Charmingly, Mari Sandoz tells of a long-ago Christmas in western Nebraska when her father’s house was filled with good music. Old Jules had ordered an Edison phonograph and boxes of cylinder records from the East, paying for them with an inheritance and ignoring debts, to the chagrin of his long-suffering wife. But the entire family soon entered into the holiday spirit as neighbors arrived to feast and dance and enjoy musical selections ranging from Lucia di Lammermoor to Casey at the Telephone. Even old enmities dissolved under the spell, for, as Old Jules said, “The music is for everybody.”
A classic in the tradition of Dylan Thomas’s Child’s Christmas in Wales and Truman Capote’s Christmas Memory, this story by the famous author of Old Jules was first published posthumously in December 1966.
Linda Hasselstrom is a rancher and freelance writer living in Cheyenne, Wyoming. She is the author of Land Circle: Writings Collected from the Land.