When I think of Christmas’s past I’m reminded of the simple and wonderful Christmas’s while still living at home in Morgan.
There was music, beauty, love, laughter, sometimes tears, the spirit of giving, thanksgiving, and the anticipation of wonder.
Memories of the smell of sweet spices, sugar cookies, homemade soups, spiced cider and hot chocolate, were great to come home to especially after an afternoon in the snow, sledding or just playing in the yard.
The mountain Christmas scene with the star and a special message and rich, clear music from large speakers coming from Little’s mountain on the east side of Morgan, could be heard all over town. I would bring my kids almost every year, since we moved back to Utah. We would get right up close to see the beautiful signs and pictures that decorate the mountain and read the special message at the top because it wasn’t the same message every year. Music was the basic familiar Christmas and winter songs.This would make you feel good and warm inside even on the coldest of days.
The Church Christmas program would be the Saturday before Christmas we would sometimes be in costume, mainly angels and shepherds. I remember one year we sung a special song, besides the ones we would sing every year that went with the first Christmas story.
The song that spelled out Christmas and some of us had a letter in the song to hold up. I got to hold the letter “I”. It went like this: “C is for the Christ child, born on Christmas day, H for herald angels in the night, R means are redeemer, I means Israel, S is for the star that shines so bright,T is for three wise men they who traveled far, M is for the manger where he laid, A is all he stands for, S means shepherds came and that’s why there’s a Christmas day.”
Our church house was the old North Morgan Ward building, when we walked in the front door of the church, there was a full flight of stairs up, straight ahead to the chapel that’s where all the Christmas programs were held. Also inside the front door, off to the left, a flight of stairs down, to the cultural hall. After the Christmas program, we all went down stairs for refreshments and the hope that we would visit with Santa.
We were really lucky because we got to sit on the real Santa’s lap (or so I thought) he had rosy red cheeks and twinkly eyes and white fluffy beard, he was always so happy to see us. We would see Santa also at the courthouse, the first Saturday in December, with a small bag of candies, for each of us.
I remember I wasn’t too old when I went caroling with my big brother and sister, I especially remember the nice warm cocoa at someone’s house afterwards. When I got older, the young men and women would take treats to the widows and elderly, we would be riding on hay wagons singing Christmas Carols. Then when we were done sometimes they would drop us off at home or we would return to the church for hot cocoa and cookies.
It was a time of year people would set aside their differences and celebrate the birth of our Savior.
We had traditions in our home to read the story of Jesus’s birth and I would set up my paper Nativity as it was read. We would do this on Christmas eve, then we would celebrate another birthday my mom’s, with cake and ice cream and birthday presents for her. Though she really didn’t want us to fuss she said it was just another day. Yet when she was a child and it did mean something special to her, it was often overlooked.
We had to have an artificial Christmas Tree because Mom was allergic to pine trees. We always put the tree up, a week before Christmas and after it was decorated we would celebrate my brother’s birthday.
Sometimes we get caught up in the rush and forget these little traditions, but that is what makes memories.
Thank you for all those in Morgan that strive to keep traditions alive. I wish you all a white and bright Christmas and New Year.