Christmas with the Andersons - Love and Lutefisk in 1961

It's funny how some things or experiences you have as a child really stay with you.  A treasured memory of mine was our yearly lutefisk Christmas with the Andersons. Al, Mr. Anderson, was a good lifelong friend of my Dad's. He had known him from childhood. I think their parents even had been friends. He and his wife Ruth were wonderful people. Each year, sometime during the Christmas season, our family would go to their home for a lutefisk dinner. I never did like the lutefisk but Mrs. Anderson's meatballs were so so good. Mr. Anderson and my Dad would laugh over people they knew in their childhood, like "Snusbox Benson" and tell stories to each other in Swedish laughing all the while.

Their Chicago home was small and simple but oh so welcoming and comforting that I really treasured those visits. They had a dog named Patsy. After my kids were born I insisted on a Springer Spaniel just hoping it would be like that great pup that laid under the Andersons end table. My Dad was a bit older than my Mom and the Andersons had married young so their children were already teens when we were very young so I don't remember much interaction with them. Except, their son Len had a foosball table! How rich was that I thought! and they set it up right in the living room just for us! And even better, a Lionel train that really smoked and a station master that came out with each circle of the Christmas tree! You know that I HAD to buy that same station master for my Lionel. My husband and I built a beautiful Christmas train layout but that station master is the favorite of my grandkids as it was for me. For some unknown reason they call him "Bob".

The Christmas of 1961, now 55 years ago, is one that stands out above the rest. The Andersons, after prayers, lutefisk, Swedish jokes and reminiscing gave us the best presents ever. That year I remember in particular because my sister and I got Storybook Shirley Temple Dolls. She got Shirley Temple dressed as Little Bo Peep and I got Red Riding Hood. I couldn't believe it! I would tell you more but for some reason I just can't see clearly enough to type any more and I feel rather sniffly. I must be getting a cold or something.      I am such a silly old thing.

Merry Christmas to all my Swedish-American cousins!
Merry Christmas and God bless you too,
 Mr and Mrs. Anderson!

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