Monday, December 23, 2013

Merry Christmas


How did Andi and her family celebrate Christmas in the 1880s? First of all, not all families could afford or had access to a tree. Some children just hung their stockings from a drawer and hoped for the best--an orange or maybe a stick of candy. Other families (like Andi's family) made Christmas a big celebration, centered around the Christ Child.




In Andi's own words: Right after Thanksgiving (President Lincoln proclaimed the fourth Thursday in November as a national day of thanksgiving back in 1863), Mother gets after the boys to go up in the hills and find some fir branches to decorate the house. and a tree. I always wanted to go along, but I was never big enough. Chad and Mitch always bring enough branches home to make the whole house smell like a pine forest--even though the ranch house is in the Valley, where it hardly ever snows.

For the next two weeks, Mother, Luisa, Nila, Melinda, and I make all kinds of Christmas goodies. Sometimes Aunt Rebecca comes to help. I've finally gotten used to that and I just try to stay out of her way.

Now the best part. We have to go back up into the hills to find just the perfect tree. Three years ago, when I was ten, I finally got to go along! A freak snowstorm came up and Justin, Chad, Mitch, and I were stranded overnight. It was so cold! I wrote a story about it HERE. The tree we went after stayed behind, but Mitch found another. It was not as beautiful as the one I picked out, but once we loaded it down with all the decorations, nobody could tell some of the branches were broken and the top was cut off.

Justin's lady friend, Lucy, joined us for Christmas one year.
We usually string popcorn and cranberries and Nila cooks hard sugar cookies that we decorate and hang from ribbons on the tree. Mother brings out all the fine, glass ornaments from long ago. And the branches have candles on them, but we have to watch to make sure they don't set the tree on fire. Underneath are the presents. One year when I was eleven, I got a saddle, but they couldn't wrap that up, so I didn't think I had anything under the tree. That was a little bit of a panic until Chad lugged it inside just in time.

Later, we gather around the piano (that I can't play), and Melinda plays Christmas carols and we all sing. Then we attend Christmas services at church. That is the best time . . . it is lit up with hundreds of candles and everybody is singing--we all sound like the angels in Luke 2 when they gave glory to God about the newborn King!


The dining room ready for Christmas dinner.
The next morning is Christmas! This year, Justin's friend (I think he might marry her), Lucy, joined us for Christmas Day. She brought a couple of surprise packages and put them on the little tree we keep in the dining room.

Mother likes to get all fancy on Christmas Day. Nila and Luisa outdo themselves polishing the silver and setting the table. Many families have goose for dinner and plum pudding. But we're all American and have turkey! We also celebrate with our Mexican ranch hands and their families. Tamales are a traditional Christmas food, and Luisa and Nila make the best tamales north of the border!


Merry Christmas!

 

37 comments:

  1. Hi Andi! That is very nice :)

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  2. Hi Andi!When are you going to put up sample chapters for the next Goldtown book?

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    1. Oh, I forgot all about doing that! I will try and get those up in the next few weeks. Thanks for the reminder. :-)

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  3. Hi! I was wondering... How old are you now, Andi? Merry late Christmas and Happy New Year? Does your family do anything special for the New Year?
    Also hows Cory doing? You don't mention him much...

    Ok have a good day!

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  4. Wow!! That sounds fun!!

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  5. Awesome, that sounds super!!
    Anna

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  6. Who is taller, Chad, Justin, or Mitch??

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  7. Um, Melinda didn't go with them to get the tree when they were stranded. :) Unless they got stranded another time in a snow storm. ;)

    Merry Christmas everyone!

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    1. Oops. that was left over from the first time I posted it last year. I forgot to edit my post better! Good eye, Rebekah! Merry Christmas!

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  8. LOl I was surprised to see I had already commented on this post in June the 17th:) But it was fun to re-read it.

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  9. Fun post!! Loved hearing about what you do for the holidays! :-)

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  10. What is the pastors name? Thank you.

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    1. Thank you. I have another question Do they open gifts on Christmas Day or Christmas Eve?

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    2. Christmas Day. In the morning. Then they spend the morning visiting with near neighbors and bringing them gifts; then they have a big Christmas dinner mid afternoon.

      Christmas Eve is spent at church.

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  11. Melinda is ssoo cute when she is little

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  12. Merry Christmas everyone!!!!
    Awesome post Mrs. M!

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  13. That was interesting:-) Merry Christmas!!!!!!

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  14. i just noticed is the picture of Melinda has a hole in it is her picture like on an ornament????

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  15. how come i can't read the story????

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    1. The link didn't work, so I fixed it. Now you should be able to click over to the story. Thanks for letting me know!

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  16. okay it worked!!!
    thank you

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  17. I finished my contest story, age group 14-17. It has 3,634 words. Do I need to delete some words?

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    1. Go ahead and send it in. It's only "off" about 100 words. That's fine. :-)

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    2. Thank you.
      Merry Christmas.

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  18. Thanks for the great post! I enjoyed how you wrote about the Christmas Eve church services and everyone sounding like angels...that's exactly how my church sounds like when we have our Christmas Cantada. Nothing better than singing about Jesus' birth.

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  19. MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYBODY AND..........
    HAPPY BIRTHDAY JESUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  20. Great post!! Merry Christmas!!!

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  21. Happy Birthday!!!! LOL Merry Christmas everyone:)
    God bless you all!

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  22. Merry Christmas!!!!!!! And a happy New year

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  23. What's up with the blog? Did you up date it Mrs. M? It's cool!

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  24. this is a little late but can you tell me what your favorite Christmas carol is thanks

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  25. My (Andi's) favorite Christmas carol is Angels We Have Heard on High.

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  26. mine's hark the herald angels sing

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Let Andi know what you think!