It was Christmas of 1909 just before my dad was to come home [from his two-year mission.] We were down to board floors and paper curtains [having sold the furniture piece by piece.] We had large five-gallon lard cans to sit on; a stove, table, and a bed that we all slept in. We sat in bed and sang Christmas carols until…it was time to go to sleep. We only had a bowl of rice that night for our dinner… We went to sleep hoping…for Santa to come. I woke up to the sound of crying. I went into the other room and found Mama crying. I asked what the matter was. She said…she was so grateful and happy to her Heavenly Father, and told me to go back to bed so Santa could come. I…was wakened again by her sobs. I went to sleep the third time and woke up at 7:30 am with mother still crying. As we all came out of the bedroom she made us kneel in prayer before we could see our toys. I will never forget the prayer my mother offered, thanking the Lord for his goodness to us. We then went out on the porch; there was a doll and dishes for the girls, a tool box for the boys and a small decorated Christmas Tree and a basket of food… We danced around the tree and sang and went to bed that night with our hearts full of happiness and our stomachs full of good food. Brother Alma Winn was our Santa and he had eight children of his own… My mother had cried and prayed all that night. Her prayers were answered… How grateful I am for the faith of my mother and grateful…that we five little ones weren’t forgotten by a “Santa” who had been inspired to come and help us in time of need.
(By Lillian Gulbrandsen Carlisle, edited by Kenneth R. Hardman, Source: The Hansen & Gulbrandsen Family History – Ancestors & Descendants of Edna Violet Gulbrandsen & Harvey Ralph Hansen, Compiled by: Jana Greenhalgh, Dona Losee, Ray Hansen, pg. 85-87, photo from family files) #AncestorClips