My family has been run by women for as far back as we can trace, which is, I guess, my great-great Grandmothers on both sides. These where stout Midwestern women, workhorses who took the reins when crisis struck, who made sure their families where provided for and remained together. I am humbled to be from such hardy stock. My foremothers where nurses & nursemaids, waitresses & cashiers. They worked very hard for long hours, often for pay that amounted to an indignity. I identify with their experience because I myself worked those kinds of jobs for years.
When my foremothers were raising their families, Christmas was a holiday they looked forward to. Maybe they couldn’t get a Christmas goose or the kind of gifts they wanted to for their children, but they got that day off to spend with them. They got the gift of rested feet and a back redeemed, even if for just a day.