3 Verse 16, which states how God loved the world so much that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him may not perish but may have eternal life.
Sandestin's Mark Hodgdon would also like to find a cure to cancer and no ObamaCare for 2015 and beyond under his tree.
“If I could find anything under my tree, it would be my little dog Charlie, who was called to heaven after devoting his 17 years to me," said Sarah Mowell.
We, at The Sun hope all your holiday wishes come true.