When I saw the P&D request for Christmas recipes/traditions, I just had to smile. I loved Christmas as a kid.

Our one issue, I remember quite well, was the fact that Santa Claus was not an item for us. We were taught that it was the baby Jesus that blessed us with the gifts.

So on Christmas Eve, after supper, us kids would get all bundled up and head outside to sing to the animals, for on that Eve, it was the animals that breathed warmth to help keep the baby Jesus warm in the manger. This was our way of thanking them.

(And so it was during this time of song, that mom and dad were in the house, arranging all the gifts under the tree. Makes me smile every time I think about their teaching vs scheming.)

When we came in the house, the lights were low, and the tree was all lit up with a ton of tinsel hanging on every branch. All the presents, candy and nuts were added to the magical splendor. What a sight!

The whole concept of what my parents taught me about Christmas remains strong in my heart yet today. I struggle with the holiday of today with all its commercialism; it’s not very attractive. Outward, it is not my favorite, but in my heart, mom and dad gave me the knowledge of a real Christmas, and that’s what carries me through the season. Those days were so simple, yet, so powerful.