Unabashedly Christmas


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.


I remember the Casey Jones song but not the lefsa one. Tell Alma and the boys that the show must be put on again when we get togther for christmas. Sounds like a good time.

We had one of your chickens for our Christmas dinner last night. It was incredibly good. Next year, remind me to buy more from you. Hope you're enjoying the blizzard that we hear you are having out there...

Ach, ya!!!

Reading between the lines, Kathy, your family is one happy crew. You are definitly building community.
Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, too......waiting for the mail and your greeting card.

Merry Christmas Kathy. I remember the feeling that you are experiencing....I just didn't appreciate it as much back then but I really do appreciate the memories and I'm grateful to you for taking me back down the wonderful memory lane. PS...thanks so much for the video feed today. I absolutely loved it....wish I could have it on tape to watch over and over. Especially loved the song in front of the Christas tree and Lake pulling Jens' head down on his shoulder...so sweet!! Love you all!!

Never knew that song but enjoyed it now. Did you growup with rye lefse or potato lefse? It sounds like our home town is the same as it was back in the 50's. Perfectly lovely!


I didn't grow up with any lefse-- just songs about it! We never ate any at home.

I do remember once in high school making potato lefse with the women at church.

And Corrine- you should know that outside this family no one has ever heard of rye lefse that I've ever met.


Lunch With Casey was a show I first watched on a regular basis growing up in Edina. We watched this on old fashioned video tape at Christmas time. We also had a huge old fashioned snow storm which lasted 3 days here in the cities.
Love to you, Mike and your beautiful babies.

Many thanks for discussing such an insightful article with all of us. I’ve bookmarked your blog will come back for a re-read again. Keep up the good work.

Do not argue Knowledge is power, and power corrupts. So study hard and be evil.

I always enjoy reading Christmas stories. I guess you could say my family and I are "Christmas nerds" because we look forward to it all year long and even play Christmas music all year round.

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This page contains a single entry by Kathryn Draeger published on December 26, 2009 6:37 AM.

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