Casey Jones, early 1970's, Minnesotans of a "certain age" will remember him from local tv
One thing I didn't anticipate when we moved to Big Stone County was what an all out community celebration Christmas is. The grownups in the community join together to give the kids a truly delightful Christmas. This year our family has enjoyed:
• Another original holiday score composed by the school's music teacher Mrs. Ragan and performed by the elementary students. My review-- Excellent, witty, and moving.
• A modern and funny church Christmas program (thank you Janine, Maria, Lori, Kristi, Sandy, Melisa!!!) followed by a Luther League dinner, coffee, and a live Nativity that included goats and donkeys. We stood outside the church, just off Hwy 75, the King of Trails that runs from the Mexico border into Canada, in -7 degree weather. Teenage "angel" Kendra begging her petit grandmother to intervene and get her out of the cold.
• Santa Claus came to Clinton and the business community put on a bingo party for the kids with nice toys and prizes.
• Eidskog Lutheran had their annual hymn sing just down the road (the closest rural church to our farm).
• Last night with all the lights out except the Christmas tree the kids put on a Christmas program they had been practicing for days... Complete with drummer boys, babe in a manager, dancing princess at a ball (?)
• Top it off with a blizzard, wood smoke, snowshoes, and every abundances of the early 21st century
I make the kids sing this song (you simply must click here--) Just a Little Lefse in order to get a piece of lefse. I learned this song on my mother's knee--perhaps an homage to my biological culture. Please keep in mind that I'm a Scandinavian raised by Germans in the days when Lutheran Social Services still did cross cultural adoptions.
On Christmas Eve I was steaming king crab legs (bought at Bonnie's Grocery on Mainstreet Clinton) when Alma walked into the kitchen and said "are you cooking lutefisk?" I'm raising children who are more familiar with the smell of lutefisk than King Crab.
I have become an apologist for Christmas- an apologist in the meaning of a defender. Back around 1998 I mothballed all the Christmas cards that said "Merry Christmas." Christmas was out of style- replaced by the generic Happy Holidays. It was decidedly uncool to hale Christmas. Those cards are coming out this year- I may even get them addressed today!
This year I've had the Christmas that nostalgia is made of.