Love, family and Christmases in Bluff Dale.


By CATHEY SIMS HARTMANN


Many of you may have known my sister, Mary Anne Yarbrough Foreman. She was the communication specialist at Tarleton State University for many years, covering and taking pictures of just about every event held at TSU.


She also loved Yellow Jacket football and would take pictures at games and send copies to families. People still tell me how much they appreciated what she did for their students high school football career.

We lost Mary Anne in 2006, but every Christmas I take out a decoupaged plaque of a poem that she wrote and presented to our parents in 1982.


It hangs in a special place by the fireplace, and at least once during the Christmas season, I take it down and read it again.


All of the memories she mentions come back to me with such nostalgia and joy that I thought I would share it with you in hopes it might bring back some of your own special Christmas memories.


May the light and love of Christmas be with your family this year.

CHRISTMAS AT HOME by Mary Anne Yarbrough


Sometimes late at night when the sounds of winter haunt the night air,

And I’m snug and warm under the covers, it all comes back to me. Those

Christmases of my youth.


More than the twinkle of bright lights and the sweet smell of cedar,

Christmases at Bluff Dale paint memories of emotions, family and most of all, love.


The anxious whispers between two sisters, the sleepless nights spent wondering

How “he’d” get in without a chimney; the rustle of early morning stocking stuffers,

And that strong familiar alarm with its annual greeting, “Hey, who’s been here!”


There were four of us then, and the love we shared was never more powerful than when

It grew to five, then six. Santa never missed that White House on the hill, even though

His deliveries were sometimes less than simple.


There was the Christmas long ago when Santa’s elves spent hours assembling a doll

Buggy in the cold, dark barn; and the arrival of that first cuddly baby doll known

Forever after as “Baby Jesus.”


There was the Christmas that three of Santa’s helpers lugged the recliner from the

Barn to the house in the dead of night; and oh, the many Christmases when Santa

Had to work around the sleeper on the fold-out couch.


At times it seemed that there were more Santas in the Bluff Dale house than stockings;

But the key to this maze of super sleuths is, after all, to make Christmas morning a surprise.


It’s long past the days of red-suited Santas for us now; but the rattle of boxes and anxious Pleas of “Let’s open just one” are still vibrant. The years have been good to us all; there have been lean years, but none seems too apparent on second thought.


In a world of confusion and instability, nothing seems more secure than family, home, and Christmas in Bluff Dale.