An Anderson Christmas Story

Updated: Dec 21, 2020

By Mary Anderson Pickard, eldest daughter of Walter Inglis Anderson


Excerpted from "My Mother Was Santa Claus but My Father was an Indian", included in Christmas Memories from Mississippi published by Univ. Press of Mississippi

(Edited by Charline Mccord & Judy H. Tucker; Illustrated by Wyatt Waters)

Walter Inglis Anderson, "Mountain Woods," 1954. Watercolor. Courtesy of the Family of Walter Anderson.

Fog came with winter,


frequently whitening our Christmas. It crept up over the bluff from the water or swirled in through the pine savannah to wrap around the big house like a muffling blanket. Waking in my northwest bedroom I'd know it was there without looking, feeling its cold, damp thickness, hearing its intimate dripping from the branches of the big cedar trees closest to the house. With it came silence and mystery. Familiar trees were obscured. Horizons disappeared. Even the sun, our great timekeeper, seemed lost in the layers of white. The islands were gone, and, gradually, as I watched anxiously through my m