VOt 36 NO. 1



Monthly publication of the Relief Society of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

RELIEF SOCIETY GENERAL BOARD Belle S. Spafford .---__ President

Marianne C. Sharp - _ - _ _ First Counselor

Velma N. Simonsen . - - - . Second Counselor

Margaret C. Pickering ----- Secretary-Treasurer

Achsa E. Paxman Leone G. Layton Mary I. Wilson Josie B. Bay

Mary G. Judd Blanche B. Stoddard Lillie C. Adams Alta J. Vance

Anna B. Hart Evon W. Peterson Ethel C. Smith Christine H. Robinson

Edith S. Elliott Leone O. Jacobs Louise W. Madsen Alberta H. Christensen

Florence J. Madsen Aleine M. Young

RELIEF SOCIETY MAGAZINE Editor __._-----. Marianne C. Sharp

Associate Editor --------- Vesta P. Crawford

General Manager --------- Belle S. Spafford

Vol. 36 JANUARY, 1949 No. 1

Ly on tents


New Year Greetings General Presidency of Relief Society 3

The Modern Family and Spirituality Achsa E. Paxman 4

Award Winners Eliza R. Snow Poem Contest 6

Profile of Joseph First Prize Poem Dorothy J. Roberts 7

Another Mary Second Prize Poem Miranda Snow Walton 9

"Infant Daughter of . . ." Third Prize Poem Alice M. Burnett 11

Award Winners Annual Relief Society Story Contest 12

The Hurrah's Nest First Prize Story Estelle Webb Thomas 13

President Belle S. Spafford Elected to Office in the National Council Priscilla L. Evans 20

Relief Society Building News 22

Quick and Easy Dinners Sara Mills 30

How to Make a Kapok Quilt Ilean H. Poulson 38

The Conductor and the Accompanist Florence Jepperson Madsen 49

All in a Day's Pleasure Helen Martin 50


Joanna Chapter 1 Margery S. Stewart 23

The Dress— Part 1 Fay Tarlock 32


Sixty Years Ago 26

Woman's Sphere Ramona W. Cannon 27

Editorial: Renascence 1949 Marianne C. Sharp 28

Notes to the Field 29

Notes From the Field: Handicraft, Sewing, and Other Activities 41

From Near and Far 72


Theology: "The Transfiguration" Elder Don B. Colton 51

Visiting Teachers' Messages: "I Will Not Leave You Comfortless"....Elder H. Wayne Driggs 55

Work Meeting Sewing: Use Your Odds and Ends Jean Ridges Jennings 56

Literature: Literary Sidelights of the Founding Years Elder Howard R. Driggs 57

Social Science: Contemporary Domestic Problems Elder G. Homer Durham 62

Optional Lessons in Lieu of Social Science: The Presidency of Wilford Woodruff

Elder T. Edgar Lyon 66


January Snow Frontispiece Eva Willes Wangsgaard 1

Artist Gene Romolo 21

Give Love Gertrude T. Koven 22

A Snowfall : Julene J. Cushing 31

Once Remembered Wanda Greene Nielson 40

The Vigil Elsie Chamberlain Carroll 50

New Year Christie Lund Coles 50

From a Hospital Window Evelyn Fjeldsted 61

To a Seeing-Eye Dog Marvin Jones 61

Be Still and Know Beatrice K. Ekman 65

Color Guard Gladys I. Hamilton 71

Do Hearts Grow? Josephine J. Harvey 71

Lyric of Being Ruth Harwood 71


Editorial and Business Oflfices : 28 Bishop's Building, Salt Lake City 1, Utah, Phone 3-2741: Sub- scriptions 246; Editorial Dept. 245. Subscription Price: $1.50 a year; foreign, $2.00 a year; payable in advance. Single copy, 15c. The Magazine is not sent after subscription expires. No back numbers can be supplied. Renew promptly so that no copies will be missed. Report change of address at once, giving both old and new address.

Entered as second-class matter February 18, 1914, at the Post Oflfice, Salt Lake City, Utah under the Act of March 3, 1879. Acceptance for mailing at special rate of postage provided for in section 1103, Act of October 8, 1917, authorized June 29, 1918. Manuscripts will not be returned unless return postage is enclosed. Rejected manuscripts will be retained for six months only. The Magazine is not responsible for unsolicited manuscripts.


