"The Perfect Christmas"
- The Simple Life
"The perfect Christmas exists only in our minds.
A simple Christmas is being content with what falls in our paths."
O holy night
The stars are shining brightly
It is the night of our dear Savior's birth
"The real things haven't changed. It is still best to be honest and
truthful; to make the most of what we have; to be happy with simple
pleasures; and have courage when things go wrong."~~Laura Ingalls
For nearly 2000 years people around the world have celebrated
Christmas. Santa and parties, gifts, twinkling lights, and ringing
bells cannot take away from the `real' meaning of Christmas.
A perfect Christmas is always in the back of our minds with
different traditions and foods, but still the same with love and
family central to us all. Come with me on a trip to a perfect
Christmas in Sandusky, MI, a Christmas my grandmother told me about
from the early 1910's. . (I visited my great-grandparents house as a
young girl, and will never forget it!)
Sunlight was bright through the window as she awoke. Mother
was calling. But it was so nice and warm under the feather-down
comforter. Suddenly she remembered it was Christmas. This thought
alone propelled my grandmother Dorothy from the bed. She probably
wore a long muslin nightgown, and her hair was crimped with rag-ties
to curl her straight-as-an-arrow hair. She could already smell the
cinnamon rolls baking. She tied her robe as she descended the wide
oak staircase. Her father George was outdoors tending to the
animals in the carriage house. Mother was peeling
potatoes. "Dorothy, why don't you finish these potatoes for me
while I make the eggs?".
"Sure, Mama." Was the answer, knowing that the sooner
breakfast was over, the sooner the gifts could be opened. Dorothy's
parents were sticklers on this, she knew. They were a proper
family, and they did things in a proper way.
"Dorothy, were the children stirring?" Mama asked. Not
waiting for a reply she went on, "It looks like a nice day for a
sleigh-ride to grandma's house." Dorothy peered outside again to
see the sun warming the frigid air. "Yes ma'am." She agreed. She
couldn't wait to see her cousins and maybe show off some of her new
"Dorothy, will you go up and help Donna and Claire? See
that they are up. These eggs are almost ready. Make sure their hair
is combed!" Papa was already coming in, shaking the snow off his
boots in the back room.
"Ho, Ho, Ho, Dorothy!"
"Papa, you're not Santa Claus!" She ran for a hug before
she went upstairs. Papa's cheeks were cold and prickly.
"Is breakfast ready, Mama?" She heard him ask as she
scampered from the kitchen. Mama was pouring his coffee. Dorothy
passed through the large dining room on her way to the staircase and
saw that the table was already set for breakfast with Mama's best
In no time, everyone was at the breakfast table. Papa took
out his reading glasses to read the Christmas story from Luke 2 and
after prayer Mama took the covers off the hot dishes. Mama made
sure everyone used their proper manners, especially on Christmas.
After breakfast and gift opening by the fireplace in the
parlor, everyone got dressed in their Sunday best, and bundled into
their warmest clothes for the trip to Grandmother's. Pies and gifts
were packed into the sleigh and everyone was bundled under warm lap
robes. There were warm bricks to keep their feet warm. Papa had
thought of everything! Mama had them singing Christmas Carols along
the way. They waved at the other sleighs they passed, on their
It seemed such a long ride to Grandmother's, but it was fun
to hear the sleigh bells and watch the muscles of the team, steaming
in the cool air. When they arrived at Grandmother's the team was
unhitched and blanketed for the afternoon, while everyone piled into
the house for good food and fun. Everyone filed past grandma for a
hug in the warm kitchen. In the afternoon there was sledding and
sliding for all the cousins on the pond. Papa and the uncles tested
the ice, first, of course.
It was dark before they headed home, and Donna the baby
was sound asleep before they reached home under the shining stars in
the cold night air.
* * *
"Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with
the angel, praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace to men and women on whom His favor rests."
"Do you see it? Each Christmas, God wants the glory. And
each Christmas, God wants to give us peace. Peace. In the midst of
your craziness and all the preparations, above all things, He wants
to fill your heart and life with peace."~~ Elisabeth Corcoran
* * *
Simple Red Velvet Cookies (or cake)
1 Box Duncan Hines Red Velvet Cake Mix
1/3 cup oil
Mix all ingredients together. This will make a cookie dough. Roll
into balls and place on a lightly greased cookie sheet. Flatten
down slightly (depending on the thickness you desire). Bake at 375°
until the tops crackle (about 8-10 minutes) or until desired
Cool and then frost with basic...
Cream Cheese Frosting
1 8 oz pkg cream cheese softened, 1/4 c stick margarine or butter
softened, 2 t milk,
1 t vanilla, 4 c powdered sugar. Beat cream cheese, margarine,
milk and vanilla in medium bowl with electric mixer on low speed
until smooth. Gradually beat in powdered sugar on low speed, 1 cup
at a time, until smooth and spreadable. Frosts one 13 × 9-inch cake
generously, or fills and frosts one 8- or 9-inch two-layer cake.
Keeping it Simple,