Ardeth Greene Kapp is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She recently returned from the Canada Vancouver Mission, where her husband, Heber, presided from 1992 to 1995. Before their mission, Sister Kapp served as general president of the Young Women organization of the Church. A popular author and speaker, she has written several books, including My Neighbor, My Sister, My Friend; The Joy of the Journey; and What Stripling Warriors Learned from Their Mothers.
A Christmas Story: Christmas Traditions
Since I grew up in Alberta, Canada, I never had to dream of a white Christmas. There was always plenty of snow and cold at Christmas time. At least that’s how I remember it.
I also remember, besides the cold temperatures, the feeling of warmth, that happy feeling of being together as our parents, four aunts, uncles, and many cousins of all ages gathered at our grandparents’ big three-story house, where we remained from Christmas Eve clear through New Year’s Day.
This tradition must have seemed strange to the folks in our small town of Glenwood, since all of our aunts and uncles and cousins lived within walking distance of each other all year long, only a few blocks away from each other. It was not inconvenient for our dads and brothers to return home night and morning to milk the cows, do the chores, and be back in time for our large and happy family breakfast and evening supper. During the morning we played games and listened to favorite stories told and retold by our grandmother as we gathered around the large grate in the floor that let the heat pour out from the furnace below. In the afternoon we practiced for the evening’s talent show while our mothers made pies and cakes. I don’t remember what our dads did during the day, but they joined us as we all gathered for supper; and after the evening meal we presented a talent show to a very responsive audience, who all sang together. We had a family orchestra and it was agreed, especially by our grandpa, that we were a very musical family. (more…)