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Please Enjoy Johnnie’s Christmas by Libbie C. Baer

As we draw closer to Christmas, I spend more and more time yearning for simple pleasures from the past. When I was a little girl, my family would load up in the car and drive over two hours to my grandpa and grandma’s house in the Ozark Mountains for Christmas. My sister, cousins, and I ran wild and ate everything in sight. We were dazzled by lights, pretty ribbons, and a plethora of treats.

Those days are long gone for me, but still live in my heart. Tides have turned and I’m the grandma now. I find myself encouraging my grandchildren to have a great time and eat until they’ve had their fill. Their smiles make my heart sing and is the best medicine for what ails me.

I stumbled upon this poem by Libby C. Baer and had to share it. While the poem is nostalgic for a time none of us can remember, the message is timeless.

Johnnie’s Christmas Libbie C. Baer

Papa and mama, and baby and Dot, Willie and me—the whole of the lot Of us all went over in Bimberlie’s sleigh, To grandmama’s house on Christmas day.

Covered with robes on the soft cushioned seat, With heads well wrapped up and hot bricks to our feet, And two prancing horses, tho’ ten miles away, The ride was quite short, on that bright Christmas day.

When all were tucked in and the driver said “Go!” The horses just flew o’er the white, shining snow; The town it slipped by us and meadow and tree, And farm house till grandmama’s house we did see.

Grandmama was watching for us, there’s no doubt; She soon come to meet us, and helped us all out; And kissin’ and huggin’ said how we boys growed, And big as our papa we’d soon be, she knowed.

And Dot she called handsome and said: “Ah! I guess Grandmama’s woman has got a new dress.” And said that the baby was pretty and smart; “Dod b’ess it and love its own sweet ’ittle heart.”

And O, the red apples, and pop-corn on strings; And balls of it, too, and nuts, candy and things; And O, such a dinner and such pumpkin pie; I eat and I eat till I thought I would die.

And grandmama urgin’, “Now, Johnnie, my man, I wants you to eat; just eat all you can.” When I eat all I could then I eat a lots more, And I didn’t feel good as I had felt before.

At last it came time for us all to go back, And into the sleigh again, all of us pack; With grandmama kissin’ and sayin’ good byes, With smiles on her lips, but the tears in her eyes.

We seemed much more crowded, and Bimberlie’s sleigh Kept jerkin’ and hurtin’ me most all the way; The robes were so stuffy I couldn’t get breath, And Dot and the baby most squeezed me to death.

All night I kept tumblin’ and tossin’, ma said, And frowed all the cover half off of the bed; I dreamed of roast turkey and pop-corn and pie, And fruit cake and candy, piled up to the sky!

And I dreamed I was sick and just lookin’ at it, A wantin’ and yet I could not eat a bit; And grandmama urgin’, “Now, Johnnie, my man, I want you to eat, just eat all you can.”

Thank you for reading Ozarks Maven! If you’ve enjoyed my little seeds of wisdom and joy, please subscribe to Ozarks Maven, Like Ozarks Maven on Facebook, or follow me on Twitter @OzarksMaven.

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