What is great about Christmas at my house is it changes a little bit every year. We still keep the old tradition of making subs Christmas Eve night and family coming over Christmas Day. Though with 10 older siblings, we generally have a new member of the family each year. These days you hear a lot about the presents people have received or things they got for someone else. At my house on Christmas Day there's little talk about that. The things that make it Christmas are having the family gathering around a campfire or wood stove, going ice skating on the pond, sledding down the hill, playing cards in the kitchen and making "the greatest snowman ever" with my nieces.
Weather drawing by Abby Wohl-Kovatovich in Ms. Hemstad's third-grade class at Baxter Elementary School.
As you can imagine, since all 10 of my siblings are older many of them have families, which makes me an aunt 16 times. In fact, I've never not been an aunt. During the Christmastime of year, all my sisters and brother, nieces and nephews get together.
If you walked into my yard on Christmas, the first thing you would notice is everyone running about outside, either chasing each other around with the threat of a snowball, or trying to scrape enough snow together to make a snowman. Once you have walked into the house you would be greeted by many "Jensen smiles," something that I've been recognized for by people I don't even know. There would be kids crawling around on the floor, sisters exchanging recipes for the dessert that they brought, and a group of family around a card table almost guaranteed to be playing rook (a card game that I learned growing up).
As the night goes on, depending on the unpredictable weather of Minnesota, you may find us gathered around our pond ice skating with a fire burning, playing an icy cold football game or snuggled inside playing board games. Whichever way, you would see the Jensen smile along with the Jensen laugh being exchanged between one another along with hearing the stories of when my oldest siblings were younger. As the night starts to come to an end and my nieces and nephews slowly fall asleep, my brothers and sisters gather them up and quietly sneak away.
Even though there is little talk about Christmas presents and gifts. This year is going to be an exception because on Christmas Day my whole family will be getting one of the greatest presents of all, a little baby girl. My sister, Luella, is due to have a little girl on Christmas Day. So instead of finding us out by the pond ice skating, playing an icy cold football game, or snuggled inside, you may find us crammed in a waiting room, waiting to meet the newest addition to the family.
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