Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

From the 50s and 60s to today . . .



Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Christmas in a One-Room Schoolhouse

Photo Credit
Christmas in a One-Room Schoolhouse.
From the journal of Uncle Leif (Mother’s youngest brother)

Preparations for the Christmas concert often started the first week of November. It was a big undertaking for the teacher to maintain the regular school classes plus organize the rehearsals for the concert.
I remember one teacher who broke down and cried because of the lack of progress made by students in learning their parts.
A temporary stage was erected out of railroad ties and box-car, grain-bin panels. One of the area farmers hauled the ties and panels from the local grain elevator with a team and hay rack.
On the day of the concert, students’ desks were placed at the back of the one-room school. Next the old wooden benches stored in the basement were brought up, dusted off and placed in rows. Gas lamps were filled with fuel and the mantles checked. A large spruce tree was set up and decorated.
Finally, everything was ready for the big event.
The old schoolhouse was packed to overflowing.
With all the students on the stage, the concert opened with O Canada and a selection of Christmas Carols. Then followed plays, even some years, Dicken’s Christmas Carol. The student with the best memory would have the part of Scrooge.
Interspersed throughout were individual recitations, singing and the playing of musical instruments.
Even though the parts were often delivered in a monologue with little expression, the audience, sprinkled with adoring parents, applauded with enthusiasm.
The highlight of the evening was the visit from Santa Claus carrying a large bag of toys for all the students and pre-school children. Each student, as well as many visiting children, received a bag of candy and nuts, as well as an apple, and a Japan-grown orange available only at Christmas. What a treat!
Following the concert, the adults removed the stage and most of the benches in preparation for the dance.
Music was supplied by any locals who played an instrument. Everyone, including the children, had a great time dancing or just bouncing around to the beat of the music.
At midnight or later, lunch brought by the ladies, was served.
Finally, babies who had been sleeping on piles of clothes were dressed.
Families gathered themselves together for the trip home—tired by happy.
Nothing could compare to Christmas time in a one-room school!

4 comments:

  1. That's wonderful that your uncle kept a journal like that. What a wonderful window into your family history.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Simple joys (for all except the poor teacher). Precious joys. And precious memories. The journals your family keeps are incredible.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Very similar to our Christmas concerts in the little one roomer...except we had hydro and we sang God Save The King (and then eventually the Queen). Great memories.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Oranges from Japan? There's a surprise. The dance part of the evening sounds like many country dances anywhere, with babies and toddlers sleeping in the piles of coats.

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for visiting! Drop by again!

All of My Friends

The Long-Awaited Sequel to Daughter of Ishmael

The Long-Awaited Sequel to Daughter of Ishmael
A House Divided is now available at all fine bookstores and on Amazon.com and .ca!

Daughter of Ishmael

Daughter of Ishmael
Now available at Amazon.com and .ca and Chapters.ca and other fine bookstores.

Follow by Email

Hugs, Delivered.

Compass Book Ratings

Compass Book Ratings

Ghost of the Overlook

Ghost of the Overlook
Need a fright?

Google+ Followers

Networked Blogs

My Granddaughter is Carrying on the Legacy!

My Granddaughter is Carrying on the Legacy!
New Tween Novel!

Gnome for Christmas

Gnome for Christmas
The newest in my Christmas Series

SnowMan

SnowMan
A heart warming story of love and sacrifice.

Translate

My novel, Carving Angels

My novel, Carving Angels
Read it! You know you want to!

My Second Novel: Kris Kringle's Magic

My Second Novel: Kris Kringle's Magic
What could be better than a second Christmas story?!

About the Mom

My photo

Diane was born and raised on one of the last of the great old Southern Alberta ranches. A way of life that is fast disappearing now. Through her memories and stories, she keeps it alive. And even, at times, accurate . . .

Join me on Maven

Connect with me on Maven

Essence

Essence
A scientist and his son struggle to keep their earth-shattering discovery out of the wrong hands.

Essence: A Second Dose

Essence: A Second Dose
Captured and imprisoned, a scientist and his son use their amazing discovery to foil evil plans.

Looking for a Great Read?

E-Books by Diane Stringam Tolley
Available from Smashwords.com

The Babysitter

The Babysitter
A baby-kidnapping ring has its eye on J'Aime and her tiny niece.

Melissa

Melissa
Haunted by her past, Melissa must carve a future. Without Cain.

Devon

Devon
Following tragedy, Devon retreats to the solitude of the prairie. Until a girl is dropped in his lap.

Pearl, Why You Little...

Pearl, Why You Little...
Everyone should spend a little time with Pearl!

The Marketing Mentress

The Marketing Mentress
Building solid relationships with podcast and LinkedIn marketing

Coffee Row

Coffee Row
My Big Brother's Stories

Better Blogger Network

Semper Fidelis

Semper Fidelis
I've been given an award!!!

The Liebster Award

The Liebster Award
My good friend and Amazing Blogger, Marcia of Menopausal Mother awarded me . . .

Irresistibly Sweet Award

Irresistibly Sweet Award
Delores, my good friend from The Feathered Nest, has nominated me!

Sunshine Award!!!

Sunshine Award!!!
My good friend Red from Oz has nominated me!!!

My very own Humorous Blogger Award From Delores at The Feathered Nest!

Be Courageous!


Grab and Add!

Search This Blog

Ghost of the Overlook

Ghost of the Overlook
Need a fright?