South Peace News
Rudy Lubeseder has many fond memories of Christmas while growing up in Prairie Echo, north of High Prairie.
“My parents were from Germany and we did a lot of things in the German way,” says Lubeseder, 84, the third of four children of Werner and Margaret Lubeseder.
“We hung our stockings on St. Nicholas Day, Dec. 6.
“We usually got an orange and candy.”
He recalls opening his gifts.
“We opened our gifts on Christmas Eve after supper,” says Lubeseder, a current resident of Pleasantview Lodge in High Prairie.
“In those days, it was mostly clothes, something we needed.”
After opening gifts, the children and their parents sang some Christmas carols in the German and English languages without any instruments.
“Mother was the only one who could sing,” Lubeseder says.
Gifts were ready under the Christmas tree that was retrieved not far away.
“Father just went out and got one,” Lubeseder says.
“We had spruce trees on our land.
“When I was bigger, I would usually get one.”
The Christmas tree was not too big, he remembers, so the whole family could decorate the tree.
“We had homemade decorations,” Lubeseder says.
“Usually, my sister Inge and mom made the decorations.”
Christmas dinner was served on Christmas Day in the early afternoon.
“We had chicken dinner with all the trimmings,” Lubeseder says.
The chicken was raised on the farm that included various other livestock to provide food for the family.
“For dessert, we had special Christmas cake and German baking, including old-fashioned Christmas stollen,” says Lubeseder.
“What I liked about Christmas the most was all the goodies to eat.”
More food and fun were also part of Christmas at the Prairie Echo School that included Grades 1-8.
“We had a Christmas party, usually on one of the last days of school before the holidays.
“We had cookies and cake and exchanged Christmas cards.”
Students also entertained parents and people from the community with a Christmas concert. Each class presented a part, either a song, skit or recitation.
He recalls some parts he had to do.
“Some were good, some were not,” he says.
“One time, I was Jack in Jack and Beanstalk.”
Santa Claus was always the special guest.
“You had to have Santa,” Lubeseder says.
He came around and handed out goody bags with an orange and candy.