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A Simple Christmas

by:  Blanche L. Ledford (My mother is the writer of this short story).

During the Great Depression, we celebrated Christmas in a simple way.  The Blue Ridge Mountains blocked contact with the outside world.  We had no shopping malls and looked forward to getting the Sears and Roebuck catalog in the mail box.

My siblings, Oma, George, Mary Lou, Frank, Hubby, and Helen fought to look at the Christmas catalog.  Mama often had to settle the dispute by hiding the wish book.

I selected a doll from the catalog.  I begged Mama to order it for Christmas.  She smiled and said, "Santa's keeping a list of who's naughty and nice."

The weeks preceding Christmas were filled with anticipation.  We drew names at Ogden School and exchanged presents.  The grade mothers brought refreshments for the party and school turned until after New Year's Day.

That night nature spread a sheet across the hills and hollows of Brasstown, North Carolina.  After breakfast, we kids headed outside to build a snowman.  My brother, George, dared me to run around the house barefooted in the snow.  Fool like, I took him up and pulled off my brogans and headed through the deep snow.  It took a long, long time to warm up my frozen feet before the fireplace.

The girls scooped a big dishpan of snow and made cream for us young'uns.  We popped corn and strung it together to trim our Christmas tree that Daddy and the boys got in the woods.  Mary Lou placed a bird's nest on the limbs of the pine.  Oma and I put candles on the branches and held little Hubby as she put a star at the top of our tree.

On Christmas morning, we young'uns raced into the living room.  Our stockings were filled with oranges, apples, hazel nuts, and candy canes.  When we opened our presents under the tree, I was delighted that Santa brought me a doll!

Daddy read from the Bible about the birth of baby Jesus as we sang Christmas carols around the fireplace.  Our mountain home was filled with cheer as we celebrated the birth of the Christ child with a simple Christmas.


I wish all my blogger friends a very Merry Christmas and a blessed New Year!


magnoliasntea said…
Your Christmas past sounds very much like my own. I had to smile when you were dared to run in the snow and took off your brogans because I wore them, also. I always wanted loafers, but brogans were what I usually got.
Merry Christmas to you, Brenda!
Susie Swanson said…
Oh Wow, this brings back so many memories. I too, loved our simple Christmas. Tell your mother many thanks for sharing her precious memories with us. She's an excellent writer just like you. Merry Christmas to you both.
Perhaps it was a simple Christmas, but how filled with the real meaning of Christmas it was! Thank you and your mother for sharing this. Merry Christmas!
Daisy said…
Beautiful photos, Brenda! I enjoyed the story by your mother too. Wishing you both a wonderful Christmas!
Cattails said…
What a wonderful read; oh if we could all return to a simpler time where the true meaning of Christmas is not lost.
God bless you both this Christmas.
TexWisGirl said…
the joy of family and simple traditions. :)
Janet, said…
I enjoyed your mother's story. It reminds me of the Walton's Homecoming movie. Mary Ellen also put a bird nest on the tree. Merry Christmas to you and your mother.
lil red hen said…
This was so soothing to me in this day of hustle and bustle. How I long for the love that was in the simple Christmas days of bygone years. Tell your mother she wrote a wonderful Christmas story.
Glenda C. Beall said…
I love Blanche's stories and this one was especially meaningful for me. When I was small, we had simple Christmases, also. It was all about family and being together, church and Christmas hymns, lots of love.
Merry Christmas to Blanche and to you, Brenda. I always enjoy reading your blog and seeing wonderful photographs.
This is classic in so many ways. I so enjoyed the story and giving us memories in our minds which we experienced also.

Joan Ellen Gage said…
I enjoyed the story of your Christmas as a young girl. Sometimes the simple things are the best, and bring the most joy!
Janet, said…
Hi Brenda. Just came over to wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas!
NCmountainwoman said…
I loved the story of Christmas which sounds very much like that of my own parents. My father said his favorite gift was an orange since they didn't ever get them any other time.

But I am totally taken with that fabulous quilt. Oh, it is gorgeous!

Have a wonderful Christmas.
Your simple Christmas was so heart warming to read and makes me long for simple Christmas times like that! Wishing you a Happy New Year!

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