RURAL BRYANT, SD,
AND STADEMS SAGA PRESENTS:
CHILDREN'S STORIES FROM PLAIN VIEW FARM
It can snow in the high hills of Bethlehem too, which makes it even more like Bryant, which gets plenty snow most every winter.
In the Bible we read how a great, great miracle happened just outside Bethlehem one starry night: angels found some shepherds out tending their flocks of sheep and announced to them the birth of the Savior, Christ the Lord, and told them they would find him lying in a manger in Bethlehem. This we read about in the Gospel book of Luke in the Bible.
Many hundreds of years later, way across the world from Bethlehem, people in South Dakota prepared to celebrate the same wonderful event the shepherds witnessed so long ago.
In this case, it was the Stadem family of Plain View Farm--Mama and Papa and the nine children, who piled into the big, old sleigh, with lots of rugs and blankets to keep warm on a starry, cold, snowy Christmas Eve.
How excited the children were! How they looked forward to the Christmas decorations at church, the special music of the choirs, the Christmas story read out of the Gospel of Luke in the Bible, the singing of joyous carols, and the special bag of treats handed out to each child at the close of the program!
Afterwards, on returning home the sleigh full of happy Stadems slipped too far over to the side of the road and suddenly overturned into the ditch.
Uffdah! Everyone, including Mama holding the baby, was thrown out into the cold, deep snow. What a shock!
"Are you all right?" Papa called out to Mama and the baby.
"Yes, Papa," Mama said.
They each found they weren't hurt, but it was an unpleasant experience, trying to climb out and get back into the sleigh, with their clothes and faces all plastered with ice and snow.
Even worse than that, the gift bags of candy and fruit each child received had landed in the snow. Where were they? When they anxiously looked not all could not be found since it was dark and impossible to see anything covered by the thick snow.
Now this was a terrible upset for the Stadem children! Christmas without this special bag of candy and fruit? What else would they get?
Maybe this was all, since gift-giving was so expensive, and had to be kept to a bare minimum on Plain View Farm, which was a small farm for such a big family as theirs to support.
Losing a bag of treats meant one might go without any Christmas gift that Christmas. How sad! They had all counted on enjoying these precious gifts at Christmas.
Now what a sorry turn of events, it would seem on a Day that was supposed to be full of joy and happiness! Try as they might, the children could not turn up all the bags!
Yet Papa was not the daddy to give in easily where his family's happiness was concerned.
"I think there's one more," he said.
He thought carefully of what he could do to find it. He knew he couldn't see where the candy bag was hidden in the snow, but his feet could feel, couldn't they?
Sliding along, feeling carefully with his feet in the snow, he located the missing bag, and it was reunited with its happy owner.
Joy was restored to all hearts and faces, and the Stadem family sailed off toward home at Plain View Farm.