Tuesday, December 22, 2015


The family sat at breakfast. Ina had prepared plenty of bacon and eggs and biscuits. How good it felt to serve a “family” meal again and watch everyone enjoy it! Now they began to make plans for the day.

First, Ethel and Shirley would do the dishes while Ina and Sadie fed the chickens. Then, they decided a day of candy and cookie making was in order. Shirley had mixed gingerbread dough yesterday, to be rolled and cut into traditional cookies when they were ready.

“I brought a recipe for penuche that I want to try,” said Ethel.

“And we could make regular fudge, too,” added Shirley.

“What about decorating the tree?” asked little Sadie.

Ina explained that Granddad would cut the tree on Christmas Eve (day after tomorrow), and Sadie could go with him to get it. They would decorate the tree and the house on Christmas Eve, too, and she could help with everything. But there were many other things to do, such as baking cookies, popping and sugaring the popcorn, making candy, and so forth. And of course, Sadie could make a snowman and visit the animals at the barn with Granddad. It would be a grand time. And it was!

Many hands make light work. You can undertake several tasks when you have help. Shirley rolled the cookie dough and little Sadie helped cut gingerbread men. Meanwhile, Ethel began cooking her penuche (which she spelled “pinoche”) – brown sugar fudge. Ina went from one to the other, helping to roll or to stir, fixing lunch, taking care of details. 

After lunch, Jack came to the house with Vance's old sled and invited Sadie to accompany him to the mailbox. Sadie was delighted to go, and the bakers were all glad that she would be occupied elsewhere for a while. When the two returned from their errand, they brought ten Christmas cards and a box filled with gifts.

Sometime in the afternoon, the three women tired of kitchen activities and retired to the living room to watch daylight fade away. Sadie curled up beside her mother and went to sleep. KW


Chris said...

What a perfect Christmas story! And I know Sadie will love her doll.

Hallie said...

It's a bit tiring just reading about all the things they have to do!

Kathy said...

Tiring? I hope I haven't tired my readers. I've just tried to show a little of what Christmas was in that era. (And I've left out the part about the walk to the outhouse and the difficulties in washing the dishes -- or one's hands.) We should not forget the way people used to live.

Having a traditional Christmas, the way mothers did it back in the day, was a lot of work. The gathering of the family made it all worthwhile. I think it's still a lot of work for some people.