A Party of Eight for Christmas at Knott’s Berry Farm

When I was little, my family (my parents, brother, and I) used to have a yearly Christmas tradition of going to Knott’s Berry Farm with family friends. One year, we went twice, with two sets of family friends. The second trip was with a friend of my parents, I will call her Betty, and three of her six children.

The trip to Knott’s was always fun, but this particular trip was surreal. I was about 11 years old at the time, and all of the children Betty brought on the trip were under six years old. One of them was very hyperactive, and the others were just bratty, as most young children are. I remember Betty’s kids running around, crying, and screaming. I tried to hide so I would not be asked to watch them. Even though some things about the trip were annoying, I also had some wonderful experiences that I will never forget.

One of my favorite memories from the trip was when we went panning for gold. It was the first and only time I had ever gone panning for gold, and it was one of the first times when I realized that learning could be fun. We not only learned how to pan for gold, but the history behind it. To make it more fun and entertaining (and to get our money’s worth), they filled the area with enough gold to ensure we would find a certain amount (and they helped the younger children who had trouble finding any). They put the gold into a teeny vial, which I still have to this day.

Another great part of the trip was going to the Santa House to get our pictures with Santa. The house was beautiful, with thick snow all around. There was a lot more screaming and crying from two of the children who were freaked out by Santa, but it was one of the few moments in the trip when the crying was entertaining. Santa was a pretty good sport, but the pictures were hilarious. I still laugh when I see them. The pictures show Santa sitting in his chair, looking jarred, with two crying children on his lap. One of the children’s mouths is open almost as wide as the size of her whole face.

I always loved going on trips with my family, and Christmas trips to Knott’s Berry Farm were always my favorite. I’m glad to still have the pictures and memorabilia to help me remember that day. Without the pictures and tiny vial of gold, I probably would have forgotten some of the key moments.

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