Preparing the Manger

Just before Advent, Mom sent me and my siblings out to the field next to our house to pick bunches of the straw that grew there. In the summertime, we would imitate Laura Ingles Wilder in the opening credits of “Little House on the Prairie,” running through the field, falling down and laughing, clutching our bunches of straw. In the cold of December, we were a bit quicker in our task.

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