ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Have a Little House on the Prairie Christmas

Updated on January 8, 2018
Allain Christmas profile image

Christmas is a month-long state-of-mind for me. This festive time of loved ones, parties, gifts, and religious celebrations is so special.

Source

Use the Theme of "Little House on the Prairie" for a Thrifty Christmas

Christmas might be limited if finances are tight. Turn the bleak looking holiday into something special by celebrating it the pioneer way. Get the whole family involved to celebrate Christmas the Little House on the Prairie way. I'll give you some tips on activities to do and gifts to make that will make the season special and fun for the whole family.

Reading the Little House series of books by Laura Ingalls Wilder as a child took me to an earlier time. It was a time when life was not easy but the family persevered together to make a warm and happy home on the prairie or in the big woods. Our own family history had some parallels to the book series and my own grandmother actually lived in a sod house in Oklahoma when she was a little girl.

Perhaps your family has a pioneer history and the children can learn about that as well during the time you are preparing for your Little House on the Prairie Christmas.



My ancestors arrived in Kansas in a covered wagon similar to this one. They lived the life of pioneers and probably had a frugal Christmas just like the Ingalls family did in the Laura Ingalls Wilder stories.
My ancestors arrived in Kansas in a covered wagon similar to this one. They lived the life of pioneers and probably had a frugal Christmas just like the Ingalls family did in the Laura Ingalls Wilder stories. | Source

Read the Story to Prepare for the Holiday

Even if the family is familiar with the stories, it sets the tone to re-read the chapter about Christmas. Have a family read-aloud session and then brainstorm how you can celebrate Christmas like Laura's family did.

The original series of Little House stories are available at all public libraries. Just ask the librarian for them.

In more recent times, some of the stories have been adapted for younger readers with an easier reading level.

The Cover of the First Edition of Wilder's Book

Source

Learn More about Pioneer Christmas Times and Customs

Search the internet using the keywords "pioneer Christmas" and you'll find lots of activities and information.

For example, the kids can "churn" butter using a simple jar and some heavy cream. It takes a while of shaking the jar to get it to turn into butter.

Children love making things, so look for crafts that use supplies that you already have around the house. If your child has a doll, they can make doll clothes for the doll using material from outgrown or ragged/stained clothing. Work with one child making the doll clothes to give to a sibling for their doll as a Christmas gift.

You could melt down some bits and pieces of candles, then let the children create a new candle by dipping a string into the wax. This requires adult supervision to see that no one gets burned on the hot wax.

Here's a Marvelous Source of Information

Don't miss a website called Little House on the Prairie which is chock-full of nostalgia about the stories and has recipes and crafts and family activities. You will find plenty to keep the family busy for the month of their Pioneer Christmas.


Take Time to Savor Everything!

From the book, “One morning the whole world was delicately silvered. Every blade of grass was silvery and the path had a thin sheen…. When the sun came up, the whole prairie sparkled. Millions of tiny, tiny sparks of color blazed on the grasses.”

Cook a Little House Recipe

Plan frugal activities like making gingerbread (no, not making gingerbread houses and not gingerbread men, just plain gingerbread). You can find the recipe for gingerbread in the Laura Ingalls Wilder stories or choose a gingerbread recipe from an online site.

You can cheat a little by getting a box mix from the store, but make sure that the children realize that on the prairie everything had to be made using ingredients you have on hand.

The Great Thing about Cooking with the Kids Is They Learn Life Skills While Having Fun

Click thumbnail to view full-size
The kids will have fun while learning to cook. My great-nephew carefully measuring out sugar for a recipe.
The kids will have fun while learning to cook.
The kids will have fun while learning to cook. | Source
My great-nephew carefully measuring out sugar for a recipe.
My great-nephew carefully measuring out sugar for a recipe. | Source

Visit a Pioneer House

Touring a vintage log cabin gets everyone in the pioneer mindset. They have a chance to see the simple interior and the small rooms and the lack of modern amenities like a bathroom or electricity.

