‘Christmas was coming. The little log house was almost buried in snow.
The days were clear and bright. Laura and Mary stood on chairs by the window and looked out across the glittering snow at the glittering trees.
Ma was busy all day long, cooking good things for Christmas. She baked salt-rising bread and rye ‘n’ Injun bread, and Swedish crackers, and a huge pan of baked beans, with salt pork and molasses. She baked vinegar pies and dried-apple pies, and filled a big jar with cookies, and she let Laura and Mary lick the cake spoon.
When night came they were too excited to sleep. But they must sleep, or Santa Claus would not come. So they hung their stockings by the fireplace, and said their prayers, and went to bed – Alice and Ella and Mary and Laura all in one big bed on the floor.
In the morning they all woke up almost at the same moment. They looked at their stockings, and something was in them. Santa Claus had been there. Alice and Ella and Mary and Laura in their red flannel nightgowns and Peter in his red flannel nightshirt, all ran shouting to see what he had brought. In each stocking there was a pair of bright red mittens, and there was a long, flat stick of red-and-white striped peppermint candy, all beautifully notched along each side. They were all so happy they could hardly speak at first. They just looked with shining eyes at those lovely Christmas presents.’
I started Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder last night; the first in the Little House on the Prairie series. What a beautiful book it is, about a simple life in a simpler time, when life was lived in small communities, families pulled together, when food was sourced not from the supermarket, but from the natural environment outside your own front door, and happiness was playing outside all day with handmade toys, rather than sitting indoors in front of a computer screen. It is making me feel all warm and fuzzy inside, and the description of Christmas is the icing on an already delicious cake. The only downside is that it has made me feel horribly homesick for my own little family, who will start to gather tomorrow for Christmas. I know my mum’s house will be filled with Christmas music, the smells of cooking, sparkling fairy lights, and the sounds of my excited nephews pleading to be allowed to open presents. Despite my own exciting Christmas plans, I do wish I could be with them, after four months of not seeing anyone except on a web camera. However, judging from the state of the British transport system, I doubt I’d make it home anyway, even if I managed to get a flight!
I won’t have time to post again now before Christmas, so I shall take this opportunity to wish you all a wonderful Christmas; enjoy the food, fun and time with your families, and I hope Father Christmas brings you some special treats!