VOL. 36, NO. 1 JANUARY 1949


Eva Willes Wangsgaard

Someone came here in silver moccasins

So quietly I heard no step, no sound;

Now silently beside my door she spins

A fine white skein and winds it round and round.

An ice-wool cloak has covered every bough.

And, cast in crystal, weeds have lovely shapes.

Where yesterday were rattling rushes, now

Are graceful forms in flowing, fleecy capes.

Like tiny candle flames the bittersweet

Holds up vermilion berries through the snow

As if it kept in glowing beads of heat

The summer moments, loath to let them go;

And on and on the spinner piles her wool

In endless patterns white and beautiful.

The Cover: "White Peaks at Alta, Utah," Photograph by Warren Lee.

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lievp LJear (greetings to uieuef Society vi/omen %bvery[^K>here

/^NCE again the cycle of time brings to us a new year with its promise of new opportunities and experiences and with its rebirth of hope. It is good to face a new year filled with hope, faith, and dreams, to look for- ward to new opportunities and responsibilities, to anticipate untried under- takings and unexperienced events. It is good to face the new year with the composure and security that come from a firm, unwavering testimony of the gospel. It is good to face the new year fortified by the love, strength, and power that come from membership in a great and divinely inspired sisterhood which reaches out to the far corners of the earth and binds to- gether in closest bonds of fellowship women of many lands.

This new year the general board extends its sincere love to the more than 100,000 women throughout the world who comprise the Relief Society sisterhood. May the new year bring to each one the opportunities, priv- ileges, and responsibilities that go into making a good life.

We extend to you our deep appreciation for the contribution that each has made to the work of Relief Society during the past year. Your responsibilities have been heavy and unusual in nature and many of your tasks arduous. But with a diligence born of faith in the divinity of the work and with the spirit of loving devotion you have magnificently met each assignment, engraving on the history of Relief Society an enviable record of achievement for the year 1948.

As we go forward into another year, may the accomplishments of the past year sustain us. May we realize that each duty we have successfully performed and each task we have mastered have left us better qualified to meet whatever lies ahead.

As we go forward into another year may we continue strong in faith and in good works. May there emanate from Relief Society women every- where a love for mankind. May there be a renewed determination to love the Lord and keep his commandments, for in this we most appropriately speak our gratitude for his manifold blessings unto us and we best equip ourselves to enjoy a happy and successful new year.


Belle S. Spafford Marunne C. Sharp Velma N. Simonsen

General Presidency

Page 3

The Modern Family and Spirituality

Achsa E. Paxman Member, Relief Society General Board

HOME is the first and most and family prayers, and whether or

important school in life, and not our children have a testimony

religion should be the foun- of the gospel,

dation of its education. Everything A few years ago the following sug-

we want our Church and community gestions were given by Dr. Wayne

to be, we must begin to teach in the B. Hales as helps in family life:

home, our first aim being manhood »! u i i. uu

' o 1 . Always be an example to your child.

and womanhood. 1 he most power- 2. Establish confidence among your boys

ful and sustaining force in helping and girls.

