by Bob Artley
Built in 1877, Bob Artley’s family farm in Hampton, Iowa, was without indoor plumbing and was heated by wood or a coal-burning stove. Yet, the air was filled with love and security, especially during the holiday season. It created a magical childhood that Artley wished every child could experience. Sharing his memories through nationally syndicated articles, other writings, sketches, and 10 books was Artley’s way of helping that wish come true.
From the arrival of mail-order catalogues to perilous tobogganing sessions, Artley depicts a rural Christmas rich with simple activities that often go unnoticed. In loving detail, he describes the homemade gifts he and his siblings created for their parents, reminisces about sharing family popcorn evenings on cold winter nights, details delightful meals that marked the Yuletide season, and remembers selecting and cutting Christmas trees. This book, packed with watercolor painting and Artley’s sketches, emphasizes the joys of family and friends over the excess of material wants and needs. A great holiday gift for those with an appreciation of the past, or those wanting to learn about “the good old days.”