Her father and Uncle Peter each had a pair of new, warm mittens, knit in little squares of red and white. Her mother and Aunt Eliza had made them.
Aunt Eliza had brought Laura's mother a large red apple stuck full of cloves. How good it smelled! And it would not spoil, for so many cloves would keep it good and sweet.
Laura's Mother gave Aunt Eliza a little needle-book she had made, with bits of silk for covers and soft white cloth pages into which to stick the needles. The cloth would keep the needles from rusting. They all admired mother's beautiful shelf and Aunt Eliza said that Uncle Peter had made one for her - of course, with different pictures cut into them.
Santa Claus had not given them anything at all. Santa Claus did not give grown people presents, but that was not because they had not been good. Her father and mother were good. It was because they were grown up and grown people must give each other presents.
Then all the presents must be put away for a little while. Her cousin Peter went out with her father and Uncle Peter to do the house work. Alice and Ella helped Aunt Eliza make the beds. Laura and Mary set all the plates and cups and knifes and spoons and forks on the table, while her mother got breakfast.
The original old English Christmas was a pagan (non-Christian) holiday, with its name changed. About 400 years ago in England there were strict Christians called Puritans. They believed in Christianity from the Bible and not what priests said. Puritans read the Bible for themselves. The Puritans ruled England in the mid-seventeenth century, under the Lord Protector Oliver Cromwell. They passed a law against Christmas. Many of the Englishmen to first immigrate to the American colonies were Puritans. So in early America many Christians did not celebrate Christmas, unless they had children. The early American Christmas celebrations in families like Laura's were a simple family party. Christmas was not the big shopping holiday it is today.
The Little House in the Big Woods
Chapter 1 - Part 1: Introduction
Chapter 1 - Part 2: Wolves in the Night
Chapter 1 - Part 4: Smoked Meat
Chapter 1 - Part 5: Food for Winter
Chapter 1 - Part 6: Butchering Time
Chapter 1 - Part 7: After Butchering Time
Chapter 1 - Part 9: Winter Night
Chapter 1 - Part 10: About the Author & Where to Find the Book
Chapter 2 - Part 1: Winter Days and Winter Nights
Chapter 2 - Part 2: Jack Frost
Chapter 2 - Part 3: Laura and Mary Helped Mother with the Housework
Chapter 2 - Part 4: Churn on Thursday
Chapter 2 - Part 5: The Best Time of All
Chapter 2 - Part 6: Her Father Began to Play his Fiddle and Sing
Chapter 2 - Part 7: Father Told Stories
Chapter 2 - Part 8 - The Story of Grandfather and the Panther
Chapter 3 - Part 1: Introduction (The Long Rifle)
Chapter 3 - Part 2: Making Bullets
Chapter 3 - Part 3: Cleaning the Gun
Chapter 3 - Part 4: Loading the Gun
Chapter 3 - Part 5: Where and Why to Keep a Gun
Chapter 3 - Part 6: The Story of her Father and the Voice in the Forest Part 1
Chapter 3 - Part 7: The Story of her Father and the Voice in the Forest Part 2
Chapter 4 - Part 1: Christmas in the Forest
Chapter 4 - Part 2: Making a Gift for his Wife
Chapter 4 - Part 3: Christmas is Coming
Chapter 4 - Part 4: Children Make Pictures in the Snow
Chapter 4 - Part 5: Prince & the Blue Dress (part 1 of 3)
Chapter 4 - Part 6: Prince & the Blue Dress (part 2 of 3)
Chapter 4 - Part 7: Prince & the Blue Dress (part 3 of 3)
Chapter 4 - Part 8: Christmas Morning
Chapter 4 - Part 9: Santa Claus Only Gives Presents to Children
Chapter 4 - Part 10: Breakfast, Dinner and Goodbye
by John Larrysson
A native English speaker who has been teaching practical English in Hong Kong for over two decades.
NOTE: This summer story will be published every Wednesday.
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