us to meet the realities of life is re- 3- Establish traditions for your home

lipion. It helps us to face danger, ^^ ^^-^"g ^hat nothing can come to break

,? . , \ J ?> it. Have various days stand out as events

disappomtments, and sorrow. Ke- ^^ ^^^^ j^^j^^ ^

ligious faith helps us to put our 4. Use the agencies that are available

trust in the Lord and must be ac- for building character. Morality can be

quired early in life and exercised taught as well as arithmetic,

throughout life. It is a great influ- The parents who can plant de-

ence and blessing in every Latter- y^tion and faith in God in their

day Saint home. children have already laid a good

A mother is responsible for the foundation for a fine and happy

atmosphere of the home. If our lif^^ The value of the blessing on

children are to do their part we the food and family prayers gives

must do ours. One of our leaders spiritual joy and gratitude in the

has said, "I am not afraid of the home. People who pray together

youth of this Church. What are do not get very far apart,

you parents doing? Are you do- in our modern Latter-day Saint

ing your part in every way?" homes we must teach by example

Unless we are more capable wives the principles of honesty, dependa- and wiser mothers who teach by bility, and righteousness. It is the re- example the principles of honesty, sponsibility of the home to teach dependability, and righteousness, the three R's: righteous living; rev- we have fallen short of our goal in erence; and responsibility, spite of all our accomplishments. How do we teach righteousness? As mothers, it doesn't matter, when By righteous living. Reverence? we die, whether we have scrubbed By devotion to prayer and to Church our floors every day or not, but it principles and teachings. Respon- does matter whether we have taught sibility? Each member should be our children the Word of Wisdom, given responsibility. Home work

Page 4


should be shared so that parents and young people can spend some of their leisure time together.

"lATHAT a great advantage the Lat- ter-day Saint people have as the Church provides a constructive program from childhood through maturity. What a great blessing it is to the family when the parents and the children are taking ad- vantage of the auxiliary and Priest- hood work provided for the family, and when the father can say, 'This morning, son, it is Priesthood meet- ing, let us go together."

The mother who can inspire con- fidence that God is good and is looking after his children will pro- mote faith and devotion in her boy and will build a foundation for Priesthood work. Her influence will be just as great with her daugh- ters in their devotion to Church work.

A widowed mother with four children was suddenly bereft of her only adult kin, her mother. Of the trials and faith and courage, her old- est son said of his mother:

I think it was not so much what she said as what she was. Her very life breathed into the souls of those about her a beautiful peace. This gentle, quiet, suf- fering little mother of mine lived into my life the feeling that heaven was near and that God was good to her and all of his children even in our sorrows.

Jesus believed that the way to get faith out of men is to show that you have faith in them; and from that great principle of execu- tive management he never wavered.

Spirituality is the most important of all. If we seek guidance from our Father in heaven and strive to keep the principles and teachings of our Church and the commandments

of God, we will be blessed with joy and power in our homes.

Teach children that everyone is to obey laws. Give a child com- mendation and praise for right ac- tions. Everyone craves approval.

Dr. Popenoe expressed at a child welfare convention:

The primary factor in education is the example of the child's own parents. Chil- dren learn life from the pattern their par- ents use. Children seem intuitively to absorb prejudices, whims, etc. of par- ents. The future of the individual de- pends upon the wisdom and guidance of the parents. The greatest part of the education your children receive comes from you.

Home, then, is the first and most important school in life, and reli- gion should be the foundation of its education.

The Latter-day Saint home is where our boys and girls learn what life really is, what it means to know God the Father and his Son Jesus Christ. TTirough our homes our children respond to the teachings in Primary, M.I. A., Sunday School, Priesthood work and seminary. Hid- den treasures of knowledge unfold themselves; the standard works of the Church are clearer; life is in- finitely happier.

May we believe with Oliver Wendell Holmes that: "It is faith in something which makes life worth living." And may that faith lead us into a religious response to life which will take us up from the lev- el of compulsion, either of law or of conscience, to that highei: ground of an enthusiastic devotion to the finest ideals we know.

"Life at its best is the life where one loves the Lord with all one's might, mind, and strength, and his neighbor as himself."

K/L^K>ard vi/i'^


ibhza [ri. Snow IPoem (contest

nPHE Relief Society general board is pleased to announce the names of the three prize winners in the 1948 Eliza R. Snow Poem Con- test.

This contest was announced in the June 1948 issue of the Maga- zine, and closed September 15, 1948.

The first prize of twenty-five dol- lars is awarded to Dorothy }. Rob- erts, 35 'T" Street, Salt Lake City, Utah, for her poem "Profile of Joseph."

The second prize of twenty dol- lars is awarded to Miranda Snow Walton, 165 West 5th South, Salt Lake City, for her poem "Another Mary."

The third prize of fifteen dollars is awarded to Alice M. Burnett, 1128 East Elm Street, Lima, Ohio, for her poem "Infant Daughter of . . ."

This poem contest has been con- ducted annually by the Relief So- ciety general board since 1932, in honor of Eliza R. Snow, second gen- eral president of Relief Society, a gifted poet and beloved leader.

