Christmas Program: Priorities on North Dakota Homestead

Grandchildren joined their grandparents on the homestead and attended the local church Christmas program.

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In the early 1900s my family, with its two small boys, lived on a farm on a North Dakota homestead. Spending our first vacation in Iowa with our parents in the old farm home at Christmastime was a great joy to us. We arrived the day before Christmas, so we could be present for the Christmas program at our country church.

We rode to the church in a bobsled with high sideboards and spring seats along the sides. In the bottom was a carpet of bright straw. The team had red tassels on their bridles and a string of sleigh bells on the harness.

After walking down the aisle of the church, seeing the bright lamps in their brackets, we found a seat facing the tree. It was a big tree decorated with waves of tinsel, colored paper ropes, and ornaments. Gifts were piled at the base. After the program and music, the gifts were passed, and then the benediction closed the program.

My 4-year-old son, happy with the evening, turned a somersault in the pew beside me, causing a few people to smile as he exclaimed, "Well, the show is over."

Mrs. Grace Thompson
Oelwein, Iowa


Back in 1955 a call went out from the editors of the then Capper’s Weekly asking for readers to send in articles on true pioneers. Hundreds of letters came pouring in from early settlers and their children, many now in their 80s and 90s, and from grandchildren of settlers, all with tales to tell. So many articles were received that a decision was made to create a book, and in 1956, the first My Folks title – My Folks Came in a Covered Wagon – hit the shelves. Nine other books have since been published in the My Folks series, all filled to the brim with true tales from Capper’s readers, and we are proud to make those stories available to our growing online community.