My first seven Christmas Eve nights were spent in a drafty old farmhouse in a rural community in South Dakota, USA. This was in the days before electricity. We had a lot of relatives, Aunts, Uncles and Cousins. I don’t know how we all got in our house but every one got in Grandpa and Grandma’s house for Thanksgiving and it was smaller. That was when names were drawn for Christmas present giving. There were always many very good things to eat along with oyster stew, salted herring and possibly Lutefisk (a special kind of fish!) There were apples, popcorn, and, many sweet items to eat also. Hard rock Christmas candy was in smaller bags, possibly due to sugar and the war effort. Many things were rationed during the Second World War.
There were kerosene lamps and a couple white gas lamps that had to have air pumped into them to work. Christmas Eve was the only time during the year that house was well lighted. The nickel plating on the old pot bellied parlor stove was shined up for the occasion. The fire was almost allowed to burn out, body heat would make it still too warm in the house. There would be enough hot coals down in the ashes to have new coal burning by morning.
Everyone enjoyed eating together and just sitting around and visiting and having a jolly good time. The kids were sent out to play day or night, seems like. There was always someone who played Santa Claus. I remember the surprise of Santa not being real, ended for me on that Christmas Eve. I saw my uncle going upstairs and he was carrying a bag, which I thought looked rather unusual. He was home on leave from the Army, Christmas of 1944 and had his uniform on. The War was still raging in Europe, Africa and the Pacific.
Curiosity was something I had plenty of, I quietly made my way up the stairs and uncle Edmond and a older cousin went in one of the bedrooms. My cousin was helping him put on a Santa Claus suit. I guess I expected it, there was no surprise in that anyhow. When he did come downstairs HO, HO, HO ing he had on my Dad’s five buckle overshoes and they still had some manure on them. I think someone said, “something about the reindeer and made a mess outside of the house.” Some of the older boys asked why he didn’t take the chimney right into the kitchen, guess it would have been to hot in there with the cook stove.
Everyone managed to smuggle presents into the house. They didn’t all come down the stairs in Uncle Edmond’s bag, one way or the other they all ended up under a big Christmas Tree that was set up in the living room.
The highlight of the Christmas night was about to take place. My mother and grandmother carefully started lighting candles on that big old Christmas Tree. These candles had to be very strategically placed so they wouldn’t cause a fire on the branch up above the candle. I wouldn’t begin to guess how may candles were on that tree but it was the most beautiful sight you could ever imagine. A few Christmas Carols were sung, then those awesome candles were snuffed out, They were only lit for just a few minutes and then they were put out. Christmas Eve had come and gone in our old farmhouse. I can close my eyes real tight and still see and smell the candles on that big old Christmas tree.
Christmas Day most of the same people gathered at my aunt and uncles house for a huge dinner. These were the years before homes were full of electronic widgets, gadgets games and such. Young folks headed out into the cold for sledding, or sliding on a scoop shovel if there were not enough sleds to go around. We thought nothing of walking a mile to shovel snow off the ice to go skating. The older boys might walk several miles rabbit hunting. Living in the upper mid-west, you get climitized or you don’t live.
One of our grandmothers was Sami. Us kids thought that give all of us closer ties to Reindeer and Christmas.
Sami people (also Sámi or Saami), traditionally known in English as Lapps or Laplanders, are an indigenous Finno-Ugric people inhabiting the Arctic area of Sápmi, which today encompasses parts of far northern Norway, Sweden, Finland, the Kola Peninsula of Russia, and the border area between south and middle Sweden and Norway.
6 thoughts on “Christmas Eve – 24 December 1944”
Well, maybe this weekly thing is automatic but, I have not heard from you and I am wondering whether you got my last comment? 🙂
Hello thia licona,
I have been busier than a cat trying to cover poop on the middle of the Ottobohn. Well seems like I’m that busy anyhow, I think when it is my old body, is getting to the point it takes about 20 times longer to get anying done. I know I’m finding myself calling on the Lord for strength a lot more often lately, than I ever did in the past. I hope He doesn’t get to the point, He says, “don’t call me I will call you.”
I understand you’re not living in the best of diggs over there, with no water heater, annd your hands cold enough to make the mouse jump. That doesn’t sound like a lot of fun. I guess I’m kinda spoiled here in the middle of the Prairie in my rented apartment with the electric bill that would choke a pretty good size Clydesdale.
