The front and back parlor of Betsy’s House (Maud Hart Lovelace’s childhood home), December 2013. One can almost hear the old familiar carols played on the piano and sung by the Hart family.

The tree stood in the dining room, and its candle light mingled with the soft light from the fire in the grate as Julia went out to the piano and they all sang “O Little Town of Bethlehem,” “It Came Upon the Midnight Clear,” “Hark, the Herald Angels Sing,” and “Silent Night.”

Then they gathered around the fire with Margaret in the circle of her father’s arm, and Betsy read from Dicken’s “Christmas Carol,” the story of the Cratchit’s Christmas Dinner. Margaret recited “Twas the Night Before Christmas,” and Julia read the story of Jesus’ birth out of the Book of Luke. Later they turned out the lights to fill one another’s stockings which were hung around the fireplace. (Quote from Heaven to Betsy by Maud Hart Lovelace)

By firelight and Christmas-tree light the family sang the old familiar carols. Betsy read from Dicken’s A Christmas Carol, Margaret recited “Twas the Night before Christmas,” and Julia, grave and reverent, read the story of Jesus’ birth out of the book of Luke.  When this was over, they turned out the lights and filled one another’s stockings with smothered giggles which anticipated next morning’s fun. “Now you all stay in bed until the house is warm,” Mr. Ray always said. (Quote from Betsy Was a Junior by Maud Hart Lovelace)