The Home to Heather Creek editor reflects on her Nebraska farm family traditions.
This week, enjoy guest blogger Kristin Eckhardt, author of A Patchwork Christmas.
Living on a farm means doing chores every day of the year, weekends and holidays included. That means we always celebrate Christmas at home and I cherish the special memories we’ve made over the years.
The Christmas Eve tradition in our family is to attend the church Christmas pageant, then come home and cook up a big batch of popcorn to eat while we watch It’s a Wonderful Life. This classic Christmas tale teaches a wonderful lesson about how each of us can be a blessing to others, often in ways we don’t even realize. When the angel Clarence comes to earth, he teaches George Bailey how different the world would be without him. It’s a reminder that God has a plan for each of us and that riches should be counted in friends and family, not in dollars and cents.
When I began writing A Patchwork Christmas, so many memories came rushing back to me. Most brought smiles and a few brought tears, but all of them are dear to my heart. I remember one church Christmas pageant when my son, a shy 10-year-old, sang a solo as one of the three kings. I was so nervous for him. You have to understand that singing doesn’t come naturally in our family. In fact, most of us can’t carry a tune. So I held my breath as my son began walking slowly down the aisle in church, singing his assigned verse. When he didn’t miss a note, I could finally breathe again and I knew the experience was one that neither of us would ever forget. He’d had the courage to try something new and he’d succeeded. That was my inspiration for Christopher’s solo in A Patchwork Christmas and his anxiety about singing in front of the entire congregation.
Writing A Patchwork Christmas was a wonderful way for me to share some of our Nebraska farm family traditions. Many of these traditions have been passed down through the generations. My son’s father participated in our church’s Christmas pageant when he was a boy, as did his grandfather. They sang the same songs and recited the same Bible verses. It’s a timeless tradition of love and faith in our church family.
We’ll enjoy a white Christmas in Nebraska this year and now that my children are young adults, the best gift they can give me is coming home for the holidays. I hope this Christmas season brings you joyful moments and many warm memories to cherish for years to come.