Marshall Co. AL - Christmas is one week away. But here at WHNT News 19, we celebrate Christmas all year long. It’s Christmas every day on Sand Mountain. That’s where our very own Laura Christmas works and lives!
And in case you’ve ever wondered, yes, Christmas really is her last name. “It is,” she said with a smile. “Spelled just like the holiday.” Laura’s been answering that same question from the first day she walked into pre-school. “And they said Laura Christmas? And I said, like the holiday,” she told us.
Laura says that’s usually followed with, “Well, I bet you were born on Christmas, weren't you? I say, no, I was actually born in December and that's always a knee slapper.” She laughed. Laura was born December 8th.
She knew what was coming next. Before I could finishing asking if her parents thought about, “Naming me Merry?” she interrupted. “That's the other one I always get. Thank you,” she said laughing. Her father told her it did cross their minds.
Laura’s dad told her, “You know, if you last name wasn't Christmas, we would have named you Mary and he said we really wanted to name you Mary but we figured that would be pretty horrible to do to our little girl.”
She’s happy to be Laura. There was already a Carol and Rosemary in the family. She’s proud of her family name. And has traced her roots for at least four generations to east Tennessee and Florida.
I asked her if she ever thought about changing her last name before going into television news. “No,” she quickly replied. “Some people told me I should change it to my middle name which is Michelle and I said Laura Michelle, now that sounds made up so I said, I'm going to stick with Christmas because that's memorable.”
So is the street name in the little Florida town where she grew up. It’s Christmas Drive. “It was named after us,” she said. “And as a little girl I thought that everybody lived on a road with their last name on it because that was my road.”
She even has an old street sign to prove it! A worker gave it to the family because the person who originally made the sign spelled Christmas, Chirstmas! “When I moved off to Alabama, my dad said hey, do you want this? And I said of course I want this. So I just took it with me. It is a little memory of home,” she said.
If you live on Christmas Drive, you have to think it would make it easier for Santa to find. “Yeah,” Laura said smiling. “We always figured when we were kids we had like an in with Santa because our last name was Christmas.” Did it help? “Uh, when we were good,” she said laughing.
Laura got married earlier this year. She and her husband talked about which last name she was going to use on air. “I'm keeping Christmas because you can't beat Christmas,” she said. There’s a lot of equity built up with the name.
One thing I learned about Laura during our visit that I didn’t know before. She’s quite a pianist. She started playing when she was eight. Before we left, she sat down and shared her talent with a beautiful rendition of “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.” No wonder Christmas is her favorite holiday of the year.