Lange family carries on Christmas family tradition

Cousins get together. Sitting, from left, are Linda Lange, Lindsey Lange, Debbie Finseth, Jennifer Collett and Peggy Garcia. In the middle row are Jerilyn Schmidt, Colleen Marks, Deanna Adams, Jill Helget, Dawn Feirer, Rita Douglas, Tami Ferson and Ronald Lange. In back are Robert Lange, Penny Weis and Steve Lange. SUBMITTED PHOTO

With the arrival of cold, winter weather with heavy, deep snow, then crusted over with ice the first weekend in December, there were many who were concerned about the weather for Dec. 16 but as nature (dare I say Mother Nature?) was in charge, there was beautiful December sunshine, low wind-chill, and clear highways for traveling for the Langes’ 54th annual Christmas celebration at the Wykoff Community Hall. 

Seventy-five members and friends of Harry and Nellie Lange gathered together, traveling from Spring Valley, Fountain, Preston, Peterson, Racine, Stewartville, Ostrander, LeRoy, Rochester, St. Charles, Lewiston, Utica, Farmington, Rosemount, Winona and Colorado Springs, Colorado. Deanne Adams from Farmington welcomed everyone to the celebration and offered a prayer of thanksgiving for the family celebration and for the bountiful potluck buffet for the noontime dinner.   A moment of silence and in remembrance of 53-year-old Patty (Lange) Burt was observed; she died Oct. 24, 2018, after a courageous five-year fight against brain and lung cancer.

After the noontime dinner, a variety of gifts were drawn for those in attendance.  Sacks of candy were given to all children in attendance, thanks to the generosity of Dawn and Matt Feirer and the Planning Committee.  Christmas gifts were exchanged.  During a short business meeting and after discussion, it was voted to have the Langes’ 55th annual Christmas celebration again the third Sunday, Dec. 17, 2019, and to rent the larger hall.  Ron Westphal, Sr., of Lewiston once again donated a large wooden wishing well he designed and constructed as a fundraiser toward the hall rent.  Ron’s mother-in-law, Anna (Lange) Blaskowski, won the wishing well in the raffle drawing and was very pleased.  Everyone appreciates meeting in the hometown community hall with tables, chairs and big kitchen with ovens, dishes and more. The Community Hall is an asset to Wykoff and the entire community. 

 Passing the hat took place and thanks to generous donations and the wishing well raffle ticket sales, enough funds were received for expenses of the celebration with some seed money for next year.  Recognition of three of the 12 Langes present were Jerry Lange, Roy Lange and Margaret Lex. Roy has now attended all 54 Lange Christmas celebrations. Bingo followed with many prizes for the lucky winners. 

The new “younger” Christmas committee for 2018 did an excellent job of planning the Lange Christmas celebration and included:  Deanne Adams, Dawn and Matt Feirer, Jill and Troy Helget, Jennifer and Bill Collett, Dawn and Ron Lange, Michelle and Steve Lange, and other volunteers.

 “Tradition cannot be inherited, and if you want it, you must obtain it by great labor.”  — T. S. Eliot. Yes, 54 years of celebrating together the Lange family Christmas is indeed a great tradition, and a true blessing.

By Margaret Lex

Family historian