If you live close to any of the Little House historical sites or museums, plan an outing for the family. If there aren't any near where you live, check for a pioneer museum or a log cabin that you could take the family to see.

A Video Tour of the Inside of the Little House on the Prairie in Kansas

I also found a series of videos of the Fouch family who live off-the-grid.

The video below shows the family creating yarn dolls, cutting up apples to make applesauce, and decorating their Christmas tree.

A Modern Family That Lives "The Little House" Lifestyle

There Are Many Different Crafts That Children Can Make for Gifts

Plan to make Christmas presents for each other. Help the children make a rag doll for a gift. See the link for instructions for a prairie rag doll.

Use blocks of wood and simple paints to make miniature houses to place under the holiday tree. Put down newspaper over the work area in case anyone spills or drips paint.

Each child could make a book for a sibling. Use plain paper and cut out photos from magazines to paste on the paper. Then they write a story to accompany the pictures. If you don't have glue, you can make some flour and water paste. Let them choose the pictures, create the storyline, hand letter it onto the pages, and they might need your help to staple or tie the pages into book form.

Finding time to work with each child might be the hard part. Keeping the gifts secret adds extra suspense to the holiday gift exchange.


A Rag Doll Made by My Mother (Based on her memories of one she had in the 1930s)

To make one like this, first tear cotton fabric into strips (an old sheet would work).
To make one like this, first tear cotton fabric into strips (an old sheet would work). | Source

Pioneer Christmas Tree Decorations

Decorate the Christmas tree with old-fashioned paper chains and foil-covered cardboard stars. Make popcorn and fresh cranberries into chains or make just plain popcorn chains. Make it fun to create the decorations with the whole family gathered around the table. (keep the TV turned off)

Any paper can be used to make a paper chain, it can even have words or pictures. Don't go buy construction paper. The pioneers couldn't do that. They would have used paper that they had on hand. Use pages out of a magazine or use sheets of junk mail cut into strips.

The small yarn dolls (video above) make great ornaments for the Christmas tree.

Take a walk with the children and look for natural things to decorate the Christmas tree. Think of pine cones, acorns, colorful wild berries.


Let the Children Dress Up in Pioneer Outfits

For girls, it can be a plain or flowered shirt, then a full skirt of Mom's will probably reach the floor on them. Cinch it with a belt or safety pins. For boys, plain slacks or jeans, make some pretend suspenders from belts.
For girls, it can be a plain or flowered shirt, then a full skirt of Mom's will probably reach the floor on them. Cinch it with a belt or safety pins. For boys, plain slacks or jeans, make some pretend suspenders from belts. | Source

Evening Activities

Pioneer families entertained themselves on long winter nights by making music. Have a family songfest singing all the Christmas carols you know.

They also read together by the fireside. Read from favorite Christmas stories, the Bible or from the Little House books. My mother remembers during her 1930s childhood in the Kansas Flint Hills, they would all gather around the table in the evening while her parents took turns reading stories aloud to their children by the light of an oil lamp.

Minimize the amount of TV time, which was definitely not available in the time of the Little House stories. That also cuts down on the number of toy advertisements the children see. These create a desire for toys that the family might not be able to afford and often don't need.

You Can Sing Christmas Songs Even Without a Piano - Youtube with Words and Music

Fill the stockings with pioneer-era luxuries (hard candy, nuts, an orange). Instead of fancy, decorated Christmas stockings, hang real socks up for an old-fashioned touch.

Each Christmas, my mother would get a selection of nuts in their shells. We had fun cracking the nuts to eat the different nutmeats (pecans, Brazil nuts, almonds, English walnuts, hazelnuts).
Each Christmas, my mother would get a selection of nuts in their shells. We had fun cracking the nuts to eat the different nutmeats (pecans, Brazil nuts, almonds, English walnuts, hazelnuts). | Source

© 2018 Virginia Allain

Add Your Tips for a Pioneer Themed Christmas

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)