Monday, December 22, 2014

Farm Christmas

I have to first say, Cherdo and Janie, that I was awake half the night trying to search the file cabinets in my brain for memorable Christmases.  I grew up on a farm in Central Illinois and I remember huge drifts of snow and lots of food.  We always had our own beef and pork, garden supplies and fruit stored away in the basement fruit room, and probably some of the best German bakers anyone could ask for in our grandparents.  Christmas was always a time of feasting.  But I do have some specific memories to share.

My older brother Dan and I were three years apart in age.  I couldn't have been more than four or five when my parents set up all of our gifts around a children's table and chairs, and we didn't even realize they were there until we had opened other ones.  We cherished that set, spending lots of hours coloring and putting together small puzzles. The set to your left is from go shopping for this for someone special.  Thanks Target.

My brother David was 10 years younger than I, so it was my job at Christmas time to get him to follow me upstairs to look out the window for Santa while my folks put presents out under the tree.  This went on for several years until he figured out what was up.  David is still on the farm in Illinois.

I have really special memories of my grandmother, my dad's mother, who was an incredible baker.  One of my favorite memories was making gingerbread men with her, decorating them with red hots and tiny silver balls.  It was magical.  She also made perfect divinity and fudge.

Anyone who has read my blog remembers pictures I have posted of my mom and my dad in their younger days.  One Christmas when I was a teenager, Mother had a picture taken and made into a portrait for my dad.  He had no idea, but when he opened it and saw what it was, he cried he was so happy.  He was such a sentimental guy, and he cherished my Mom.

At Christmas break at California Lutheran in California, I took a train back to Illinois to be with family for the holidays.  As luck would have it, the Marine marching band members who lived back east were on the train.  They actually had to return to California for the Rose Bowl parade at New Years.  We had a grand time playing cards, singing songs, and just enjoying the ride back.  I should have snagged one of those guys!  My parents and brothers and I then drove back to school in California across old Route 66 after Christmas.  It was a special time.

With marriage and three children, the memories just become a blur of activity.  My memories are of fun times, shopping with my girls, giving gifts to make my children happy.  I met my current husband just a couple of weeks after my divorce was final, and he brought joy into the lives of my children and myself.  We have many happy memories of being with extended family and friends.  

Christmas is such a special time of year, and no, it is not Happy Holidays!  It is Merry Christmas.  Christmas Eve has always been a time of singing and praise in the church for me.  Even as a little kid, I remember getting a bag of peanuts, and orange, and a candy bar after the Childrens' Christmas program.  

God bless each of my blogger friends as you celebrate in your own way during this holiday.  If you do not celebrate Christmas, then have a lovely cup of hot chocolate or a glass of wine and know that I'm thinking of all of you today.  Joining the 12/22 Blog Hop!

Linda Kay
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