“And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins.”
— St. Matthew, Chapter one, verse 21
Jesus is the reason for the season and I hope everyone has a blessed and joyful one filled with the memories of family and friends and the hope for the future.
My memories are of family coming together Christmas Eve, the events at church, especially the Christmas program and the reenactment of the birth of Jesus. I remember the many ladies that were Sunday school teachers that guided us not only through the Holy Season, but the entire year of religious events. I remember the Christmas Program and events at school and the great time with all of my classmates.
As for the family, it was Christmas evening and the gathering at mother’s parents’ home in Hersey. My Norwegian grandmother had prepared all of her great foods associated with Christmas. Besides the sweets, lefsa and other goodies that went along with meatballs, ham and Lutefisk.
Lutefisk, it’s better with butter, and as a youngster I stayed away from the white piece of fish. As I grew older, I acquired a taste for it and enjoy it at this time of the year. However, there are not many left in my family that will even try a taste of it.
Grandmother always boiled it and as soon as you opened the car door at her home, you got a smell of it boiling in her kitchen. My two uncles, grandma’s son-in-laws told her: “Mother, throw the water (which she was using to make the lutefisk in) under the porch to keep the skunks away.”
It was at their home that I found out that Santa Claus was not from the North Pole, but it was Grandpa dressed up as Santa. Grandma’s sister from Duluth came to visit at Christmas time and she was always dressed to the what my mother called the “ninth,” meaning that it was about as best that could be.
Well anyway, Aunt Martha was all dressed in her Sunday go to meeting clothes, fancy dress, jewelry, high heals, but the bathroom facilities, back in those days, was the two holer out back.
Aunt Martha left the house to go out back over the snowdrifts to use the facility. On the way back she got stuck in the snow and broke off both high heals, which required Grandpa, dressed as Santa, to go fetch her and carry her back to the house and as I watched it unfold, it was Grandpa, dressed as Santa.
It is my hope that everyone will have a great and blessed Christmas season and pray for your family, friends, neighbors, those serving in the military, our community and our country, world peace, and remember those who are less fortunate.
Thanks for reading! ~ Carlton