CHRISTMAS ON THE PRAIRIE. Annalisa’s childhood was shaped by the Little House books. In THE LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE, Laura and Mary worry about whether Santa Claus can find them, isolated as they are on the prairie and about whether Santa Claus and his reindeer will be able to get there, since there is no snow. Then rains make the creek a raging torrent on Christmas Eve so that it would be life threatening for any man or for Santa Claus to try to cross it. The girls lose almost all hope. But their neighbor Mr. Edwards arrives. He has met Santa Claus (who uses a pack-mule in the southwest), Santa Claus has given Mr. Edwards his presents for the girls, and Mr. Edwards has swum across the creek with the bundle of presents and his clothes on his head. Each of the girls got a new tin cup, a little cake with white sugar sprinkled on it, a stick of peppermint candy and a penny. Laura Ingalls Wilder writes: “Think of having a cup and a cake and a stick of candy AND a penny. There had never been such a Christmas.” We forget how poor many of the pioneers were and how much we have. God bless us, every one!

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