BISMARCK, N.D. (KX News) — Christmas comes and goes and more or less seems like a repeat of the year before, except for last year and this year. Alex and Kathryn Bichler have lived through a lot of Christmas seasons and life in general. And after what came in 2020, this will literally be the Christmas of a lifetime.

November 6, 1946, is the day Alex and Kathryn got married more than 75 years ago, but Kathryn was skeptical then.

“My impression at first was not the best, because he was a little bit on the wild side,” Kathryn said.

With a little patience, things changed and the two have been together through life’s ups and downs. The couple spent their life farming.

“We did everything. We had chickens and ducks and geese. The only thing we didn’t have was sheep,” she said.

The other thing they had and still do is a large family.

“I’m the middle of six children,” Alex and Kathryn’s daughter, Kathy Ibach said. “Every day was an example of faith, family, and friends,” as shown in a photo taken during their 75th-anniversary party at Touchmark where Alex and Kathryn live.

But last Christmas for the Bichler’s, like it was for many of us, was tough, including not being able to see friends and family as much as possible, as well as not having all the fun that they wanted to.

“Last year, we didn’t get to have our resident Christmas party,” Touchmark Life Enrichment Director Grace Renner said. “We were trying to keep our residents and the community of Bismarck and Mandan safe.”

Fortunately, pandemic conditions are improving in North Dakota, so the Christmas party is back on. As far as what has kept the Bichler’s together for so long, Kathryn said it’s not complicated.

“It was the commitment, the children, most of all, we took our responsibilities as a family serious [sic] and that had to come first,” Kathryn said, not to mention having a lot of fun and a sense of humor.

“I think she said it all,” Alex said.

The Bichler’s are just one example of Touchmark residents looking forward to a more normal Christmas. A Christmas filled with family, fun and good health.