Farmhouse Christmas – Life on the Farm

Farmhouse Christmas ….

Farmhouse Christmas

Childhood memories of our farmhouse Christmas remain forever in my heart. It was so many years ago that the nine of us celebrated and kept generations of tradition, yet it seems like only yesterday, for the memories are vivid. If I close my eyes and go into the silence, I can hear the chatter of us kids, gleeful expressions and giggles from baby sister, Mom and Dad reminiscing and laughing, and see our home lit up with color and the warmth of love.

Nothing pleased Dad more than sitting in his stuffed armchair watching us kids play around the huge Christmas tree, trying to sneak peeks at name tags on presents. We thought we were so clever, looking sideways, pretending to fall down as close to the tree as possible, dropping something by a wrapped box  so we could bend down and peek at the name, whisper to each other – oh, so sly were we. But, Dad was always one up on us. I swear that dear man was as magical and wise as Santa. He knew everything that was going on, never missed a trick. He could even read our minds and shock us into silence when he  said things like, “I know what you are thinking and it ain’t going to get you anywhere.” Oh! Dear Father was truly magical.

When we would get too boisterous or antsy, Dad would tell us to sit down and listen to a story. That would pull us away from shenanigans and calm us down, for a story from Dad was always a gift. He would tell us the story of Joseph, Mary and baby Jesus with such vivid imagery in words and actions that  we could easily see the manger and see the animals gather near. The dark night with the Heavenly star shone brightly for us as its long tail guided the kings to see baby Jesus. Dad used his hands, arms and facial expression to empathize certain phrases in the story. We were enthralled.

Sometimes, Dad would take parts of many stories to come up with his own version of a delightful story. If Toby, our beloved German Shepherd, was on his best behavior he was allowed to lay in the middle of our circle on the floor. Often Toby became the donkey at the manger as Dad pointed to him and said, “The donkey lay quietly by the cradle, watching the three kings approach.” Yes, Toby was very much a part of our farmhouse Christmas. If he stood up to stretch, he became a king, bowing to baby Jesus.

The stories made us sleepy as we gazed at Dad, listening to every word. Mom was always in tune with Dad on timing. When he finished his last story she was there at the kitchen door, calling us in to the table where a plate of cookies and mugs of hot chocolate awaited us. Often, the youngest siblings would doze off at the table. When it was bedtime we all went back to the parlor to stand around the tree holding hands as Dad said prayers for us. Those Christmas tree lights and ornaments became shining stars that would follow us into dreamland. Little ones were carried to their beds and tucked in. The rest of us fell up the stairs to find our cozy beds. A visit from Mom and Dad to each of us sent us off to slumber with stories and stars running through our dreams.

Our farmhouse Christmas was always so special and lives on in beloved memories. I love you, Mom and Dad. I feel you so close in spirit, especially at this time of year.

© 2016 Phyllis Doyle Burns

Phyllis Doyle Burns
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Phyllis Doyle Burns

I am an author on TCE and write mainly in poetry and short stories. I have always liked to write. It is important to me that writing comes from my heart and soul. When writing poetry, if I do not feel a spiritual connection to what I am writing on, I will discard it and go on to something I can connect with on a spiritual level. I live in the moment, I write from the past or beyond the veil. When writing fiction I go with whatever inspires me at the moment - it could be funny, sorrowful, romantic or sometimes done with the use of colloquial language from mountain folk or other cultural regions. I began writing content online in 2007, starting with BellaOnline - A Voice For Women, where I was the Native American Editor, Folklore & Mythology Editor, and the Appalachian Editor. I also wrote articles for The Examiner, Daily Two Cents, and Yahoo. I am currently an author on HubPages. Most of what I write takes a lot of research and I love it. Even if it is a fictional story, I will research for accuracy in whatever it takes to make my characters, their era, their location, etc. become realistic to the reader. I hope you enjoy my works. Thank you for visiting.

8 thoughts on “Farmhouse Christmas – Life on the Farm

  • December 23, 2016 at 6:29 AM

    This is a wonderful post, Phyllis. Reminiscing on childhood Christmases is something I often do as well. I was always the first to awake on Christmas morning and would wake my brother and sister to open presents. We spent most Christmases at our grandmother’s house.

    • December 23, 2016 at 2:40 PM

      Thank you, John. Remembering those childhood days is always so enjoyable. Your grandmother must have loved having you all there for Christmas.

  • December 23, 2016 at 4:43 PM

    A beautiful memoir Phyllis, of those cherished childhood Christmases that still warm our hearts. So warm and emotive and absolutely beautiful.

  • December 23, 2016 at 5:10 PM

    Such warm memories you have shared here Phyllis..I really enjoyed reading these precious Christmas traditions of your family written in beautiful words..Thank you so much for sharing..

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