Christmas in Five Acts
Act I: Let it Snow…
If Currier and Ives had chosen the winter of 2009 for inspiration to make their legendary tins, their Christmas scenes would be very bleak. It has been mostly a gray winter with little snow cover. My hope for snow is simple insulation for our pasture and alfalfa ground, however a white Christmas would be fine. I don’t know that driving winds, sleet or poor driving conditions really bolster my Christmas spirit but you play the hand you’re dealt. Please be careful on the roads and call 4-1-1 for road conditions to avoid risking your life to get home.
Act II: The Christmas Midget
My mother in-law is Jeanette Walseth. Jeanette towers at a little less than five feet tall and has more Christmas spirit than three six footers; therefore I have always called her the Christmas Midget. At a time when most are just getting older, Jeanette seems to be gaining speed. About fifteen years ago, Jeanette wanted to celebrate Christmas with a lawn display. She didn’t buy the yard ornaments but instead purchased the plans, the paint and the plywood then spent several hours following a jigsaw around the outlines. When her neighbors heard the saw, they would stop to see what construction was going on in Santa’s Minnesota annex. She built a nativity scene, Santa’s sleigh, draft reindeer and huge plywood gifts for Santa’s sleigh all by herself. Over the years, she has made the display better and more focused and has tried to kill every one of her family members making us haul all of that well-built stuff from her garage.
Act III: Christmas Midget, subdivision 2
Jeanette brings treats to my workplace during the holidays. Dave Carlson bit into one of Jeanette’s spritz cookies after which I heard an audible gasp. He said it was one of the best cookies he’d ever tasted and requested the recipe. I figured this must be one intricate cookie recipe but here is the truth; it was a mistake. Jeanette was multi-tasking and accidentally added two extra cups of flour to the mix. Even Jeanette’s mistakes turn into Christmas miracles, she’s just that good.
1 Lbs butter, 1 C white sugar, 1 C powdered sugar, 1 egg and (the miraculous mistake) 4 ½ C flour. Reduce the flour for less toothsome texture, make a thumbprint in the middle prior to baking and place chocolate kiss post-oven; they are fantastic.
Act IV: Santa Brooch
I recently recovered a memory from my youth about a really neat Christmas brooch. This holiday badge was Santa’s face and featured a little light for his nose. There was a chain that you pulled whereupon his nose lit up; it was a fantastic icebreaker. I knew I was the coolest kindergartener in Newfolden when I wore that brooch. I loved Christmas, much like Ralphie from “the Christmas Story.” This reminds me, whatever happened to the “leg lamp” from the house on Riverside Avenue? I really miss seeing it, I guess I got used to its place in the holiday.
Act V: Ready for Christmas
I’ve hauled corn for burning, the cattle feeders are full of hay and the cattle are belly deep in straw. We’ve fed the birds, hung our stockings; placed every light on a timer and every snack on a cracker. We are ready for Christmas.