Christmas memories

Elma - This joyous season has been an amazing time of memories past and present at Colonial Manor of Elma.  Happiness is shared by all when family traditions are shared. There is great excitement in the air as Christmas gets closer.
Della Mitchell remembered, “Mom would have special baking done and always have that ready. We would go down to Jerry and Margaret’s house, where they had part of the meal done, and we would do the rest. The whole family would be together.”
Her best memory of a Christmas present was a rosary. “We got mostly clothes for Christmas. We would always go to later evening mass. Mom made clothes for all the girls and rolled everyone’s hair with bobby pins. She had so many compliments for fixing the girls up.”
Norma Butler noted, “We stayed at home. Grandpa, Grandma, aunts and uncles would come to the house. We had food of all kinds. We had turkey and ham.” They also had German potato salad. Favorite candies included “candy canes, fruit cake and we liked it.” When Santa came to their house, she “always had a big doll for Christmas.”
Fran Conrad said, “We had oyster stew for Christmas Eve. We had everybody for Christmas Eve. We could not afford candies.” Sugar cookies were a favorite
Flossie Clark recalled,  “We always got together on Christmas Eve and had oyster stew. Then cheese, sausage and crackers.” She enjoyed pickled herring. “Only a few liked and took it.
 “We always did midnight mass. We would get into the procession that took the statue of Jesus to the altar. All our friends were there. We looked forward to Christmas and everything that came with it. It is amazing. I hope the tradition lives on.”
Lois Friedrich-Flugge stated, “The family got together. As a child we went to church. Then Christmas Eve we would drive around town to see the Christmas lights. Then we saw if Santa came to our home. Christmas is not Christmas if we do not go to church.”
Kathleen Thiele remembered, ”We always sang in the chorus and always had a Christmas tree. We had our stockings on the rocking chair because we did not have a fireplace, and I got an orange and an apple in it.”
They left crackers and cheese for Santa. They also made homemade candy and popcorn balls. “One year we strung popcorn on a string. We always made divinity, fudge and popcorn balls. We would sing at Christmas mass and Christmas morning.”
As for presents, Thiele said, “One year I got three yards of plaid material. Mother made me a dress. There was not a lot of money in those days. It was a pretty dress, made of blue plaid. I went to a country school. We had a Christmas program at school. I got to sing ‘O Holy Night.’ My dad used to take me to school across the field with the team and sled.”
Linda Kasel recalled, “We always went to church on Christmas Eve. Mom would dress us up in dresses, and my brother would wear a suit. Santa would always put presents under the tree. When we woke up, we would tell Mom and Dad that Santa came.
“We went to Grandma’s for dinner. She made us homemade rolls. They were very good. She would roll them out and everything. There would be ham and roast beef. She would boil potatoes and mash them up. There would be a couple different salads. She would make the cut-out cookies that I loved.”
Jane Sullivan shared, “When teaching second grade, we had little programs. We had a little Christmas party generally. The kids liked it. We had mass, always. My mother was a terrific cook. We had a big meal at night. We had a lot of chicken because we lived on the farm. We had pork and beef. We ate very well. I remember the excitement of the gifts.”
The smiles of the residents of the Colonial Manor of Elma and their staff bring smiles to all the faces who come in contact with their Christmas spirit.

Cresco Times

Phone: 563-547-3601
Fax: 563-547-4602

Cresco TPD
214 N. Elm Street
Cresco, IA 52136

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