Sales Director Annette Godwin recalls the best Christmas Eve with her younger cousin, Bobby King, an award-winning artist who was disabled and passed away about eight years ago.
He was born in 1977. He had a type of a brain tumor and had surgery. When he woke up - we assume this is where it came from - he saw someone drinking a Pepsi. From that day forward, instead of asking for toys like most kids, everything was Pepsi. Pepsi hats, Pepsi shirts – you name it, there it was in Pepsi. And back then it was very hard to find.
This particular year, his Christmas wish was to get this funky-shaped Pepsi bottle that he had seen on a trip to see family in Alabama that they didn’t have here in Georgia. It was just not possible to get it. We tried. We went to every store.
Sitting in the living room, my sister says, "Don’t worry, Bobby. Annette will get it for you." That means Bobby thinks it’s a done deal. (I tell my sister I’m still going to get her for that someday).
So I went to work. We tried everywhere. We called everywhere. Finally, after a full day on the phone and getting transferred to different Pepsi divisions and plants, we found out somewhere below LaGrange they had them. So we called the people that distributed to that area and got sent over to somebody else. A guy just happened to pick up the phone.
When I told him the story about Bobby, he said, "OK, hold on just a minute." He comes back and asks, "How far are you from LaGrange?" I told him about two hours. I said we’ll come and get it. We’ll pay for it to be shipped. Whatever we need to do.
So he put down the phone and came back again. And then he said, "I think I’ll just deliver them for you on Christmas Eve."
I was floored. I couldn’t believe anybody would be that nice.
He said, "My family comes down to LaGrange for Christmas. So I’ll deliver them."
So on Christmas Eve, the guy not only delivers it, but pulls up to the house in a Pepsi truck with the Pepsi logo on the side of his truck. Bobby just had a fit. He was so thrilled.
The guy not only brought him all the Pepsi products and bottles, but he brought him a Pepsi clock with Bobby’s name on it, a blue Pepsi towel, and a bunch of signs to hang on the wall and a bag.
He was absolutely tickled to death. That was his very best Christmas ever. And from then on, every time he saw a Pepsi truck like this guy’s truck, he wanted to stop and talk to whoever was driving it. And they would, and they’d give him stuff off the truck. And they wrote him a letter about how he was their biggest fan.
That was our Christmas miracle.
Sales Representative Rachel Hayes describes the origins of the unique Christmas tradition she and her husband Tony continue to this day.
We’ve been friends for a long time and at that time I wasn’t really doing Christmas. I went over to a friend’s house and helped cook breakfast. I called him to see if he wanted to see a movie because we had mentioned it earlier. He hadn’t had anything to eat yet so we went over to Waffle House. And we ended up talking for two and a half, three hours, because we had that long before the movie started. And then we went to the movie. We saw "Black Christmas." It was a scary movie, but it was so stupid it was funny.
So every Christmas now we recreate our first date; we go to Waffle House and see a movie.
Editor Michelle Kim remembers the large Christmas gatherings as a child with her family
The best thing about Christmas morning - besides the presents, of course – was just being around all my cousins and uncles and aunts and extended family. Waking up early in the morning, before anyone else, to help my aunt (who somehow always managed to wake up earlier than me no matter how hard I tried) as she made blueberry muffins and thick strips of bacon. Drafting my younger cousins into a Christmas play production, directed by yours truly. And hanging around the adults as they roasted chestnuts and played card games into the night. Those kinds of memories are something I definitely want to provide for my children.
Sports Editor Nick Margiasso describes his first Christmas with his wife's family.
I remember the first Christmas I spent with my wife's family instead of my own. It was kind of surreal in a way, not seeing the same faces I'd seen throughout my life hovering around the Christmas tree. It was a feeling I couldn't get a handle on at first, but then I grew quickly to cherish it as both a new experience and sharing something thatwas so special for my wife, Sussy. She didn't get to see her family all that much around the holidays. What was ironic was that I realized it was even stranger for them to be having the same feeling as me but even moreso in this ragtag bunch of Christmas celebrators -- they were Jewish. We integrated both holidays during the days surrounding December 25th, making something new and special out of an old favorite.