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Susan

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December 23, 2011

A CHRISTMAS STORY


Dear Primmies,
I thought about what I wanted to write as a Christmas
letter to all of you, and I realized that I was not fully
into the spirit of the season. As I went thru my reading
list, I came to Jennifer's The Country Mouse blog and
she wrote to us about her Christmas memories growing
up as a child in Kentucky. Well, by the time I was
finished reading, I had the true spirit of Christmas in
my heart. 
I have had the most incredible 7 months due to my
discovery of blogs and then beginning my own blog.
I have met people from all over the United States and
the world. Some people don't comment, that's ok if
they just read along and learn about new places and
new things. Some people comment on every post, and
some of you and I have become friends. Many of you
expressed such caring and thoughtfulness when we
had our trees come down in October. Many of you
sent such kind and beautiful comments and emails
when my daughter Ashley lost her second baby. The
outpouring of genuine kindness brought me to tears
of happiness. Some of you still send your prayers and
continue to ask how she  is. I am humbled by your
thoughtfulness and my heart is filled with gratitude.
For anyone struggling this year with illness, physical
pain and limitations or emotional pain please read the
post below from Jennifer. If you are happy and feeling
blessed and pleased that you have done everything on
your list, please read it anyway. You can't feel too much
happiness, right? 
I am looking forward to reading along with all of you
on your journeys and continuing to write along with.
Merry Christmas, Primmies... 
As many of you can probably relate to living in a rural area things are not always readily available when you need them.Well 40 + years ago living in this small town things really were hard to come by for most folks.There were only small mom and pop type of grocery stores and no big department stores either. Our big department store was a small Ben Franklin that went out of business many years ago.My dad and mom were farmers,mainly tobacco and a smallish dairy farm.We, like a lot of the area grew up in a time when you grew  most of what you ate and I can remember momma making a lot of our clothes ,and thinking back I consider those the good old days.Christmas was always big at my house ,because through out the year there was not a lot of toys or gifts bought ,times were tough and it just did not happen .It was not that my family was poor but you just used your money for things that were more important .As a child I had all the necessities and  had plenty of toys don't get me wrong .We were a  happy family and always took joy out of the smaller things in life ... going on a picnic down by the creek ,playing ball out in the yard or on hot  summer evenings just sitting out in the yard on a quilt looking up at the stars listening to momma and daddy talking about their day. Oops ! I started to ramble to much, now getting back to those Christmas memories.... At Christmas we always had the same tree ...it was daddy and momma's first tree.Wow, is it ever special,the lights screw directly  into the end of the  branches and momma has lots of the antique German glass ornaments.They were paper thin when I was a tiny thing so you can imagine how fragile that they are today.That tree is still the family tree ,it gives me such a warm fuzzy feeling when it goes up for the holidays. It was an old tree when they bought it at a second hand store.

As those of you that grew tobacco know ,December is usually the month that you sell your crop if you are blessed to have had just the right conditions to get it processed for market.Well daddy  and momma usually managed to do just that and it meant  that they could give their kids a big Christmas  and that is what happened most years.They always managed to make our wishes come true,but it wasn't about the gifts it was about the winding down of all their hard work for the year and joy of sharing . Momma always cooked yummy things  and cleaned  the house till it was gleaming . When it came time for the tree to be trimmed, daddy would get the limbs straightened out and  the bubble lights burning, then mom and all of us kids would gently hang the ornaments. Just seeing a bubble light today brings a smile to my face.

As I said earlier there were not any big grocery stores ,so soon after Thanksgiving there would be vendors sitting up tables usually on main street selling holiday fruit ,candies and  such.My dad hardly ever went to town, he was content to stay at home and do his farming duties but at Christmas time  you just knew he would be going to town .He and momma would go shopping and oh  the treats they would bring home!One thing I can say about them ,they always treated us kids equally.They made sure that we each had a favorite  fruit or candy by the time that they came home. My parents always bought a car load of fruit and candy, not just for us but so that when people dropped by house  that they could send  fruit and candy home with them ,they always  shared what they had with others. I learned early on that Christmas was about giving not receiving.Our home was open to all at Christmas time.

Back when I was a child, Kentucky would get snow and lots of it, that doesn't seem to happen much these days.Some of my fondest  Christmas memories are of us all bundling up late in the evening and going for car rides to look at Christmas lights .There was just something magical about being in the back seat of a car,  with your brother and sisters on a cold winter's night watching for Christmas lights,squealing there are some..Daddy would dress our house and outside trees  up with all kinds of lights and momma took care of the inside.It was such a  special  feeling then and even now as I wander down memory lane.

