A Western Christmas(92)

By: Renee Ryan and Louise M. Gouge

“Very well, Mr. Jared Mattson. I do believe you’re stuck right here on the Sharp ranch. What do you think of that?”

He pulled her back into his arms. “Mrs. Mattson, I can’t think of anyplace I’d rather be.” And he sealed that thought with a kiss.

* * * * *

Dear Reader,

Thank you for choosing to read Yuletide Reunion     during this Christmas season. I hope your Christmas will be filled with joy as you celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Yuletide Reunion     is set on a fictional ranch beside the Rio Grande near the fictional town of Riverton, New Mexico. My sister lives in a beautiful, real-life adobe house beside the river, and during my many visits to see her, I have been inspired by the history of the area. I’ve long wanted to write a story set on her land, although I’ve tweaked the descriptions for this story’s sake. After all, it takes place in 1886, and of course life was harder back then. No phones, no television, no running water. Meals were cooked on woodstoves. Many natural and human dangers faced the settlers every day. Still, our hardy ancestors managed to survive and build strong communities. They also loved to celebrate Christmas, just as we do today.

Our family has many traditions that we enjoy at this time of the year. Perhaps your family does, too. One of the traditions that takes place in New Mexico each year is Las Posadas, a nine-day celebration of Navidad, Spanish for “Christmas.” When learning about the difficulties of past generations, I’m also struck by the attempts of some people to get along with their neighbors. I was inspired to write about two such groups within my fictional community.

For hundreds of years, Mexicans had settled in the land we now call New Mexico, then known as New Mexico Territory. After the 1848 “Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo,” new boundaries were drawn, giving the territory to the United States. The Mexicans living there were given the opportunity to move to Mexico or remain on their land. Numerous families remained. At this time, many Americanos moved into the area, and animosities sprang up between the two groups. In my idealistic community, the pastors of two different local denominations decide to set the example and bring their congregations together, concentrating on their common belief in Jesus Christ instead of their differences.

I love to hear from my readers, so if you enjoyed Yuletide Reunion    , please write and let me know. Please also visit my website: http://blog.Louisemgouge.com.

God bless you.

Louise M. Gouge

Also By Renee Ryan and Louise M. Gouge

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