“There’s a song in the air! There’s a star in the sky! There’s a mother’s deep prayer, and a baby’s low cry.”

In the Harmony community of Laurens County in the 1920’s and 30’s, families started getting ready for Christmas soon after Thanksgiving. I grew up in a family with 12 children on a large farm where we were pretty self-sufficient. Mama and Papa loved Christmas! Since I was the “baby,” I anxiously awaited the happy time when my older siblings who had married and moved away would come home for the holidays.  

One of the first things that Mama and Papa did for holiday preparation was to plan for plenty of food for the Christmas meals. On the coldest day after Thanksgiving, Papa would slaughter and process a hog so that we would have sausage, country ham, and other meats for the holidays. We would go to the mountains to get apples, and a married sister in Waynesville would have a bag of chestnuts for us to bring back home.

As Christmas got nearer, Papa would go to town to get a box of oranges and one of raisins – the kind of raisins that were dried on the stem. Papa would also purchase a hoop of cheese to have on hand. A few weeks before the holidays, Mama would buy a live turkey and keep it in the chicken house, feeding it buttermilk and food scraps to fatten it up for Christmas dinner. The day before Christmas, she would dress the turkey and prepare it for baking on Christmas morning.

The time following Thanksgiving was truly the beginning of Advent for our family. There was a song in the air!

Drucilla (Dru) Gosnell

About the Contributor

Dru is one of the oldest members of First Presbyterian. She moved to Spartanburg when she married and became a member of the church where she and her late husband, Sam Gosnell, reared their children. Four generations of the family are members today. Her special childhood story is continued in two additional devotions.