Christmas Feature: The Green Family
Thank you to Seeland Park's John & Lucy Green for sharing their family Christmas memories and traditions with us this festive period...
When we stop to reminisce over the past 59 Christmases, it brings such joy and happiness to our hearts. We’ve made so many different memories with our family--we could probably write a book!
We lived in the country for 50 years in the home we built and where we raised our four daughters and a son. When the children were young, we would go to a dirt road and find a fir tree and cut it down to decorate. Other years, we would go to a tree farm and cut our own. The smell was one we all enjoyed!
Another tradition was the Children’s Christmas program. The children all had a poem or a part to learn. We also attended the Christmas Eve candlelight service each year at church and went Christmas caroling.
As the children grew older, got married and began their own homes and families, we had to celebrate whenever we could. The main thing we all would say, “just so we can be together” whatever the day. Sometimes no gifts, just soup suppers and games. A birthday cake for Jesus was always included. A tradition was “lefse,” a Norwegian favorite which was always a must.
Our family has grown in number (we now have 44 total!) and we have celebrated Christmas different ways. In July 2006, we had a Green Family Christmas outside. We all liked that one as the weather was good and we planned vacations around it. Hot dogs and s’mores were a lot of fun with 29 of us together. Another year we all stayed at the Wasserbahn Waterpark at the Amanas but ended up driving home in an ice storm! We’ll never forget that Christmas! A favorite was spending all day at the Comfort Inn & Suites South of Grinnell. The kids loved the swimming pool and we had the dining room all day for food, games and a stocking exchange. We did that two different years as we were outgrowing our home.
In September 2011, we moved to Seeland Park. It was quite a change from the country. We reserved the Social Center and it was a huge blessing for all! There was plenty of room for 33 of us. The BIG gift we gave each one of our children that year was a box of mementoes we had saved over the years. They were quite surprised to think we had saved all of their things! We didn’t have room to move it all to our new home. We have celebrated Christmas twice at the Social Center. Last year, we had Christmas at Thanksgiving on the lower level of the Hammond Center. We were thankful it had opened and we had plenty of room for all!
As many of you probably know, there is never a dull moment when families get together. We are truly blessed.