The contest is open to all Latter- day Saint women, and is designed to encourage poetry writing, and to increase appreciation for creative writing and the beauty and value of poetry.

Prize-winning poems are the prop- erty of the Relief Society general board, and may not be used for Page 6

publication by others except upon written permission from the gen- eral board. The general board also reserves the right to publish any of the other poems submitted, paying for them at the time of pub- lication at the regular Magazine rate. A writer who has received the first prize for two consecutive years must wait two years before she is again eligible to enter the contest.

There were seventy-two poems submitted in this year's contest, as compared with 105 entered last year. Many of the poems submitted this year were of outstanding qual- ity and revealed beauty of thoughts and literary technique of distinc- tion, and nearly all of the entries were based upon an interesting and significant idea.

All of the 1948 prize winners have received previous awards in the Eliza R. Snow Poem Contest. The general board congratulates the prize winners, and expresses ap- preciation to all entrants for their interest in the contest.

The general board wishes, also, to thank the three judges for their care and diligence in selecting the prize- winning poems. The services of the poetry committee of the gen- eral board are very much apprecia- ted.

The prize-winning poems, to- gether with photographs and bio- graphical sketches of the prize-win- ning contestants, are published herewith.

[Prize - vi/inmng LPoems

(bliza ui. Snow [Poem (contest


[Profile of Joseph

Doiothy J. Robcits

His words are muffled in the folds of time

Concealing lintels over Mary's door.

He leads a laden donkey through the lore

And plays his patient role in pantomime ....

Perhaps on sabbaths, cool beneath the lime,

His father pared life to the Adam-core

For him, shaping a boy's wild ways with more

Attunement to a still, celestial chime.

No lingering echoes legend Joseph's home, Yet his compliance hints, without a chart. That the flowing breast of wisdom fed his youth; That sweetness from Judean honeycomb, Pressed by a mother to his lips, was part Of him whose largo dreams unmuted truth.

What gendered Joseph that his heart should hear The angel summons; his discernment guide The troubled Virgin as the night grew wide And time's meridian star suffused the year?

Page 7


What gentle heritage of hope could steer

His vision through a labyrinth, untried?

Wliat courage, rooted deep within, denied

The hooded serpent of a whispering fear?

A manna from his forebears tinged his blood; Their priestly trumpets quivered in his veins. Their solemn altars marked the templed mind Of the quiet Israelite who braved the flood Of jeers that rumbled through Judean lanes; Who talked with angels and whose way was kind.

His trail, wind-writhen on Egyptian sand,

Has under rimpled silver found its grave.

For desert is fluid as a breaking wave

And less than sea, is servile to the hand.

A veil is spun before the mystic strand

Of sphinx and pyramid. Luke cannot pave

The way v^th knowing, nor the Gospels save;

The Flight remains a phantom on the land.

But once, in Matthew, can his lathe be heard.

Faint as the first cicada's violin.

And once we watch him seek, with anxious brow,

An adolescent son .... Yet with no word

To point his personality, how thin

The cloth of centuries that shrouds him now.

More beautiful than bronze, his profile glows. Faith on its Ararat among the snows.

Dorothy J. Roberts, Salt Lake City, is the wife of L. Paul Roberts, who is a member of the Deseret News staff. Mrs. Roberts, a gifted poet of fine accomplishment and great promise, is a member of the "Sonneteers," a group of Utah poets, and is represented with them in a recent anthology Oi Stone and Star. She is also a member of the League of Utah Writers. Her poetry has appeared in Church and local publications for several years and is par- ticularly familiar to readers of The Relief Society Magazine who very much enjoyed her artistic poem "Your Heritage" which won first prize in the 1942 Eliza R. Snow Poem Contest. Mrs. Roberts has won many other poetry prizes and her frontispieces and other poems in The Relief Society Magazine have been recognized as outstanding contributions to the literature of the Latter-day Saints.

Mrs. Roberts summarizes her life thus briefly: "Born on a large ranch in a tiny house on stilts, born to nature and have loved it ever since. I never feel more at home than where weeds grow along a fence, and fruit lines the cellar shelves, and apples, carrots, and potatoes are piled in a pit. I love moun- tains near and far. I attended the University of Utah and have been a school- teacher. My hobbies are sewing, cooking, music, and writing. I love poetry and all forms of literature for their inward and outward contours of beauty, and have taught the literature lessons in Relief Society for many years. I have two daughters whom I mention (not by name) in my book of poems, 'Blue Arrows,' as yet unpublished."



