The holiday season is a time for joy and celebration; reflection and nostalgia; even loneliness and grief. Behind the glitter and twinkle of this time of year is a mixed set of experiences for all, eliciting a wide range of memories and emotions. As part of our Hear at the Library series, we asked employees of the Boston Public Library what the holiday season means to them and had them share some of their favorite memories from this time of year.

Listen to the features that aired on 89.7 WGBH here:

Hear at the Library | David

I can almost still taste the roast turkey and the roast ham and Brussels sprouts and the roasted potatoes...Our memories of taste and our memories of smell are some of the strongest ones we have and that's definitely true for me.

-David Leonard, President of the Boston Public Library and South End resident, remembers the Christmas season as a young boy in Ireland.

Hear at the Library | Lisa

I like the parallel with Christmas. I think so many cultures have festivals of lights in the winter when things are dark, so if we want to blow up Hanukkah into something bigger and sparklier and twinklier, I'm kind of okay with that.

-Lisa Pollack, Chief of Communications at the Boston Public Library and West Roxbury resident, shares how the celebration of Hanukkah has changed over the years.

Hear at the Library | Gianna

She would joke, "it's not like she did anything special to it." But she did...Everything she touched was really tasty.

-Gianna Gifford, Chief of Adult Library Services at the Boston Public Library and Boston resident, reminisces on her grandmother's famous stuffed artichokes recipe that lives on in her memory.

Hear at the Library | Ben

I always remember of the parents would have to go downstairs and get the camera ready to get your reaction to when you saw the tree and everything and take your picture.

-Ben Hires, Director of Strategic Partnerships at the Boston Public Library and Roslindale resident, remembers the excitement of opening presents on Christmas morning 30 years later.