LOVING OUR OLD-FASHION FARM CHRISTMAS CELEBRATION!

   CHRISTMAS IS CELEBRATED IN FRANKENMUTH YEAR ROUND.   BRONNER’S IS THE LARGEST CHRISTMAS STORE IN THE WORLD; IT’S ABOUT FIVE MILES FROM OUR FARM.  FOUNDER WALLY BRONNER WAS A LIFE-LONG FRIEND OF MY FATHER-IN-LAW, ELMER.  CHRISTMAS MUSIC, SNOW, SANTA, GLITTERY BULBS, LIGHTS, AND MORE THAN ONE HUNDRED CHRISTMAS TREES FILL THE FIVE ACRE STORE.  

    WALLY BRONNER AND MY IN-LAWS KNEW THAT CHRISTMAS IS MUCH MORE THAN SANTA AND PRETTY TREES.  SEVEN GENERATIONS OF WEISSES HAVE WORSHIPPED IN ST. LORENZ LUTHERAN CHURCH.    GENERATIONS COME AND GO, BUT OUR GOD IS FOREVER.  GOD PROMISES TO KEEP US, TO PROVIDE FOR US, TO SAVE US; WE BELIEVE HIS PROMISES ARE TRUE.  IN DECEMBER WE CELEBRATE HIS SON’S BIRTH AND WE WILL CELEBRATE HIS RESURRECTION NEXT APRIL. 

    I AM LOOKING FORWARD TO MY 27TH CHRISTMAS CELEBRATION AT WEISS FARM WITH ROGER AND OUR EXTENDED FAMILY.  THIS YEAR THE “BUNDE” (A BAYERISCHE WORD FOR EXTENDED FAMILY) HAS GROWN TO 32 PEOPLE, INCLUDING THE NEWEST WEISS, OUR GRANDDAUGHTER, LILLIAN.  WE’LL FILL TWO PEWS AT CHRISTMAS EVE CHURCH.  BACK AT THE FARM, WE’LL UNWRAP THE GIFTS SANTA LEFT WHILE WE WERE AT CHURCH.  THEN, IT’S TIME FOR THE FIRST EUCHRE GAME OF THE HOLIDAYS.

    TOO MANY PEOPLE CELEBRATE CHRISTMAS ON A SINGLE DAY.  IN THE FARM FAMILY I MARRIED INTO, CHRISTMAS IS A SEASON.  ROGER’S SIBLINGS AND THEIR FAMILY MEMBERS SHARE A WEEK OR MORE HERE AT THE FARM.  OVER THE YEARS TRADITIONS HAVE BEEN ESTABLISHED. IT’S OUR CHEERFUL DUTY TO SEE TO IT THEY ARE ACCOMPLISHED IN 2014, TOO!  MY MOTHER-IN-LAW, LORNA, MADE IT LOOK EFFORTLESS.  NOW I HAVE HOSPITALITY DUTIES.  I’VE LEARNED IT IS FUN AND REWARDING, THOUGH NOT EFFORTLESS!

   HOMEMADE WINE IS SIPPED IN THE WOODS WHILE THE CITY DWELLERS ON HOLIDAY SABBATICAL COMMUNE WITH NATURE AND HELP MAKE WOOD FOR OUR FARM HOUSE.  (AS AN ASIDE, DO PEOPLE MAKE WOOD OR CUT WOOD IN YOUR PART OF THE COUNTRY?)  THE YOUNGER GENERATION WILL GROSS OUT AS THEIR ELDERS SAVOR PIG BRAINS WITH EGGS AND SAUSAGE FOR BREAKFAST.  HOT COCOA MADE WITH MILK WILL BE SERVED AT LUNCH WITH THE SOUP OF THE DAY.  VISITING NIECES AND NEPHEWS PRAY FOR ENOUGH SNOW TO RACE THE SNOWMOBILES IN OUR FIELDS.  THE YOUNG AT HEART WILL GO SLEDDING DOWN THE HILLS IN MEMORIAL PARK.  EACH DAY FRIENDS STOP IN FOR A SHORT VISIT WITH WHOEVER IS IN THE HOUSE AT THE TIME.  THERE ARE MANY, MANY, MANY SIX-HANDED EUCHRE TOURNAMENTS AND MORE THAN ONE DECK OF CARDS WILL BE BURNED BY A LOSING TEAM. 

   THE HIGHLIGHT OF THE SEASON IS OUR ANNUAL WEISS FAMILY CHRISTMAS SHOW.   AMONG THE THIRTY-PLUS WEISS FAMILY MEMBERS ARE MANY NOT-SO-SHY MUSICIANS AND SINGERS AND SPEAKERS.  INDIVIDUALS PREPARE AN ENTERTAINMENT FOR THE REST OF THE FAMILY.  THE FRONT PARLOR BECOMES A STAGE AND THE LIVING ROOM IS WHERE THE EAGER AUDIENCE GATHERS ROUND.  LAUGHTER AND LOVE ARE THE REWARD FOR PERFORMERS.  ROGER AND OUR KIDS (NOW ADULTS) USUALLY REWRITE A POPULAR COUNTRY SONG INTO A PARODY OF SOME OF THE YEAR’S EVENTS AND WE PERFORM IT WITH SOCK PUPPETS. THERE ARE DEVOTIONS AND PRAYERS, AND WE SING HYMNS AND CAROLS, TOO. 

    AFTER THE DEATH OF HIS PARENTS, ROGER WORRIED HIS SIBLINGS AND THEIR FAMILIES WOULD NO LONGER COME TO THE FARM FOR CHRISTMAS.  HOWEVER, THE LOVE OF THIS FAMILY, THE TREASURED TRADITIONS AND THE GREAT HERITAGE OF OUR FAITH CONTINUE TO BRING US TOGETHER TO CELEBRATE CHRIST’S BIRTH AND OUR FAMILY TIES EACH YEAR.

   (JUST SO YOU KNOW, DEAR READERS, I WILL KEEP THIS BLOG CLOSE BY TO READ FROM TIME TO TIME WHILE THE FAMILY IS ALL HERE.  BECAUSE, AFTER ALL, WE ARE VERY HUMAN AND SOMETIMES I NEED TO REMIND MYSELF THAT GOD’S LOVE TRIUMPHS OVER ALL…YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN.)

   MAY OUR GOD OF LOVE BLESS YOU WITH JOY AND PEACE AND BEAUTIFUL MEMORIES THIS SACRED CHRISTMAS SEASON.     

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