Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Merry Christmas, 2009

Dear friends and family,

I’m learning with every passing day just why my parents were always ready to stick a few extra days into the season of Advent, before Christmas came. There’s so much to do, to prepare for the holidays. Gifts to buy, goodies to bake, surprises to make, songs to sing, concerts to prepare for…and with the addition of snow to shovel, and all the other winterizing processes one must do in a house, I can easily see why they might have wanted more time.

At this point, I should add that I am now the proud owner of a house. An exciting move! And a busy one.

It’s easy to get distracted during this time of year—during any time of year. In the course of my job, I found an article that perhaps illustrates this best of all. Out of Grand Rapids, Michigan, and reported in the Bismarck Tribune, this story was printed on Dec. 22, 1936:

Mrs. Louis H. Hake, who had just finished baking some cakes for the holidays, discovered that she had somehow misplaced a quarter-inch bolt from her electric mixer. She searched for it frantically, and came to the conclusion that, horror of horrors for any Christmas baker, she had misplaced it directly into one of the cakes she had just finished making.

The only way poor Mrs. Hake could figure on locating this bolt—as she couldn’t tell which cake it was in—was to ask a local doctor to x-ray them. You can imagine her duress; so close to Christmas, all that work accomplished, to find something gone horribly awry. Their phone conversation was interesting; she asked him, “How would you like to x-ray a dozen cakes?”

“I’ll try anything once,” Dr. Stonehouse replied.

The doctor did so, and luckily for Mrs. Hake, he found the bolt in the third cake. And he earned himself a cake as payment, declining any other fees. One hopes that nothing else was baked into her cakes.

But it’s completely understandable, right? It’s easy to lose your head amidst the hustle and bustle.

Not that that’s what Christmas is all about. Baking, decorating, buying—it’s nice, but it’s not the spirit of the season. That’s being with family, and friends; spending time together; and that all-important Love. A man selling his watch to buy combs for his wife’s hair, when she sells her hair to buy him a watch chain. Mr. Edwards bringing Laura Ingalls and her sisters some treats from Santa. An editor reassuring a young girl that there is a Santa Claus. A baby, lying in a manger. I believe there is a song—“Love came down at Christmas time.”

So anyway, I wish you all the best in this season and the New Year. And if you lose a spoon while doing the holiday baking—well, you may just want to check those cakes!

With love,



Kara said...

What a wonderful letter, Sarah! That Mrs. Hake was a creative woman--I don't think I would have thought to x-ray them. Of course, today you would be hard-pressed to find a doctor or technician who would agree to do it.

Lynsey said...

Great Christmas letter, Sarah!

Amalia T. said...

Awesome letter, Sarah! :) I love the cake x-ray story!

fanatizzare said...

A House! Congratulations! Where are you working and living these days? In Bismarck?

Best wishes to you and Merry Christmas!

(Angie's friend!)