I been doing some reading on your sites trying to find my way around, very interesting reading I didn’t know that you had lost your spouse some years ago or that you had a son to give you some difficulties. The prodigal son wasn’t just a young fellow in the history book I believe you find one on every block just about
WordPress suggests that I update my computer to get all the bells and whistles, which I’m considering. I checked Toshibas oof to refurbished on the Internet, they’ve got some pretty decent prices and I would gain enough so I would be using the newest version of Google Chrome. It is a browser which is supposed to be aweful fast. I’m not a great computer whiz but I do understand the more I keep packing into this blog site of mine this slower it’s going ago until it finally comes to a wheezing, staggering, screeching halt. I’m still using a free site, they tell me to pay 18.00 a year and get faster access and more viewers I’m not sure I understand all of that either. The 98 cent question is WHY do I blog? Is it a mental condition, there is no proof that I can write. Trying to live until my brain is the last working part?? What do you think? Maybe I’m good for one more clean shirt?
I have to get back and do some more productive reading at your blog site, the Lord only knows I need to get into his word a whole lot better than what I’ve been doing in the past. Supposed to walk the walk and talk the talk or something like that. I appreciate your blog and all of your efforts, being a great ambassador for our Creator and King. Take care of yourself, stay warm, well and may you be blessed richly even if you don’t think you’ve got it coming.
Merry Christmas/Happpy New Year
Leland, you bless me so. I am so glad that you are reading the blogs. I intentionally do not or try not to say ‘my’ blog because, like yourself, sometimes I haven’t got a clue as to why do I blog.
The same as to what am I doing here? Maybe a zillion times I have quit and, Father stops me big time! I obey and stay but, for a while? I kept my measly belongings packed and ready for take off until recently.
Yes, it has been rough! The living conditions are just about living outdoors in a way but, forget about my cold hands and such, concentrate on the miracle: MY ATTITUDE CHANGE!
One sentence came to me to radically change my attitude towards my whole stay in this forsaken country.
Yes, forsaken it is in spite of the splendor of it for this is the capital of Jordan and the seat of King Abdulah–the reigning king.
Also forsaken in spite of the many good down to earth local people that are living under this pressure and making the best of it. Much Father has taught me from my contact with them.
It is for them that I am here. They are the sheep in the other fold. Rather than letting me have my way and jump ship? Father gives me small hints that shakes my being to renounce my wicked carnal lusts for comfort.
As I wrote it, while I was sulking for the doings of this son that Father has gifted to me, Father told me,
“This apartment is My gift to you. Ahmad did not provide you with this apartment. I am Your Provider.”
Chee-whiz! Immediately I jumped out of my sulking bed and continued with the cleaning of my bedroom with a singing heart!
Right at this moment, I could not be anymore content, confident, assured that this is my home until Yahushua’s soon return.
For I am not a date setter but, the way things are going in Jerusalem and other parts of the world including the USA? The end could come as soon as the end of 2017 before Obama steps down. Don’t quote me because that is only a rumor that has come my way.
But in my heart? I sense big time that our time to repent and begin to pay strict attention to the four Gospels is much closer than anyone suspects.
That is the reason why I obey and I am living as if our Master was returning tomorrow.
About the computer, I sent you the link to Directron, don’t know if you got it or check it out. They have excellent deals and tutorials on how to do it all. http://www.directron.com/cas.html
Keep me posted, and please, don’t feel sorry for me…I rather you to envy me, I am so blessed! And truly, I lack for nothing of material value.
My only lack at the moment is the lack of connection with my children and friends but, that too, shall soon be no more. Nothing is impossible for our Father!
thia, I sent you a comment last week about the computer problem that you talked about, I had some trouble with mine. I had to upgrade but I seem to have it working now. I’m not sure if I’m finding my way around right on this WordPress business, sometimes I have a comment in one place it on the next time I look at this not where I thought I put it, this doesn’t make much sense I guess. Thanks for the visit to my post, Christmas of 1944. I have left a couple comments after doing some reading on your blog but I haven’t been back there now for a few days, take care, thanks for the visit.
“When he did come downstairs HO, HO, HO ing he had on my Dad’s five buckle overshoes and they still had some manure on them. I think someone said, “something about the reindeer and made a mess outside of the house.” What a picture!!! Even smell-a-vision!
I wasn’t very old in 1944, amazingly some of the things a your mind are etched their pretty well. Like the candles on the Christmas tree, something that just don’t fade away from your mind I guess. Those were the good old, bad old days I guess you might call it. Times were hard but everyone was close together there were family units that were very strong. We’re sure missing the boat in our new jet age of high-tech communications. Take care thanks for the visit.
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