Rural Nebraska Christmas Memories by LoRee Perry
As the oldest of seven children, my Christmas memories are crowded, and raucous. One year stands out as uniquely quiet. I was snowed in with my neighbor friend, Cheryl Backhuus, we were down with measles. We spent quiet times together mostly talking or playing board games that were easy on the eyes.
I imagined the town kids going through the Sunday school program at church, without us country kids. I pictured them all lined up in the basement of the old Grace Lutheran Church . The youngest ascended first, the eighth-graders bringing up the rear. They would enter singing “Oh Come All Ye Faithful.” I remember those nights as magical times of music, while we celebrated the birth of the Baby Jesus. The service would then end when Pastor Carl Pullman, an Irish tenor sang, “Oh Holy Night.”
All of a sudden, during a game of Chinese checkers in Cheryl’s living room, we heard the loud stamping of boots on the porch.
Cheryl’s dad, Orville, bounded through the door with his arms full of gifts for me! He spilled a yarn that Santa had dropped them off in his helicopter. Actually, my dad had trekked a half mile over packed snow drifts in a sub-zero windchill to bring them to me. Cheryl and I were too smart for our dads—we had heard no helicopter.
I have wonderful childhood memories of the farm, that country school, and my home church. We were snowed in a lot and loved it. Could be a Christmas program or two at the school was postponed because of snow.
The Grace Lutheran building of my childhood was a postcard picture of a little white steepled church. It gave way to an A-frame where I sang a solo on dedication day.
Blessings to you as you build Christmas memories for those you love.
A lifelong Nebraskan, LoRee Peery has lived most of her life in the country, where she feels grounded in her sense of place. She learned to read when she was four and has devoured books since. She values one-on-one time with her grandchildren and loves time spent with other writers.
LoRee clings to the word overcomer and the knowledge she has victory in Jesus. When she considers being set apart as a child of God, she is humbled. She feels closest to the Lord when she worships through singing. And one thing she’s sure of: “Jesus loves me, this I know. And He will never let me go.”
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