Christmas was coming
—Little House in the Big Woods
Christmas is a special holiday for Laura Ingalls Wilder, and she writes with fond remembrance of the holiday gatherings, special traditions, and heartfelt gifts from her childhood. Her simple joy at even the littlest treasures helps us remember the meaning of the season and how much love matters when it comes to the presents we choose to give.
We know many of our readers enjoy Little House on the Prairie during the holiday season, so here are some wonderful ways to be inspired by the traditions of the Ingalls family.
Christmas in Little House on the Prairie
Because so many Little House on the Prairie fans love the Christmas episodes, a special holiday DVD was created to celebrate those moments. The Little House on the Prairie, A Merry Ingalls Christmas DVD features two fabulous episodes:
This heart-warming episode is one of the most popular in the series for a good reason. In this episode, you follow each member of the Ingalls family, going out of their way to try to put together a meaningful gift that will be special.
Laura dyes yarn with homemade dye (you can try it yourself here!) to make a warm scarf for Pa. But her sacrifice for Ma’s gift is one of the most touching moments of all. And who can forget Carrie with her precious Christmas star? You can make a homemade Christmas tree topper yourself to keep the holiday spirit alive in your home!
This episode is from Season 8 when the Ingalls children have grown. When they get snowed in by a blizzard, everyone takes turns sharing stories and memories of Christmases they remember. (Did you know that there was a REAL blizzard event in Laura’s lifetime?)
It’s so inspiring to see how the memories everyone shares brings them together. It reminds us of simpler times during a season that is so often cluttered and overwhelming now in modern days.
One Christmas episode not on the holiday DVD is from Season 3. On Christmas Eve, Miss Beadle releases the kids early to go home, and many get trapped in the storm. Charlotte Stewart remembers this episode in her post about playing Miss Beadle, and it has the significance of being the only Christmas episode to end on a somber note.
Christmas Traditions in the Little House Books
Laura’s writings often included descriptive scenes surrounding the holidays and Christmas gatherings. I love the book A Little House Christmas: Holiday Stories From the Little House Books, which gathers some favorite chapters into one-holiday edition. Some of the most special moments include:
Christmas in the Big Woods
From Little House in the Big Woods, we get to read the beautiful account of Laura’s early childhood and the memorable family gatherings when she lived in the Big Woods of Wisconsin.
You can bring some of these fun family traditions to your own gatherings this Christmas season! Try making maple sugar candy as Laura did in the snow. And of course – don’t forget some lovely handmade presents. If you’re handy with a sewing machine, try making this gorgeous rag doll puppet for a child in your life. We always remember how happy Laura’s rag doll made her.
Mr. Edwards Meets Santa Claus
From the book, Little House on the Prairie comes one of my favorite Christmas stories when Mr. Edwards saves Christmas for the Ingalls girls. They receive delicious peppermint candies (See how to make your own here), tin cups, and a shiny new penny as gifts! What a Christmas.
But more than anything, this story highlights how important hope and faith can be. Ma hung the stockings up for the girls even as the creek was rising, and they knew Santa wouldn’t make it. It also highlights the richness that friendship and community brought to their lives. (Make your own Little House inspired stockings here).
Plum Creek Christmas Memories
From On the Banks of Plum Creek comes several Christmas memories. One that I think touches all our hearts is when Laura recounts, “Then Ma told them something else about Santa Claus. He was everywhere, and besides that, he was all the time. Whenever anyone was unselfish, that was Santa Claus.”
Ma allows Mary and Laura to make a button string for Carrie, and they are so happy to be able to put together a lovely string for her out of Ma’s colorful button box. You can make your own homemade jewelry pieces inspired by Carrie’s button string or use your favorite Christmas-colored buttons in this Christmas DIY Table Runner to help you get in the Christmas spirit!
Later in this book, we read about a lovely Christmas surprise when the girls go to town for a church Christmas event. Laura is taken with the beautiful Christmas tree at the front of the church, full of gifts hanging from every branch. “Everything on that tree was a Christmas present for someone!” Each girl got a large popcorn ball off the tree, and Laura got a special fur set she had noticed. It was a special Christmas celebration spent with the entire community!
Little House on the Prairie Inspired Christmas
Most of Laura’s life, Christmas gifts were either made specifically for the people you were giving them to, or they had to be carefully selected and brought from town – often a several days journey. It’s much easier to choose the perfect gift now, but that doesn’t mean we have to lose the spirit of the holidays that Laura shows us in her stories of faith and family. Some Little House on the Prairie themed gift ideas we love:
- Litographs® Library Tote
- Original Little House on the Prairie Note Cards
- Laura Ingalls Wilder Coffee Mug
- Old-Fashioned Stamp Throw Pillow
- The Queen’s Treasures® Little House on the Prairie® Laura Ingalls 18-inch Doll
- Anything from the Little House on the Prairie Storiarts Collection
See our complete Little House on the Prairie Gift Guide for even more ideas. Let these Christmas inspirations help you create the best Christmas ever for your family, no matter where your “little house” maybe.
Mother of five living in rural Oklahoma with her husband and children, Angela is the Founder of Untrained Housewife, co-founder of the Homestead Bloggers Network and Organic Gardening expert at About.com. She is the author of Backyard Farming on an Acre (More or Less), as well as several other books, all with the common theme of helping people embrace the journey towards self-sufficiency.