There is a memory of one particular Christmas morning that has always stood out in my mind.It is of me (probably 5 years old) sitting in the doorway of the kitchen coloring .I had opened up a new coloring book and one of those big boxes of crayons and momma was cooking breakfast.I can still feel the warm feeling of love I had sitting there watching momma cook for all of us .I was happy as a lark ,with just my crayons and book.See folks it is the little things that matter.Momma's smile that Christmas morning still warms my heart today.

As a child, a favorite Christmas treat was to have an orange fixed momma's special way.She would make a hole in the top of an orange with a knife and insert a stick of candy ,you know the old time sugar cane sticks, and we would use it like a straw to suck the orange juice from the orange. A triple treat in one ,a sweet stick of candy ,slurped orange juice and then the yummy orange. Looking back I wonder if she did that so that we wouldn't be so messy while peeling the orange.LOL! Can't say I would blame her with four kids in the house.

Christmas day was a day spent with the family at home.We would be up early, have breakfast ,open our gifts and always have a wrapping paper fight till we just about giggled out. Cleaning up the mess was never as much fun as making it.LOL! By the time we had that done momma would have our Christmas dinner ready, we all loved chicken and dumplings so you knew that along with the turkey and fixen's  there was going to a big  old pot of dumplings.I  can still see daddy standing at the stove stirring the pot for momma.

To me this is what Christmas is about... the loving  memories that families make together and the true reason... Jesus.It is not about driving yourself crazy to buy that one perfect gift or worrying yourself silly that someone is not going to like what you have bought.Don't misunderstand,Christmas is about being generous,caring and wanting to bring others happiness too but you don't have to spend money to do it.How about a homemade Christmas gift ,giving a hug, visiting someone that is house bound , and yes even a simple smile can make someone's life a lot brighter.I am not a scrooge and don't have a problem with gift giving ,in fact I love to do it but Christmas should not be such a stress on people.It has become far to commercialized in my eyes and thus a lot of people have lost that special Christmas joy.So I have said all  that to say this ...let's enjoy the day for what it is really about ..our family , friends and Jesus!My family is missing one of it's key elements with Daddy being gone but I know that with my memories he is still enjoying the day with us.

To all my blogging friends ,I wish you the Merriest of Christmas's ! If you are traveling to be with family I pray that you have a safe and happy journey!Thanks for wandering down my lane of Christmas memories with me. God Bless You All! Hugs,Jen
 Thank you, Jen for allowing me to reprint this lovely story.

13 comments:

Cat Nap Inn Primitives said...

I loved reading Jen's post...it was like out of the waltons..loved it..I have loved getting to know you as well and love calling you friend.hope you have a wonderful christmas..loved the video of the cat getting wrapped up..that is one mellow kitty:)

Danice said...

Thank you for sharing that, Susan. Merry Christmas to you and your family also :)

Lou said...

Morning Susan,Wow its Christmas Eve and what a sweetie you are-thanks so much for your Christmas wish and for giving me the chance to read of your lovely Christmas past**

Very special** Christmas and New Year wishes to you and all.
See you in 2012,
have a lovely time.
BIG hug,Lou.xxxxx

The Bear's Blog said...

Merry Christmas.

Hugs,
All of Us

Hillcresthome Prims said...

Susan, Jen is adear freind of mine and when I read that I called her right away! It just bought back the REAL Christmas times!
I also want to thank you for your sweet comments that you always leave on my blog and I sure do enjoy your blog as well.
I wish you and your family a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year(2012), I pray it will be the BEST year for all of us.
Merry Christmas friend from my family to yours,
Hugs and Kisses,
Tricia XO

Traci said...

Merry Christmas Susan & Family...Wishing you Love, Peace & Joy, Traci

Barb said...

Hi Susan,
Jen's post was wonderful!!
Have a wonderful Holiday!
Enjoy,
Barb

woolyredrug said...

Susan,
Wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas and all the best in the New Year!
~Laurie

Pam at Antique or Not said...

What wonderful posts, both yours and Jen's. You've made me smile this morning!

Merry Christmas and big hugs,
Pam

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

I so enjoyed reading your memories! I didn't grow up on a farm but in a small town in Arkansas. My family all lived close and we had big get togethers. I have such good memories of that time. And this morning when I talked to my sister on the phone we were remembering a gift of a new coloring book and a new box of crayons...we called them colors! And always getting a stocking filled with oranges and apples and hard candy. Times have changed but I'm happy with my memories! Merry Christmas to you and your sweet family! It's been wonderful to get to know you this year and make friends! God bless! ♥♥♥

Christine said...

Susan, I wanted to let you know you and Ashlee and your loved ones are in my thoughts and prayers.
Hope you all enjoy a wonderful Christmas!
Blessings
Christine

Farmhouse prims said...

Memories are priceless, thanks for sharing. Wishing you a lovely Christmas! Hugs, Lecia

Lori Ann Corelis said...

Beautiful memories!
Thank you for sharing!

Lori Ann

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