I got along just fine with my Christmas doings. This is the first Christmas I ever spent without the voice of one of my children in the house. But don’t let your heart sink at that thought. There were children to the right of me and children to the left of me, north, south, east and west, and though they didn’t “bay and thunder,” they charged the lonely Christmas idea with such skill and loyalty that it was dispelled as a mist before the sun. We had a lovely time, not only that day but beforehand. Ina Dobson, January 1935
This year’s “Homestead Happenings” advent presentation is loosely based on my Grandmother Ina’s Christmas of 1934.
In 1934, Ina and her husband Jack had been living on their farm at Gilbert, Idaho, since 1896 – 38 years. She was 64; he, 70. Times were lean and seemed to grow leaner, but every year Ina resolved that there would be “no skimpy Christmas” at her house.
That Christmas was especially challenging for Ina. Her youngest child and companion, Shirley, who at 24 still lived at home, had gone to Idaho Falls for an indefinite stay under the watchful eye of her brother Earle and his wife Bernice, so Ina was alone in her Christmas preparations. Shirley was not there to share the work and the fun of holiday preparations nor would she be home for Christmas. Neither would any of Ina’s other five children. But Ina made up her mind to make the best of it.
And isn’t that just what we all have to do sometimes? The holidays can be a trial as much as a joy. Perhaps things have stayed the same for a long time, and then some big change happens. Then we have to adjust. Life calls on us to do that.
Thanksgiving was late that year, too – falling on the 29th. The first of December was Saturday, whereas this year it’s Sunday. Close enough, I say! For purposes of “Christmas with Ina 2013,” Ina has agreed to share our calendar.
I hope you enjoy this visit with Ina as much as she enjoys sharing her holiday with you. KW