Christmas Eve at The Kradel’s

This is the house where magic happened on Christmas Eve! From the time I was about 12 years old our Christmas Eve’s were celebrated in this house. Everyone in the family who could get there would spend one magical night together – eating, drinking, exchanging gifts, joking, but most of all, the best thing that…
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Christmas Eve At The Kecks

Christmas Eve was the very best time of the year for Grandma and Grandpa Keck.  Grandma began weeks ahead to prepare.  She made tons of cookies, nut breads, cooked cheese and candy.  Grandpa did his part by purchasing a five pound box of chocolates from the Sugar Bowl.  The final offering for the evening buffet…
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Christmas Eve With The Bachmans

For our family, Christmas Eve always started with the rush to get ready for church. Daddy got home a bit early that day. On this day he usually had a gift from Freehling Lumber Company with him. The Freehlings held an annual open house for the men who bought building materials from them. I remember…
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Cousin Eddie Whispered In My Ear

It was Christmas Eve at Great-Grandma and Grandpa Keck’s house. The entire clan was there – great-aunts, great-uncles, second cousins, aunts, uncles, cousins, mom, dad, me, my sisters. But when we talked about this side of the family, we were all just aunts, uncles, and cousins. Christmas Eve was the biggest family soiree of the…
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Donald Arthur Kradel On Christmas Eve

[singlepic id=7 w=340 float=center] My Dad having a singular contemplative moment on Christmas Eve at his Grandma and Grandpa Keck’s. I think he was 18 years old in this photo. In this photo: Donald Arthur Kradel


Grandma Kradel always had a nice selection of homemade Christmas Cookies for the Christmas Eve table. She would spend weeks baking cookies for the family. She would make classics like Chocolate Chip, Pizzelles, Thumbprints, Peanut Butter Kisses, Date Bars – my favorite! – and cookies that she called Pfeffernüsse, also a family favorite. Sometimes we…
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Decorating The Bachman House

We lived on a farm of about fifty acres when I was growing up. The farm was in Jefferson Center in western Pennsylvania and situated so that no other house could be seen from our house, even though the farm where our grandparents lived – and later aunts and uncles – as well as a…
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