Share the story behind your holiday photo

Tim Skillern
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I don't remember Heidi, not really. She was our family's first dog, a Dachshund my parents adopted about 1968.

Only two memories of Heidi linger for me. The second, and saddest, is of her last visit to the vet in the mid '80s when we had to put her to sleep. I recall little about that: No older than 8, I only distinctly remember my sister crying and the avocado-green linoleum that lined the walls of the vet clinic.

The clearer, happier and more poignant memory I have of Heidi is from Christmas 1982; that's her in the photo, rummaging about opened gifts. That year, nasty weather hit Denver on Dec. 23 and, as our city's winter storms are occasioned to do, grew much worse. By Christmas morning, the snow blanketed areas of the city with 10-foot drifts; the airport shut down, neither Denver newspaper published and the storm eventually chased the mayor from office.

The snow didn't stop Santa, of course, and back at home, he dutifully delivered our presents. But Heidi woke first and, unable to brave the enormous snow piles outside to go to the bathroom, she peed on my One Big Gift: Castle Grayskull and many of its heroes, including my first-ever He-Man. (In the photo, see Castle Grayskull, prior to its desecration, as left and photographed by Santa Claus.) He-Man survived, by the way, as all '80s superheroes do.

That's the story behind my holiday photo.

And we're looking for yours. If you have a particularly memorable Christmas, Hanukkah or holiday photo and a wonderful story behind it, we're interested in publishing it as part of a project on Yahoo News. (See our Thanksgiving effort.)

If you're interested, here's how you can participate:

(1) Find a personal photo from a holiday past that has a good story behind it. This can be a family photo, a candid shot or something else—just make sure it's related to a previous holiday and you have permission to use it. These photos and the stories behind them could be amusing, touching or inspirational—as long as there's a story behind it! (Your photo should be at least 630 pixels wide; see the Thanksgiving photos for an example.)

(2) Then, in no more than 200 words, tell us the story behind the photo. What makes it funny, heartwarming, instructive, sentimental or joyful? Why is your photo, and the story behind it, important to you personally? Be sure to include the year and location of the photo, and identify people in the photo (if it helps tell the story).

(3) By Dec. 10, e-mail your photo and story (remember to keep it under 200 words) to contributor-news [at]

The best photo/story combos may be featured in a Yahoo News slideshow. Not all submissions may be used, and we may edit for clarity.