I have two pretty distinct memories of Christmas from my childhood on the farm that really stand out. They still make me smile today. Up until my mother was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer when I was 12, I remember that I had what I like to call a "Leave It To Beaver" life. Things kind of fell apart after that, but that's another story.

I grew up in a rural area, went to a small school, and had a great home life. My dad farmed and worked at a sawmill, while my mom taught school. My favorite aunt and uncle, my dad's sister and her husband, lived on a farm about three miles away. My uncle would dress up as Santa on Christmas Eve and bring my sister and brothers and me gifts. We didn't figure it out that it was our uncle until we got to be older, and he stopped doing it. It's still a special memory for me.

The other memory that stands out has to do with the same aunt and uncle. My family was spending Christmas Eve at their house. My uncle told me to go outside and listen to something. I remember it as being a clear December night, with snow on the ground and a a billion stars in the sky shining brightly. About a mile away, a neighboring farmer was playing Christmas music over some outdoor speakers. It was an organ and  chimes recording of traditional carols. On that cold night, with all of those stars in the sky, the sound of that music floating over the snow covered fields was magical. The memory of that night has stayed with me for nearly 50 years.

What are some magical Christmas memories that you may have?