The Week Between

The week between Christmas and New Year’s Day was one I looked forward to with great anticipation each year during my childhood.

It wasn’t just the break from school that made the week fun (although I so enjoyed the freedom of not being at school or being plagued with mountains of homework).

If there was more than an inch of snow on the ground (which was typically the case on our Eastern Oregon farm), it meant unlimited outdoor entertainment. We went sledding off the hill right outside our back door, skating on the pond, snowmobiling across the sagebrush on the other side of the canal, and we even built snow forts a time or two.

Because my parents had a big house with ample room for parking, we almost always hosted Christmas for our extended family. My mom’s family and dad’s family took turns coming.

One year in particular I remember well because Mom’s family had all come for Christmas. We barely had a dusting of snow on the ground, so we spent most of the day inside with nothing to do but play with new toys, eat yummy food, and wish it would snow.

But then, in that magical week between Christmas and New Year’s Day, it snowed, and snowed. And then snowed some more. In an impromptu effort to wring every bit of fun we could from the holiday season, Daddy invited his family to come over for New Year’s Day.

Snowy fun, circa 1970-something. That’s my John Deere snowsuit in the back left side of the photo with the hood securely tied almost up to the nose.

Mom made a huge pot of chili and enough cinnamon rolls to feed a small army.  My aunts provided salads and sides along with oodles of desserts. Family began arriving late morning and we spent the rest of the day sledding, skating, and having a wonderful time. The cold and darkness didn’t even put an end to our fun. After warming up with chili and hot chocolate, some of my hardier cousins trouped back outside to sled in the dark.

I’ll never forget that special New Year’s Day or how much fun we had.

Do you have any special New Year’s Day memories from your childhood

(or maybe from a holiday with your children?) 

One lucky commenter will receive their choice of a digital copy of any one of my books.

Wishing you all a safe, peaceful, joyous New Year’s Day and a fabulous 2018!

Shanna Hatfield
After spending her formative years on a farm in Eastern Oregon, hopeless romantic Shanna Hatfield turns her rural experiences into sweet historical and contemporary romances filled with sarcasm, humor, and hunky western heroes.
When this USA Today bestselling author isn’t writing or covertly hiding decadent chocolate from the other occupants of her home, Shanna hangs out with her beloved husband, Captain Cavedweller.

16 Comments

  1. Shanna- happy new year to you. My birthday is New Years Eve as well as my most favorite day. Not only enjoying my special day but saying goodbye to the year and getting excited for the new. My most favorite birthday was when I turn 12 and my dad gave me Junior who became my pole bending, barrel racing, goat tying, & breakaway horse. He was 2 years old and I was the 1st person to ever ride him. I had him for 19 years before another horse kicked him and broke his leg and we had to have him out down. That was a hard day, but I’m so glad Junior was my partner in all my adventures and my best friend.
    Love you Dearly and May 2018 be all of our BEST YEAR, yet!!!

    1. Oh, Tonya! So sad about losing Junior, but so sweet he was a birthday gift. And how awesome you had so many adventures with him to make great memories. 🙂
      Wishing you a wonderful birthday and a blessed year ahead! May it be your best ever! <3
      Love and hugs,

  2. My favorite after Christmas/New Years holiday memory is a lot like yours! I believe it was ’73 but I could be completely wrong too. I lived in Marion, Kentucky and when we got out for Christmas break it was the end of January before we went back to school. The most snow I’ve ever been around in my life except for timr spent in Colorado. It also one of the few times in my life we lived in town. So there were plenty of friends within walking distance. My father managed a salebarn at this time and he drove a tractor to and from work. He kept our long driveway cleared of snow and ice and that created a huge mountain of snow at the end of the straight portion of our driveway. We turned that pile into a huge ice slide. We built tons of snowmen during the time off. My favorite was an abnominal snowman we built between our house and our neighbors. It was huge! We were on a higher level than my neighbors house and had a two story house so between the two roofs it was quite the creation. There wasn’t a pond within walking distance but there was a creek. We were lucky that it hadn’t gone dry and we were able to just shoe skate on it using tree vines to pull ourselves along. We sled in the streets since there wasn’t any cars on out on side streets. Our favorite being Brandon’s hill which was huge. The most amazing Christmas/New Years holiday of my Childhood and life for that matter. We spent very little day light hours inside. I’m one of 6 so we would have had a blast even if our friends hadn’t been available but they were so to kids it was an incredible Christmas break. My oldest brother didn’t have as fond of memories of that Christmas break because he had to drive that tractor out to our farm every morning to bust ice on the tank (pond to northerners) for the cattle to have water. Between the drive back and forth and busting through that ice was almost an all day thing for him. I wish he was still here to complain about that winter as the rest of us enjoyed talking about our memories of it!

    1. What a great memory you shared, Stephanie. I bet that snowman you built was amazing! And I bet it seemed like a magical time for you then. So sorry about your brother, though.
      Wishing you a glorious New Year full of all the things you love the most!

  3. I always enjoyed the week between Christmas and New Years both as a child and when my daughter was younger. This was the time for playing with new toys, reading new books and spending time with family. For many years, my family went to my Uncle’s house on New Year’s Eve and I have fond memories of games, good food and staying awake until midnight!
    Happy New Year!!
    Connie
    cps1950(at)gmail(dot)com

    1. Thanks for sharing your memories, Connie! How fun you could spend New Year’s Eve with your uncle. Sounds like you had a great time and sweet memories of going there!
      Happy New Year to you! May it bring you many smiles and much joy!

  4. What a great post. Those are special memories Shanna. My family usually hosted a big New Years eve and New Years Day dinner for extended family. But I did meet my husband on New Years Eve and the most memorable thing about it are the 7 children we have. And the 13. Grandkids. 🙂
    Happy New Years to everyone.
    Carol Luciano

    1. Oh, wow, Carol! I love that you met your husband on New Year’s Eve. How romantic and awesome! And congrats to you on your beautiful family. That is awesome! May sweet memories warm your heart and wonderful moments give you new memories as you venture into the new year! Best wishes!

  5. I honestly don’t remember New Years Day when I was younger. I didn’t start remembering it until I was probably a teenager. But I remember how much fun school breaks were.

    1. Hi Janine! School breaks were always so awesome!
      Have a fabulous week and a wonderful New Year!

  6. No special memories but I do remember riding one of those snow mobiles fun and scary at the same time. They tipped over so easy.

    1. Hi Kim!
      The only time I had a wreck on one was when my cousin insisted on driving it (she’d never ridden on one before). We ended up upside down in the ditch. I even had snow packed in my ears (despite a stocking cap). Sh never asked to drive it again and I think we were all happy with that decision!
      Happy New Year to you!

  7. I do remember a huge discussion one new year’s day. I had to change how I handle that day. My daughter is allergic to dogs and my mother had many. She decided my daughter was faking it and created a big stink. I changed it to my house from then on. I know now that it was early signs of dementia. I wish I had known earlier.

    1. Oh, Debra! So sad about your mother having dementia. But hope you have good memories from the holiday, too.

  8. New Year’s day was usually a travel day home from Grandma’s house.

    1. Hope you had fun at your Grandma’s!

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