For breakfast there were pancakes and her mother made a pancake shaped like a man for each one of the children. Her mother called each one in turn to bring her plate. Each child could stand by the stove and watch, while with a spoonful of pancake batter her mother put on the arms and the legs and the head. It was exciting to watch her turn the whole little man over, quickly and carefully, in a hot frying pan. When it was done, she put it hot on the plate.
Cousin Peter ate the head off his little man, right away. But Alice and Ella and Mary and Laura ate theirs slowly in little bits, first the arms and legs and then the middle, saving the head for the last.
On Christmas Day the weather was so cold that they could not play outdoors, but there were the new mittens to admire and the candy to lick. They all sat on the floor together and looked at the pictures in the Bible. They looked at the pictures of all kinds of animals and birds in her father's big green book. Laura kept Charlotte in her arms the whole time.
Then there was the Christmas dinner (in the middle of the day – Dinner vs. Supper). Alice and Ella and Peter and Mary and Laura did not say a word at the table, because they knew that children should be seen and not heard. But they did not need to ask for second helpings. Her mother and Aunt Eliza kept their plates full and let them eat all the good things they could hold.
“Christmas comes but once a year,” said Aunt Eliza.
Christmas dinner was early, because Aunt Eliza, Uncle Peter and the cousins had such a long way to go. “That is the best the horses can do,” Uncle Peter said, “we'll hardly make it home before dark.”
So as soon as they had eaten dinner, Uncle Peter and her father went to put the horses to the sleigh, while her mother and Aunt Eliza wrapped up the cousins.
They pulled on heavy woolen socks with their shoes. They put mittens on their hands. They wore coats to keep them warm. And warm hoods covered their heads, while shawls were on their shoulders. They wrapped mufflers around their necks and thick woolen veils over their faces. Her mother slipped a hot baked potato into each of their pockets to keep their fingers warm. Aunt Eliza's flatirons were hot on the stove, ready to put at their feet in the sleigh. The blankets and the quilts and the buffalo robes were warmed, too.
So they all got into the big sleigh, comfortable and warm. Her father tucked the last robe well in around them.
“Good-bye! Good-bye!” they called and off the sleigh went. The horses walked happily and the sleigh bells were ringing.
In just a little while the merry sound of the bells was gone and Christmas was over. But what a happy Christmas it had been!