Welcome to our 1864 farmhouse…life is good!

Thursday, December 23

here comes Christmas!

Today a cold, steady wind from the north has been whistling around the old farmhouse, meaning outdoor chores are done quickly! The heat lamp was on last night for the girls and their beau in the coop, and goats were tucked in with an extra portion of hay and some apple slices...after all, everyone needs a little treat.

I've been baking cookies, sending out cards, and making secret shopping trips to gather stocking stuffers. Tomorrow we'll have snacks and appetizers to enjoy all afternoon, then at night we'll take our annual Christmas walk around the town square and past the shop windows. It's always fun to see the small town lights and decorations...we've been doing this for about 15 years and it just wouldn't be Christmas without it. 

If you've been reading here for awhile, you know I love old things...old houses, homespun traditions, simpler ways, and I've wondered how Christmases past were spent in 1864, when this old house was built. How did they stay warm when those frosty winter winds blew across the open fields? Burning wood and coal were the most common ways to heat a house back then...hmmm, so why am I bringing this up?

Could there be any worse time than the week of Christmas for a furnace to break? And while we wait for the parts to arrive, we're getting a small taste of an old-fashioned 1864 winter. Oh-so grateful for plenty of firewood as well as modern conveniences such as space heaters and kerosene heat. The kitchen has drawn us together like a magnet...heat from Mae, our stove, along with mugs of hot chocolate, plates of warm cookies, and a crackling fire.  (Now I know why ladies of the time wore numerous layers of clothing!)

Oh, we'll be just fine...Christmas morning we'll have cinnamon rolls, monkey bread, open gifts, and enjoy the day. Sunday the little ones I teach at church will sing "Away in a Manger" and my son is giving a talk about Christmas...a sweet way to enjoy the holiday.

From our house to yours, wishing a merry and blessed holiday season to you all!


  1. You have such a talent for writing Mary - absolutely beautiful. Sorry to hear about the furnace but thankfully you've got alternative heat! And it will be something to remember about this year's celebration. 😊 Wishing you and your family a very merry Christmas!

  2. Awww thanks Staci...I want to be a writer when I grow up! I keep hoping MaryJanes Farm will be looking for another farmgirl writer - Small Town Farmgirl, maybe?) ;)

    You're so right...we'll look back and remember this Christmas for sure. Oh well, another reason to heat up the stove and bake some more cookies to stay warm! May your Christmas be peaceful and warm! Mary

  3. Sending you blessings for a wonderful Christmas day - and hope it isn't too cold for you! We are having a spell of hot weather (it is summertime) so could do with a little bit of your cold stuff to cool things down a bit :)
    Hugz, Mxx

  4. Thanks for the Christmas wishes Margaret...flannel sheets, fleece blankets, and warm jammies...so far, so good! I'm not one for hot and humid weather, our July and August is almost unbearable for me. I'm a cool-weather gal...I always figure I can layer on more clothes than I can modestly remove in the summer! Catch up with you in the New Year, Mary

  5. Merry Christmas Mary. I hope you and your family have a wonderful time, despite the heating problem! It sounds very cosy in your kitchen with Mae to keep you warm. Lots of hugs, Rose x

  6. Oh wow you are living the 1864 way. My maternal grandparents did not have heat in their farmhouse. I remember my mom heating up a soapstone on the wood stove and then putting it underneath the feather bed for a bit. Then when she took it away, we crawled into a warm and toasty bed. We had appetizers for dinner last night. Merry Christmas my friend and hope and I hope your Christmas was a merry one! Janice

  7. Rose- my daughter had the idea to gift each of us with matching flannel pajamas on Christmas Eve...perfect for keeping warm! We had a fire going from morning until bedtime and stayed cozy. It's predicted to be near 60 degrees F in a couple of days...while my old-fashioned self says that's not my idea of a country Christmas, it's a blessing until our furnace parts arrive! Thanks for thinking of us, I hope you had a jolly Christmas! Mary

  8. Oh Janice, what sweet memories of your grandparents farmhouse...I can just feel those warm sheets on a cold night! If you keep track of your family history, we use Family Search, there's a spot for stories and memories...those are gems to pass on. We did have a good Eve...appetizers and movies, and then Christmas Day, we stayed in those flannel jammies all day; glad no one came to the door to visit! Hope your weekend was a happy one...enjoy some R&R from working. Mary


Thanks so much for taking the time to visit!

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