Second Prize Poem

K/Lnother iitary

Miranda Snow Walton

Within the gates of Bethlehem

Another Mary stands;

Her suffering children, scourged and shamed,

Cry out from alien lands.

Fain would she gather them again

To David's white-walled spires,

But heathen hordes have overrun

The city of their sires.

Pagan kings have mocked the throne,

Their evil flag unfurled.

While the children of the covenant

Are outcasts of the world.

Within bereaved Jerusalem

Another Mary knows

The two-fold pain of motherhood—

Her own, her children's woes.

She gave them life, to be destroyed.

Despised, reviled, and slain;

It is a bitter thing to birth

A child foredoomed to pain.


The voice of ancient prophecy Is filled in her despair: "Woe be to those in latter days Who would a man child bear."

Upon the hills of Calvary Another Mary kneels, She sees white crosses, row on row; Each one a son! Man feels The agony of death but once; She pays the double price, For man's intolerance to man Has crucified her twice.

Miranda Snow Walton was born in the Bear River country of Wyoming, a daughter of Henry Brooks Snow and Anna Danielson Forbes. Writing poetry has, for many years, been a great joy to Mrs. Walton. In addition to the Latter-day Saint Church publications, her work has appeared in Railroad Magazine, the Utah Magazine, Our Army, The Vet, some thirty poetry mag- azines, and in many newspapers and anthologies, including Utah Sings. Mrs. Walton is the mother of a daughter Vivian (Mrs. Delbert Owens) and two sons. Jack and Claude Walton, who were of the fourth generation of one line and the fifth of another, to serve their country in the armed forces. Mrs. Walton, now a resident of Salt Lake City, visits the Bear River country fre- quently and is interested in writing about this picturesque region. The Relief Society Magazine readers will recall with pleasure Mrs. Walton's poem "Centennial Conversation" which was awarded the third prize in the Eliza R. Snow Poem Contest in 1946 and which was published in the Magazine in January 1947. Also in 1947 a poem of Mrs. Walton's received third honor- able mention in the contest of the Poetry Society of Colorado.

Alice M. Burnett, Lima, Ohio, was awarded first prize in the Ehza R. Snow Poem Contest in 1929 for her poem "My Neighbor." At that time Mrs. Burnett was Miss Walker and she lived in Redmesa, Colorado, where she was very active in Church work and held many executive positions in the auxiliary organizations. Her poems have appeared for many years in the L.D.S. Church magazines, in poetry publications, and in anthologies.

In commenting upon herself and hei family, Mrs. Burnett writes: "My literary career began in Colorado before I was of school age, and while still in my teens I was selling both poetry and prose. Before coming to Ohio I was active in Church work and held many stake and ward offices. Recently a small branch has been organized here in Lima and my little granddaughter was the first child ever to be named and blessed under the Priesthood au- thority in this city. I have two sons living in Colorado, a daughter in Ha- waii, and three grandchildren."



ALICE M. BURNETT Third Prize Poem

^dnfant LOaugnter of

Alice M. Burnett

If only they had waked me from that deep

And dreamless sleep,

And brought my baby daughter to my side,

If only I had held her once before she died,

And felt her precious head

So warm, and gently pressed

Against my breast.

But no, they made me sleep.

And so I did not know

Until she had been buried deep

Beneath the snow.

They said that it was best.

That I was weak and needed rest

Before I learned that she was dead.

Today, when spring has bared the ground,

I slipped away, and came

Out to the family plot, alone,

And here I found

The small, white stone

Which bears no name.

The tiny, purple iris bloom around—

I think she sent them to me as a sign—



And so, dear God above,

When all the children gather at your knee.

Will you please call this little girl of mine,

And kiss her once for me.

And name her 'Iris," with her mother's love.

Jtvpard vi/i'


J^nnual [Reiief Society Snort Story (contest

'pHE Relief Society general board is pleased to announce the names of the award winners in the short story contest which was an- nounced in the June 1948 issue of the Magazine, and which closed September 15, 1948.

