The foot-long Christmas chili dog

What new scene or story from this Christmas is going into your family hall of fame?

Every family and relationship has stories you repeat year after year. Happy, sad, tragic, funny, unforgettable stories. They describe and affirm you and the people in your family. They’re a picture of how you all relate to each other.

You don’t get tired of repeating the stories. You don’t get tired of hearing them. In fact, you must repeat them to keep them alive. They are an oral history, part of the legacy of your family.

Little family legends.

Our daughter the Nester and her family head for her sister’s house – our other daughter – on Christmas day. They stop for gas. Her husband runs into the gas station for a snack to hold him for the ninety-minute drive. He comes out with a foot-long chili dog and a package of Little Debbies.

The Nester tells the story and says, “What kind of man gets a foot-long chili dog from a gas station for lunch on Christmas Day? The gas station clerk must have thought that was so sad.”

“What kind of man. . .” Precisely.

If the man is in your family, you know exactly what kind of man, and this is another wonderful piece of evidence of the uniqueness of your family. And from now on “foot-long chili dog. . . on Christmas. . . . FROM A GAS STATION,” will be another legendary catch-phrase in your family hall of fame.

We need these stories. They are the colors on our family flag.

Carve your name on hearts, not tombstones. A legacy is etched into the minds of others and into the stories they share about you

– Shannon Adler

What new scene or story from the holidays is going into your family hall of fame?

About the Author


If you could take a pill that imparted encouragement and big picture perspective the whole world would change. In Charlotte, NC I try to help New Life 91.9 radio to be that pill. I also team up with my wife Brenda, and our daughters and sons-in-law, to try to dent the world with a bit of hope and encouragement.