Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Christmas Dinner

The wind was blowing the newly fallen snow and whipping it up into pretty drifts. Every morning Daddy would have to go outside and shovel the snow from the driveway in case any customers wanted to come.

This was New Year's morning and he was once again shovelling snow but only a path so we could walk to the buggy without getting a lot of snow inside our boots. Mom was putting the finishing touches on several platters of snack foods and candy and checking to make sure the Cut Glass pudding looked just right. My brothers and I were dressed in our new clothes that we had received for Christmas and were excitedly waiting until Daddy would get Jim hitched to the buggy and we could go to Grandpa Masts for the Mast Christmas dinner.

When he drove up we saw he had tied our new sleds to the back of the buggy. We all climbed into the buggy. John and David asked if they could sit on the sleds and ride to Grandpa's that way. Daddy gave them permission and they jumped out of the buggy and got situated on their sleds.

Jim started up the hill. The buggy wheels squealed their noisy song as they cut through the snow. I was happy to stay inside the buggy with Mom and Daddy and only peep out the back window to watch John and David enjoying their sled ride.

After we got to Grandpa's Mom and I hurried through the cold into the house where the aunts were all busy helping aunt Emma and Grandma cook, the menfolk were all sitting in the living room visiting and the cousins were in Vernie's bedroom playing. I went to join them and we played games until we were called to get ready to eat.

Grandma's table was stretched out to it's full length and there was room for everyone to sit at it. The table fairly groaned under the weight of all the good food, because every one's favorite dish had been prepared. I tried to look at everything to pick out the things I thought looked best as there was no possible way to be able to taste everything.

Once everyone was seated we all looked at Grandpa to see when he was ready to ask the blessing. He would bow his head and everyone else did also. I used to wonder if he either fell asleep or tried to name all the food on the table. It seemed his prayer wouldn't end. I used to peep several times to see if he still has his head bowed. My neck would start creaking and I thought I just can't sit here like this any longer when we finally heard Grandpa's loud sigh signalling that his prayer was done.

Everyone looked up and started passing the food around the table. The grown ups resumed their conversations and I felt warm and cozy as my plate filled up with delicious things and the noise of all the happy families surrounded me.

After we were done eating it was time to clean everything away. Aunt Vernie, cousins Emma and Esther and I would stack the dirty dishes on the sink while Mom and the aunts would divide the leftovers to be sent home with each family and the boys were outside riding their sleds. Once everything in the kitchen was cleaned up we would all sit in the living room where we sang all the Christmas carols that we knew.

Once we were done singing. Grandma would hand out paper plates and then Emma, Esther, and I would each take a platter of snacks and carefully carry it into the living room and take it from person to person letting them pick out any snacks they wanted to try. There were lots of platters since every family brought at least three. Once every platter had been passed around we would fill our own plates and sit in the living room and listen to the grown ups conversations.

There were no gifts. But just being with family and all the good food made the Mast Christmas dinner an event I looked forward to each year.


  1. The lack of commercialism is refreshing to me. In general, Americans rely way too much on the number and quality of gifts to count their blessings -- when, really, the blessing is in being together with those we love.
    Beautiful memories.

  2. What a wonderful Christmas Family Dining! When I was a child we visited the week of Christmas to New Years. It started Christmas Eve at my mother's parents. Christmas Night was at my Daddy's oldest brother's house which had my other grandparent's home (they were then decease). Sunday after Christmas was at my Grandmother's mother's house. New Year's Day was at my Grandfather's cousin's house. Always loads of food...turkey, goose, duck,ham, beef, every vegetable, stuffing, dressing, piles of pies and tons of cakes.

  3. That was GREAT! I liked how you all were listening to the adult conversations ~ that was always my favorite part. Isn't it funny how we still remember the smells and tastes of our childhood favorite foods? I'll never forget my grandma's honey-butter on biscuits and she's been gone a long time. Neat post and neat memory ~ ♥

  4. What beautiful memories you have to share. I enjoy reading your posts.

  5. What fond, warm memories. I have my own Christmas Eve Dinner memories from my childhood. It saddens me that we no longer have that anymore. My grandfather is too far gone in dementia and it's too much for dear grandma. My brother is a minister and is occupied Christmas Eve with the evening service. Regardless, we are coming up with our own traditions and developing memories for our children to cherish. I do really miss those pierogies, though.

  6. It sounds like such a wonderful, family time. Thank you so much for sharing your lovely memories.

  7. Thank You for sharing your wonderful family stories.

  8. That sounds good to me!!!! No pressure, just love and family!
    Margaret B

  9. Lovely, merci!


  10. This sounds like a perfectly wonderful Christmas celebration. I remember spending Christmas Eve's at my grandma's small farm with all my aunties, uncles and cousins. There is certainly something special about being with family especially at this blessed time of year.
    Thank you once again for sharing one of your precious memories with us.

  11. I love that the boys got to ride their sleds on the back of the buggy, and that there was so much food you had to choose. We are rich indeed in this nation!

    Bless you,
    Audience of ONE

  12. Thank you for sharing a firsthand account of an Amish Christmas Dinner. I love visiting Lancaster County, but haven't connected with Amish people on a one-to-one basis.

    Christian Writer/Reader Connection


Thank you so much for taking time to comment. I love hearing your thoughts.