Christmas Memories on the First Day of Winter

Ann H Gabhart Ann's Posts, One Writer's Journal

Man, is it cold outside tonight in Kentucky!! We don’t have snow like so many of you do west and north of us, but we’ve got some wind chills. Back when I was a kid, you looked at the thermometer and said it was such and such degree. If the wind was blowing you knew that made it colder, but nobody ever figured out some frigid minus number to freeze you even before you stepped out the door.

Of course, in the old house (frame over log) that I lived in growing up, you didn’t have to step outside to know about wind chill. The wind came right inside with you whistling around the windows or up through the cracks in the wood flooring. We tacked sheets of plastic to the outside of the windows and folded up strips of newspapers to stuff in the cracks around the doors. Made it interesting every time somebody came to the door, but when you lived in an old house, you did what you had to do to keep the heat from the woodstove inside with you and the cold air outside. My mom wore an insulated jacket to cook in the kitchen and we had a lot of family togetherness around the stove. And of course, we got plenty of healthy exercise carrying in the firewood. It was a great time. I had a wonderful family and a beautiful place to live even if it wasn’t always the warmest place in the winter time.

That’s just a few memories the wind whistling against the windows brought to mind. Now I have a nice warm house that keeps that wind outside and I only have to drag out the big sweaters in the summertime when the air conditioning is too cold for me but too warm for my husband. Does anybody ever marry somebody who agrees with her on where to set the thermostat?

But back to memories. I was invited to do a Christmas memory piece for, a site that focuses on Christian books, movies and music. If you’d like to read my memory, here’s the link. There are lots of other authors on there telling about their favorite Christmas tradition, too. You can read about a wide range to traditions from authors like Jerry B. Jenkins, Brandilyn Collins, Robin Jones Gunn, and me. I wrote about how our family always gathers on Christmas Eve and how I’ve been stirring up the fruit punch for us for many years. But I have lots of other Christmas traditions I share with my family too from the special ornaments on our tree to the giving of at least one book to everyone in my family. The way my family is growing, I can practically keep a bookstore in business. I know you surely have favorite traditions too, things that make Christmas extra special for you. Feel free to share your favorite here with us.

I love hearing from readers and got an e-mail this week from Barrow, Alaska. She probably knows a little bit about wind chills and snow. She used to live in Kentucky and then lived a few years in Arizona where the sun always shines before she moved to Barrow where the sun forgets how to climb up in the sky for a few months a year. Quite a change, she said. I can’t imagine. Guess I’d best not take my characters to Alaska then, right? Because then I’d have to imagine so that my readers could imagine too. Maybe I’ll stick to mostly Kentucky settings.

There’s still time to get your name added to my drawing for a book give-away in January. I’m giving away an autographed copy of Virginia Smith’s Stuck in the Middle and your choice of The Scent of Lilacs, Orchard of Hope, Summer of Joy, Angels at the Crossroads or The Outsider. Just comment here or send me an e-mail from my website, You can also sign up for my occasional newsletter (8 or 9 times a year if I have any news) from my website.

I hope you enjoy all your Christmas traditions this week and that you have the best Christmas ever! We’re having our big family day here on Friday when we’ll need to stretch the living room to accomodate the crew. Eight grandkids with another on the way. My cup runneth over with blessings. And so will our living room. Runneth over. We’ll be having some of that family togetherness like I used to have with my sisters and mom and dad around the woodstove when I was growing up. That doesn’t sound half bad when I say it that way. Enjoy!