Every December, members of the literary nonprofit Dunn County Writers don their Santa Hats and pen short pieces about the winter holidays. Here are this year’s offerings:
White Fur Christmas
by Verna Wolf, Killdeer
I always admired the red velvet cape trimmed with white ermine fur the brunette wears on the cover of Bing Crosby’s 1954 “White Christmas” movie. Coupled with the white muff and headgear, I thought it made an elegant ensemble.
I must have mentioned my fantasy of wearing a red velvet, ermine-fur-trimmed cape with matching accessories a time or two during the holiday season.
One Christmas Eve, Husband twinkled and placed a package in my hands. “I couldn’t put together the whole outfit,” he explained. “Too much at one time. But it’s a start.”
Maybe white ermine mitts? I ripped the package open. Peeking through was fur! White! I yanked it out, gasped and heard the family roar with laughter! My precious ermine mitts turned into…a skunk skin! With claws!
His reply, true to western culture: “You always wanted a fur. Didn’t think the animal or color made much difference.”
HERE AND THERE
by Ruth Granfor, Dunn Center
Enter my thoughts,
Attention to write,
Sit at the table.
Time to put words on paper.
Thanksgiving was just here,
with family, food, and football.
Christmas is there, just around the corner,
with family, food, gifts, and church worship.
A time to share in various activities.
These holidays come once a year.
Do they bring you cheer?
by Pat Bailey, Dunn Center
Christmas is just around the corner. What do I need to do this year to keep peace in my house? Mr. Humbug will no doubt be his usual self. Oh well. I will do what I want and he can grump around. The tree—only three feet tall and decorated with homemade ornaments—sits on one end of the table. The gifts are all mailed to the children and friends out of state. I am happy and the tree will be up until after New Year’s Day. Then back it goes, into the tote, decorations and all. Mr. Humbug will return to his normal self.
by Denise Sandvick, Killdeer
Grey eyes watch above
Tears twinkle into snowflakes
All is forgiven
by Denise Sandvick, Killdeer
Christmas carols fill the air,
Hearts of cheer and love to spare.
Children giddy, making lists.
Parents search for perfect gifts.
Smell of evergreen on wreaths and trees.
Lights flicker, bells ring, relatives to see.
The reason we celebrate this special day:
The sacrifice of The One who came to show us The Way.
First Christmas without the Aunties
by Jennifer Strange, Dickinson
Will the sauerkraut be the same without Great Aunt Ardell? Who will add a spoonful of turkey fat to the bubbling cabbage?
I heard the folks in Minnesota stopped making Great Aunt Erma’s favorite potato sausage. What will dinner be like without the rings of lightly-seasoned ground pork and riced potato she baked until the exact moment the skins were about to break?
The pioneering sisters from Turner County, S.D., were the last of a generation. They literally taught the rest of us how to cook.
Yet how can we compete with those marvelous mavens? How can my dad and Aunt Kathy and Uncle Keith even pretend they’re in charge?
I suppose we’ll make do. Dad will roast the turkey; Kathy will spoon some fat into the kraut; Keith will cook chorizo-stuffed potato skins instead of potato sausage.
I’ll set the table, starting with Erma’s embroidered tablecloth.