The first prize of fifty dollars is awarded to Estelle Webb Thomas, Shiprock, New Mexico, for her story "The Hurrah's Nest."

The second prize of forty dollars is awarded to Myrtle M. Dean, 410 North yth East, Provo, Utah, for her story 'They Die in the Harness."

The third prize of thirty dollars is awarded to Mildred R. Stutz, Ephraim, Utah, for her story "Com- promise."

This contest, first conducted by the Relief Society general board in 1941, as a feature of the Relief Society centennial observance, was made an annual contest in 1942. The contest is open only to Latter- day Saint women who have had at least one literary composition pub- lished or accepted for publication by a periodical of recognized merit.

The three prize-winning stories will be published consecutively in the first three issues of the Magazine for 1949.

Thirty-five manuscripts were sub- mitted in the contest for 1948. Only one of the prize winners for this

year had previously placed in the Relief Society Short Story Contest. Most of the stories entered in this contest were well written, many of them revealing professional quality in organization and technique.

This contest was initiated to en- courage Latter-day Saint women to express themselves in the field of fiction. The general board feels that the response to this opportun- ity will continue to increase the lit- erary quality of The Relief Society Magazine, and will aid the women of the Church in the development of their gifts in creative writing.

The ReUei Society Magazine now has a circulation of nearly 80,000. There are subscribers in every state of the Union, and in many foreign countries, thus providing a varied and interested group of readers. Writers, recognizing this large and appreciative audience, realize the importance of entering in the con- test their very best work.

The general board congratulates the prize-winning contestants, and expresses appreciation to all those who submitted stories. Sincere gratitude is extended to the three judges for their discernment and skill in selecting the prize-winning stories. The general board also acknowledges, with appreciation, the work of the short story commit- tee in supervising the contest.

cfirst Lrnze Story

Annual uiehef Society Short Story (^ontes^

The Hurrah's Nest

Estdle Wehh Thomas




OW don't get to think- ing we're rich, dear!" Dad warned, but Moth- er only gave her disarming Httle laugh and said, mildly, 'It's all a matter of attitude. I can be rich with the same amount of money you can be poor with!"

"Another dangling preposition, Mother!" Linda pointed out. Linda is majoring in English and watches for grammatical errors like Towser watches for rats. It's not what we say, that matters to her, but how we say it.

"I told you, dear, Fm not saying 'with which,' " Mother stated, firm- ly, "ifs stilted!"

But Dad was not to be deflected by Linda's red herring, for that's what it was. She was trying to change the subject because, to us children, the very foundations of the home seem to rock when Dad and Mother don't agree. Now, don't get me wrong— my parents are tops, and lovely to each other. They practically never disagree ex- cept when their complexes conflict and, of course, they can't help that, for though both the poor dears have a complex, unfortunately, neither knows it, or would admit it if he did. Luckily, I understand all about such things since I started taking psychology under Dr. Ewing and can be a lot more tolerant than I once was. Dad, you see, is not at all to blame for his. He inherited it from his New England ancestors, who, due to the hard country and conditions of those early days, grew to be what Mother delicately calls "close" about money. Dad's a dar- ling, but honestly, his fear of poverty and dependence in his old age amounts to an obsession and makes things pretty complicated at times, though at heart he's the soul of gen- erosity.

He asked now, sternly, "Don't you ever think of trying to leave the children anything?"

"Certainly, I do," Mother re- plied, airily, "memories!"

Page 13


'Tou'll find they can't eat mem- as much fun as any of us filling the

ones, or wear them, either!" Christmas boxes with good things

''But happy memories feed the to eat and wear that we knew would

soul," Mother persisted perversely, be real luxuries over there.

