Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

A wonderful Christmas December 27, 2017

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 5:00 AM
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My granddaughter, Isabelle, all fancy in her Christmas dress, decides she’s going to open one of her gifts before church services. Rules are rules, though. You have to wait until after church and dinner. She was stopped after pulling tissue from the bag. No crying occurred.


HOW WAS YOUR CHRISTMAS? I expect the question will repeat itself numerous times in the next week.

Mine was wonderful. Wonderful because nearly all the people I love most in this world celebrated Christmas with me. I missed my sweet second daughter, absent because she was on-call as a Spanish medical interpreter in eastern Wisconsin. And, yes, she was called into a Green Bay ER on Christmas Day. I’m used to her absence on holidays. I don’t like it. But I know that I am not the only mama without all of her grown children back home.


Izzy and Grandpa look at one of her many new books on Christmas Day. She’s sitting in her Izzy-sized chair from her grandparents in California.


Unless you’re fortunate enough to have all of your children (and grandchildren) living nearby (and by that I mean in the same state), you understand. We can’t always celebrate holidays together. This year while I enjoyed Christmas with my adorable 20-month-old granddaughter, her Opa and Oma in California were missing her. I know how difficult that had to be for them.


Isabelle studies the packaging from her “Daniel Tiger” character set while Uncle Caleb uses his smartphone. I love this photo, which also includes a hand-crocheted monkey I gave to Isabelle.


My son flew in from Boston, arriving in the late evening the day before Christmas Eve. Icy conditions canceled more than a dozen flights out of Logan, thankfully not his. I hadn’t seen him since August, not all that long ago. But still too long for this mama. He’ll be around until shortly after New Year’s.


Izzy and her mama (my daughter, Amber) read Good Night Minnesota one of the many new books Isabelle got for Christmas. She loves to read. Uncle Caleb gave Izzy the Curious George sweatshirt she’s wearing.


I carry now sweet Christmas memories—of gathering around the table and the Christmas tree, of worshiping together, of wrapping my arms around my lanky son, of cuddling my granddaughter, of laughing and talking and loving.


Give Izzy a book and she’s a happy girl. This Christmas book came from Kathleen in Washington. Aunt Miranda and Uncle John sent the “Mommy’s Favorite Elf” shirt from Wisconsin.


My heart is happy, brimming with memories of family love.

TELL ME: How was your Christmas?

© Copyright 2017 Audrey Kletscher Helbling


16 Responses to “A wonderful Christmas”

  1. Go Grandma Says:

    Oh she is so sweet. Nothing better than having your family in town. Sweet memories.

  2. Lynne King Says:

    My Christmas is still “going on”. I traveled from northwest Minnesota to Indiana to be with my family this Christmas. My family has had many family members and friends go to Heaven this year…one passing the Thursday before Christmas. So..it was important for us all to gather and be together. That doesn’t happen much anymore and it was a sweet time filled with laughter and memories. I start my two-day drive back to Minnesota on New Year’s Eve day. My time at “home” is growing short. Happy New Year Audrey!

    • Lynne, I’m sorry for the loss of many family and friends during this past year. So being with family in Indiana holds deeper meaning. I’m glad you could be with them. Safe travels back to northwestern Minnesota in these frigid temps. That’s a long trip.

  3. Jena Says:

    You had a beautiful cozy, warm and love-filled Christmas! And book-filled too with lots of adorableness. We and our two sons spent the weekend at our house on Sandusky Bay near Lake Erie. The Bay was just beginning to ice over-so amazing to see our summer world transformed..we had a blast- cooked and cooked and chatted and caught up on movies together- Dunkirk was one we all liked. On to the possibilities of 2018!

  4. Izzy’s SMILE Made My Day – Such a Sweetie and Cutie Pie 🙂 Christmas for us was Wonderful – ate, drank and were merry celebrators. Happy Day – Enjoy!

  5. Jackie Says:

    I’m glad yo had most of your family around you but I know you were missing your girl, and that’s hard…especially around the holidays! Izzy is adorable as usual, sounds like you had a great time with your sweet family. I LOVE the photo of Izzy in her chair with Randy looking on, and those little footed tights, such a cutie pie.

  6. Valerie Says:

    Looks like a great time was had by all.
    We enjoyed our 8 month old granddaughter but missed our three year old and 18 month old grandchildren in Africa.

  7. Kids and Christmas…Nothing more needs be said.

  8. Missy's Crafty Mess Says:

    What a beautiful little girl. Our Christmas was good but busy.

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