It is a special time of the year. Christmas brings families together and creates wonderful memories.

It is a special time of the year. Christmas brings families together and creates wonderful memories.

This week I have asked some of central Ohio's top high school athletes to share with you their best Christmas memory.

Melissa Dodaro, Reynoldsburg girls track and field: "One year, when I was about 7, my brother and I stayed in his room playing video games all night. I asked Santa Claus for something really important that year and couldn't wait to see if he would bring it to me. At 6 in the morning, me and my brother woke up my parents and ran downstairs and looked under the tree to find our new dog sitting there wagging her tail."

Ashley Specht, Olentangy Liberty girls swimming: "My best Christmas was in 2005. My family surprised my brother and I with a ski trip to Colorado. It was nice spending time with all my family."

Holly Lundregan, Hilliard Davidson gymnastics: "My grandmother from San Diego visited my family and my dog swallowed my new iPod Shuffle whole. He is fine and I got another iPod."

Aaron Matheny, Whitehall boys bowling: "My best Christmas memory was when some family members that lived out of state that I had not seen for a long period of time came into town and surprised us on Christmas day. Having all my family together and sharing stories and laughter made it a great Christmas day."

Tanner Furno, Whetstone boys basketball: "My best Christmas memory was when I was 7 years old. I received the puppy that my family now calls Lassie."

Courtney Reeder, Thomas Worthington field hockey: "When I was younger, my little brother and sister spent the night in my room on Christmas Eve. We stayed up late talking, too excited to go to sleep when we knew Santa Claus was on his way. At the crack of dawn the next day, we ran upstairs and woke up our parents and practically dragged them downstairs to open our presents. It was great family fun."

Jenna Shiner, Liberty girls bowling: "My best Christmas was when I was 6 years old and my family got to spend Christmas at my grandma's. I enjoyed being able to see my whole family."

Asia Taylor, Whetstone girls basketball: "My favorite memory was the year I went sledding with my family and then went home and sang Christmas carols. It was best because I was with the ones that I love."

May all of you enjoy the spirit of these days. Merry Christmas.