Monday, December 25, 2017

Christmas Day, Winter Quarters 1846

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Christmas Day was more of a work day rather than a holiday, however, as all were going to bed, what could be heard through Winter Quarters?
a.                  The Mormon Tabernacle Choir caroling
b.                  The Relief Society caroling
c.                   The First Presidency caroling
d.                  Hymns
Yesterday’s answer:
B.    Candy
My father, Thomas Stolworthy, was foreman over the United Order cattle for twelve years, and when the Order was discontinued, there was nothing for the young people in the pioneer community to do but branch out and make homes for themselves. So my father and seven or eight young cowboys rode away to find a new home.
Can you imagine a Christmas under such conditions? Mother listened to the children’s prattle about Christmas—everyone praying to the Heavenly Father for Santa to find them. The men were busy making chairs out of willows and cradles for dolls. The women made big rag dolls with eyes made of buttons and yarn for hair. The day before Christmas, we kiddies were told to go play and not come in the house and bother the grownups. We all ganged up and played steal sticks, run sheep run, or anything to keep moving and warm. When we were running, we would have a chance to smell something real good, as some of the mothers would come out and run home with something very nice in their aprons. The mothers had mixed, rolled, cut, and baked gingerbread dolls of all sizes. There were cookies cut out to represent dogs, cats, and horses with raisins for eyes and made out of bran gingerbread with just enough precious flour to hold them together.
All the women and children were barefooted, so Sister Marshall cut and sewed the tops for shoes. Brother Marshall tanned a horsehide and put soles on the slippers. Everyone had new shoes. But you will say, “Did you eat all the candy alone?” We did not. Inside of an hour on that Christmas morning a cup of white sugar, some dried fruit, a spoonful of tea, some nuts, and two pieces of candy for each child was in every home in the valley. The candy was so pretty and too precious to eat, so the children just sat and looked at it and tried to see who could keep it the longest.

Lesson Committee, Museum Memories-Daughters of Utah Pioneers, (Salt Lake City, Talon Printing, 2010), 2: 146-147.

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