December 23, 2004
When I was growing up, we didnít have much money for things, so we made our own fun. We made a big celebration of every occasion, and the biggest celebration of all was at Christmas. And I celebrated even more on my own.
We had a row of paper bells and whatnot from a Christmas stencil kit we acquired from somebody. They were strung across the living room for many a Christmas. Mom and I wrapped paper towel and toilet paper tubes in shiny red paper and cut out flames to make candles. We made baked ornaments. We cut a large branch for our tree. Hey, we managed to make it stand, and it smelled so nice! We turned a large box into a fireplace, and we still hang our stockings there.
Some years we kids produced little very unprofessional Christmas programs for Mom and Dad. Other years we just sangóat least I did. Every year we played the Christmas records over and over again.
We opened gifts on Christmas Eve after reading the Christmas story. We knew we couldnít open gifts till Dad finished taking care of the livestock, so we played board games to pass the time. On Christmas Day, the real socks we hung on the fireplace were filled with a few goodies and a small present. We spent the day playing games or working puzzles or kits weíd gotten as gifts.
Years passed, and I left home, followed by the others. The family Christmas traditions changed, but there was always something. I still play Christmas music, but now I am busy wrapping gifts and looking forward to spending Christmas at the farm. I only have a tiny tree most years, but I usually do some decorating. I donít do much at my placeóto me, Christmas still belongs at the farm. Some years Iíll walk the mall during the busiest times on purpose, just soaking up Christmas spirit. Some years Iíll stay home and just listen to my Christmas music.
Christmas at the farm varies every year. Sometimes we are all together on Christmas Eve, sometimes on Christmas Day, sometimes some of us on one day and some of us on the other, and sometimes we have two or three different celebrations. But there is always the fellowship, the spending time together, the celebrating. And tomorrow I am off to the farm to celebrate yet another Christmas with my family!