Study Guide

My Ántonia Book 1, Chapter 12

By Willa Cather

Book 1, Chapter 12

  • On Christmas morning Jim wakes up to see the men coming in from their morning chores. They all shout "Merry Christmas" to each other. Grandfather says particularly long prayers that morning and reads aloud from the Bible. He thanks God for Christmas.
  • Narrator-Jim remarks that Grandfather had a special talent for saying prayers.
  • They have waffles and sausage for breakfast. Jake tells them that the Shimerdas were happy with their presents, even Ambrosch. That afternoon Jake and Jim play marbles while Otto writes a letter to his mother, as he does every Christmas.
  • At 4pm Mr. Shimerda shows up with his rabbit-skin winter gear. He's there to thank them for everything they've done for his family.
  • He seems to be very content, though it's only a break from his constant sadness.
  • At 9pm, he leaves to go home. As he departs, he makes the sign of the cross over Grandmother and tells her that she's a good woman.
  • He adds that the prayers of all good people are good.