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Agricultural News

Christmas in the Country with George Stone - AFR's Sam Knipp Reflects on the Simpler, Days of Old

Thu, 21 Dec 2017 16:23:30 CST

Christmas in the Country with George Stone - AFR's Sam Knipp Reflects on the Simpler, Days of Old American Farmers & Ranchers Sam Knipp who heads up the organizations communications department, recently featured George Stone, a longtime and well-respected facet of the agriculture industry both locally and nationwide on AFR on Air. In his interview with Knipp, the 98-year-old Stone reflects on his childhood memories about what Christmas time was like during the early part of the 20th Century. You can listen to Knipp's complete interview with Stone, by clicking or tapping the LISTEN BAR below at the bottom of the page.

"It was more a family deal than it is now," Stone said, describing how people celebrated the winter holiday. "Transportation was slow and scarce. So, the families met together for a short period of time - I think families were closer together for that reason."

On Christmas Eve, Stone says he and the family would gather around and anxiously wait for the dark of the night to arrive, so they could hurry off to bed in anticipation of waking to see what evidence they might find of Santa Clause's silent visit during the night.

"I remember the best thing was waking up in the morning and seeing what happened - seeing who could beat the other kids to wherever we were going to find it," he said. "We always got something for Christmas and celebrated together."

The presents Stone and his seven other siblings found each Christmas under the old Blackjack tree cut from the pasture and decorated with whatever vines and natural ornaments that could be found, were simple- but lovingly and thoughtfully picked from the five and dime store. In the midst of the Great Depression, though, times were tough and material things were not as important as the time spent with family and being thankful for the true gift of Christmas - which was always front of mind during the Christmas Day Church service.

"Oh yes! We never missed," Stone exclaimed. "Church meant more then, I think, because it was a place for the community to gather, where now we've got so many activities."

To Stone, living and working on a farm; living a bit harder life than neighbors in town and being in around nature gives country folks a bit more of an appreciation - or at least a different perspective on the true meaning of Christmas.

"I'm from a family of eight kids. I was born and raised on the same farm. And in spite of the Depression and all our problems - we survived," he said. "We didn't decorate the whole house like we do now. We didn't have the entertainment we have now. We fixed up different. I think just bringing us together occasionally was a blessing."



Listen to AFR's Sam Knipp and George Stone reflect on his childhood memories from Christmas time.
right-click to download mp3


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