“This engaging childhood reminiscence comes alive through Artley’s numerous watercolor illustrations.”
“The text is well-written and compelling and the illustrations elevate this effort further. Younger children will find this title appealing because of the farm animals and Christmas theme, but children 10 and older are the primary audience, if they can pry it away from their parents.”
“This book celebrates a season filled with appreciation for simple joys and familial bonds.”
—Antiques and Collecting
Built in 1877, Bob Artley’s family farm in Hampton, Iowa, was without indoor plumbing and was heated by a wood- and coal-burning stove. The prevailing atmosphere was love and security, especially during the holiday season. It created a magical childhood that Artley wishes every child could have had the opportunity to experience. This sharing of his memories is an endeavor to make that wish come true.
From the perilous tobogganing sessions to the gleeful receipt of mail-order catalogs for the notations of coveted Christmas gifts, Artley depicts a rural Christmas rife with the simple activities that often go unnoticed. In loving detail, Artley describes the homemade, often impractical, gifts that he and his siblings created for their parents, which were accepted with gratefulness nevertheless. He remembers the “popcorn evenings” his family shared on those cold winter nights and the sumptuous, delightful meals that marked the return of a Yuletide season complete with a personally selected and cut Christmas tree. An Artley family Christmas emphasizes the joys of family and friends over the excess of material wants and needs.