Christmas Gathering

As a youngster I remember several of the Borreson families gathering for Christmas. Sometimes it would be at the big brick house on the farm in Fitch Coulee when it was home to Nan and Odell and their family. Usually it was the families of four or five of Emil and Gina’s youngest children, and I’d guess it was these because the children were so similar in age.

This memory goes back close to 50 years, so I’d love some help on the details. As I recall, the gatherings were mid-day after Christmas itself, perhaps a Sunday, between morning and evening farm chores. Most of the families were dairy farmers, and the cows assured we didn’t stray too far from home. I think we gathered for a meal, lots of visiting and playing, and an exchange of small gifts around the Christmas tree. A box of handkerchiefs or candy, a pair of gloves or socks, school items or maybe a shirt?

Even more, I have a vague but wonderfully pleasant memories of games like hide-and-seek, or just plain running around (carefully?) the corners and crannies of the big brick house with high-ceiling rooms that always seemed to spell newness and adventure to me. I don’t remember games outside, which may mean we had such a short time together or a short memory on my part.

Aunt Irene sent me a photo of the families at one of these Christmas gatherings at her and Sid’s home (taken by her mother) and I’m posting it here.  Can you recognize the four Borreson brothers in the back? (By the way, I’m the cousin near the middle with the really cool Buddy Holly eye glasses.)

Borreson Christmas in Fitch Coulee about 1961

Personally the photo is a treasure because it may be the only photo that include my parents and all six of their children. I’m thinking it was taken at Christmas 1961 or 1962, because by ’63 my brother William (Billy) wasn’t with us anymore.

I’d love to know others’ experiences with Christmas on the farm in Fitch Coulee. It would have been different for older siblings in Emil and Gina’s family. And it may have been very different when they were the children. Memories to share, anyone?

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4 Responses to Christmas Gathering

  1. Sue Ann Okerwall Knoblauch says:

    Can you write me separately to tell me who each person is in the picture since I think I only recognize “Uncle Benny”, “Uncle Odelle”?

  2. Glenn Borreson says:

    Maybe I should have identified everyone, although I may not be sure of a few of the smallest children. The Borreson brothers, left to right, are: Garven, Ednar, Sidney and Odell. The wife of each stands in front of him, again left to right: Cora, Stella, Irene and Nan. I think every child in each of these four families is present.

  3. Glenn Borreson says:

    Okay, here’s my try at getting the children’s names. Front row: Ruthann, Dale, Brian, Gregory, Olinda; middle row: Betty, William, Judy, Joyce, Diane; back row of children: Phillip, Paul, Glenn, Dan, Sandra, Lesley. Correct this if it’s needed.

  4. Daniel Borreson says:

    I think you got everyone correct on the picture. I remember playing Royal Rummy at our house, Rack-O at Sids house and Monopoly at Garvins house. I don’t remember a specific game at Odells, but I do remember playing cards there.

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