Simple Tree. Special Quilt. Wild Goose Chase.

At our annual Kiefner Christmas gathering (the Sunday before Christmas), we load up in our trucks and head out to a field at the family farm. This year I spotted a Wild Goose Chase at Kiefner Christmas.

After bringing in our food and drink to share, the afternoon begins in the field. Two of my brother-in-laws cut down the chosen tree and we snap precious family photos.

Image of Matt and Pop in Field
My father-in-law, Pop, and husband Matt at the tree cutting.

Back at the house, the grandkids decorate the freshly cut tree and then we join around the dining table to sing carols. Afterward we enjoy a gift exchange, hot soup and goodies, and lots of visiting.

In a quiet moment, I noticed my mother-in-law had placed a vintage quilt around the base of the tree. I couldn’t imagine a more perfect setting for the lovely work, obviously done by hand, long ago.

Image of Wild Goose Chase under the Tree

Seeing the quilt made me wonder how many quilters around the world had made quilts as Christmas gifts, wrapped them and placed them under a tree for a loved ones to open.

This blue and white quilt was a Wild Goose Chase pattern, as best I could tell without disturbing it’s placement. It was gifted to my mother-in-law from her brother, having belonged to his wife.

The “Wild Goose Chase” quilt block is said to have been named after families heading west in search of fortune. It is also called “Flying Geese” and “Oddfellows Cross”.

Perhaps unintentional, my mother-in-law’s choice of quilt to wrap around the tree had an extra meaning for me. You see, each year any new-comers to the Kiefner Christmas are required to star in the roles of the “Geese a Layin'” in our “Twelve Days of Christmas” (with motions) carol. There is a year-long quest for new geese and perhaps a bit of exaggerated drama about the role they are to play, just to make them nervous and have a little fun.

When this post was originally published (2019), I didn’t know that this Kiefner “Christmas at the Farm” would be our last with Pop. He absolutely loved the annual gathering and having everyone around. Pop especially loved the caroling led on the piano by his loving wife.

Each year, prior to singing our last of about 10 carols, “The Twelve Days of Christmas”, Pop would read to us all the origin of the song and the true meaning of the words. In recent years, he’d choose a different grandchild each year to read the words for him. Read about how the song was used by Roman Catholics as a catechism when they weren’t allowed to freely practice their religion HERE.

Then came the fun. He’d gather the “geese” near him and explain their task to sufficiently perform the role of a “goose-a-layin'”. Even with limited movement, Pop would gleefully take proper goose-squatting position and demonstrate the role. The geese had to show they could perform their role before the singing began. (Pop had been known to stop the song and make the goose squat lower!)

So after we reviewed the rest of the motions, we’d join in singing and laughing through the long carol.

Image of Kiefner Christmas at the Farm Wild Goose Chase
Family Photo by Blake Kiefner of B Connaway Photography

Do you make Christmas quilts for gifts or do you decorate with quilt? Are quilts a part of your Christmas traditions?

Wishing you a wonderful time with family and friends this Christmas season.

See Christmas quilt patterns like “Merry” below at Etsy/CreativeBeeStudios.

See Introducing Merry HERE

Image of Diplay at Shop
Use BOTH Sides of one focus fabric for “Merry”! Shop Etsy CLICK HERE.