''The way these kids wear out ^ .^f ^^^er they were posted and

shoes, I have to think more of Linda gone Mother seemed to sort

s-ol-e-s than of s-o-u-I-s," Dad ^^ ^^.^^P' J ^^""^ ^^' f °"^ '^"""^

growled, "and you'd better do the ^^f.^'^ ^^f" / 'T.^ from school,

same'" half-heartedly straightenmg the clos-

^/^^i/ 1°![ *?"^^ ^f" '*'"Why, Mother," I protested,

Maitland laughed, and got a wither- „j,jj ^^'^^^ ^^^^

ing glance in reply. If there's any- g^^ ^j^^ ^j^^^j^ j,^^ j,^^ ..^

thing Dad hates worse than ex- ^^^ ^inda left it looking like a

travagance, its puns. j^^^^j^,^ ^^^^ I thought I'd just

pick up a bit before you got home." jyjOTHER'S complex, by the way, ^ disordered room always looks is cleanliness. She wages an \[\^q ^ Hurrah's nest to Mother. Dad endless war with dirt, which gays it's the silliest expression in the wouldn't be so bad, except that language and tries to break her of we're all recruits in her army, some- using it, but Mother declares it de- times unwilling ones, especially scribes just what she means and Maitland who, being a normal boy won't give it up. of fourteen, is really in the enemy's i ^as really worried when she camp. found tlie zipper of Linda's formal

But, to get back to the present bag open and a cricket inside. She

argument, which concerned Moth- didn't even scold, just wrapped the

er's pet plan to adopt a European cricket in a paper handkerchief and

family. Since Dad finally con- dropped it in the wastebasket and

vinced her that at present he was quietly zipped up the bag.

able to support only one family, and "What's the matter?" I burst

if it was to be a European one, out finally, "you look like three

they'd have to put us children in rainy days!"

an orphan asylum, Mother nar- "It's Christmas," Mother con- rowed down her project to provid- fessed dolefully, sitting down beside ing our foreign friends with a beau- me on my bed. "No one to plan tiful Christmas. for but ourselves. But, of course,

It was unfortunate that the rime after sending all those boxes . . . ." for sending the boxes overseas "You mean nobody's coming, not should also be the date for the even Aunt Mary?" Youth Convention, because Linda "Well, dear, it's nobody's fault had set her heart on going and that but my own, after all, those boxes made two big expenses at the same were expensive and Linda's trip- time. We were all languishing in and I promised Daddy . . . ." Moth- the poor house at the mercy of heart- er looked out the window and less strangers before she had Dad blinked rapidly several times. "Aunt talked over. But I noticed he had Mary will understand."



Mother's Aunt Mary is her near- est hving relative and she not only spends every Christmas with us, but we send her the round trip ticket as well.

*'But isn't Dad asking Cousin Sally and the children?"

"No. That's why I can't have Aunt Mary. It means a lot to Dad- dy to have Sally's family here."

A FTER Mother left I sat on do- ing some mental juggling with my Christmas money. But though I cut all gifts to the bone, I still couldn't manage Aunt Mary's tick- et with that. I was forced to re- member the cold cream jar full of coins I'd been saving for a new for- mal for the Christmas dance. Sadly, I kissed the dream goodby. It was to have been a black, slinky affair, and Mother wouldn't have let me wear it, anyway, and it wouldn't be Christmas to Mother without Aunt Mary. That would be my gift to her. It was hard to keep it a secret when I saw Mother listlessly cut- ting the fruitcake recipe in half and deciding against mince pies, since we don't care specially for them, though Sally's gang can eat a doz- en.

And the bluer she got about Christmas, the fussier Mother got about keeping everything spic and span. She even said it was prob- ably a good thing we were having no one for Christmas, company made such a mess. That was the day she told Dad his den looked like a Hurrah's nest.

''Now look here, my good wom- an," Dad protested, ''that mysteri- ous creature has nested in every room in the house, except mine, but I swear it's never been therel I

wouldn't know a Hurrah if I'd meet it on the street!"

Mother wasn't amused. "I often wonder what you'd do if I'd die?" she said, in a martyred tone.

"We'd give you the most wonder- ful send-off a woman ever hadl" Dad gazed dreamily out the v^ndow, "Flowers banked to the ceiling- sermon by . . . ."

"You don't have to have so much fun planning it!" Mother snapped, "and I don't mean the funeral, as you well know. I'd be satisfied with a few less flowers and the as- surance you all had all your but- tons!"

"That's the girl!" Dad patted her shoulder, which she says always makes her feel like a horse. "I think you'd better decide to stay with us till we get out of the helpless stage!"

"Which will be forever," Mother muttered, but she looked mollified.

This was an old story to us chil- dren, but we were always relieved when Dad had Mother kidded out of that particular mood. We no- ticed that if he joined enthusiastical- ly in her talk about dying, the idea seemed to lose some of its charm.

But Mother was not the only one lacking the Christmas spirit. Dad wasn't his usual jovial self and even Maitland said suddenly one day while we were washing dishes, "Gee, everything seems tough! Got any money, Missy?"

Missy— that's me. Isn't it revolt- ing? Maitland got rid of "Matey" by threatening to run away from home unless we called him his real name, but my real name is Arte- mesia. We inherited it, along with the Hurrah's nest, from Great- grandmother Wrenn, so you see why I stick to Missy.



Maitland had been wanting to do something about Aunt Mary or Sal- ly, it seemed, but he has too many friends to ever have any money of his own. He looked relieved when I told him not to worry. Maitland has a lot of confidence in my six- teen years— the poor innocent!

Linda, too, was more aloof and difficult than usual these days, though as a freshman in college, she always likes to pull her rank on us high school kids. We tried to talk over the Christmas situation with her, but she seemed uninterested and even did her shopping alone.

npHERE certainly was a different atmosphere at our house than ever before. No orgies of cooking, no family conclaves as to where we'd put the guests, no gay prepara- tions at all; but, in a way, I was hap- py because for the first time in my life, I was thinking of Christmas in terms of someone else rather than myself. All that seemed to matter was that Mother be happy. I de- cided that I must be an adult at last.

I sent Aunt Mary a money or- der and told her I was writing as Mother was busy and not to bother to answer, and hoped she would take me literally. I was wishing, as I walked home, that I could do as much for Father. He loves having his widowed niece and her children for the holidays, we all do, but as he often tells me, Fm not rich.

I was so absorbed in my thoughts I almost stumbled over old Mr. Jacobson. It was dusk and I didn't see the gnome-like little figure clomping out of the alley.

He wears a built-up heel which

gives him a peculiar, jerky walk and, for a moment, I was frightened, just as I used to be when Mother sent us to his house with a Christmas basket or a loaf of fresh bread. He always snatched the gift and banged the door in our faces. All the chil- dren in town were afraid of him, and tonight, I suddenly realized why. He had hated them because he was afraid of them, of their thoughtless cruelty, for he must have known they called him Rumplestiltskin and ridiculed his queer, misshapen figure, funny face, and heavy accent. He looked so little and old and lonely, I must have spoken more warmly than I knew, because he fairly beamed at me and kept repeating, what I very much doubted, ''Dis vill be a happy Christmas! A happy, happy Christ- mas!"

^^npHERE's a new family in town," Linda said that night at din- ner. Linda is also taking sociology and spends several nights a week at the Welfare Center. When she isn't chasing down grammatical er- rors, she's looking up civic ones.

''Sort of a pitiful case. The moth- er's in the hospital and the fathei has his hands full with five little children under ten. They haven't been able to find a house— are liv- ing in Brown's garage and it's dread- fully cold. The ten-year-old girl's taking care of the others while the father hunts work."

''A very merry bedtime story," Maitland observed. "Don't you see you've spoiled Mother's dinner?"

To everyone's horror, including her own, Linda shouted, "Maybe Mother's old enough to know the world's full of such happy situations


and they're not all in Europe!" Then platform. Dad picked her up in a

she burst into tears and dashed big bear hug as he always does, and

blindly from the room. carried her across the snow to the

You can imagine the tension there car. Aunt Mary kissed me warmly, was when I didn't even ask Dad but I thought she gave me an odd about the tree. Ever since Linda glance as we drove off. was big enough to sit in the car seat There was no chance for explana- beside him, Dad has made a cere- tions between Dad and me, and I mony of taking us children to the was a little disappointed that, forest for the Christmas tree. It though Mother was delighted to see was the biggest thrill of all, I think. Aunt Mary, she didn't look sur- Last year Linda had a date and only prised enough. Of course she Maitland and I went with Dad, couldn't let Aunt Mary see she was but it was still fun. Well, it's a sign not expected. It began to seem a of retarded mentality to hang onto little more festive, with the two of