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Lögberg-Heimskringla

						16 • Lögberg-Heimskringla • Föstudagur 13. desember 1991
As Christmas Bells Ring Out
by Kristiana Magnusson
Christmas is a time of traditions;
some old, some new, but all very mean-
ingful and wonderful to children at
Christmas time. Our Christmas of 1933,
in the Interlake town of Arborg, Mani-
toba, was a time of certain traditions
from Iceland and of other traditions
born in the heart of our family, and kept
up generations later.
One tradition kept up from Iceland
was that each and every one of us 16
children had to have something newfor
Christmas, be it a dress sewn over, but
new to us, a new pair of socks or shoes,
or even a new hair ribbon for the girls,
or suspenders for the boys. Another
custom from Iceland was to keep a light
on, all during Christmas night, to light
the way for any travellers who might
have lost their way along the dark and
lonely mountain trails. This custom of
leaving lights on all Christmas Eve was
kept up at the Johann Sæmundson home
in Geysir, as well as at the Jonasson
home at Jaðri in Vidir.
In Iceland the "huldufólk" were very
much a legendary part of Christmas
festivities. One of the traditional cus-
toms there was to clean the house up
before Christmas and to leave food for
the huldufólk on Christmas Eve. We
would ask our parents if the huldufólk
would be coming to dance around at
our home while we were away at church,
but we were told that the huldufólk
would never find their way from Ice-
land to our little Canadian town. How-
ever, cleaning up the house and polish-
ing the furniture were an important part
of our family getting ready for Christ-
mas.
Another old custom was the beauti-
ful Evensong held on Christmas Eve in
the churches of Iceland. In our town of
Arborg, the Annual Lutheran Church
Christmas Concert was usually held on
Christmas Eve or on the Sunday night
before Christmas.
So, on that special Christmas Eve in
1933, eleven of us children hurriedly
put on our best clothes,
packed our costumes and
angel wings for the Nativ-
ity scene, and started off
for the Lutheran Church
with Mother and Dad. The
four oldest ones stayed
behind to look after the
new baby and to trim the
Christmas tree so it would
be all ready for us when
we got back from the con-
cert. Perhaps they felt too,
that they just might have
to watch for the huldufólk,
just in case they did find
their way to Arborg this
year.
There was magic in the
air that night as we wended
our way across the frozen
trails on the Icelandic
River to the Lutheran Church. As we
walked single file along the narrow path
we could feel the crunch of the hard
snow under our feet, while above us the
moon shone forth from a sky studded
with shimmering star-beams of light. In
the stillness of that holy night, the Lu-
theran Church steeple pierced the night
sky, beckoning us on to the brightly-lit
church.
As we entered the building the blaze
of hissing gas lights dazzled us. On one
side of the pulpit stood the massively
splendid Christmas tree, adorned with
popcorn balls, green and red streamers
and silvery icicles, now glittering with
the reflection from the gas lamps. On
the other side of the pulpit was a make-
shift raised stage with the organ just
below. We gazed in wonder at the Christ-
mas tree, then hurried to the back room
to change into our costumes for the
concert.
The back-room was utter confusion;
coats and clothes piled high on a table;
a mad scramble to change clothes be-
hind an improvised curtain, and the
Above: Santa has arrived for
Allan and Grant Crocker.
Left: Laurie Wilson anticipates
a joyful Christmas
Sunday School leaders rushing around
to get everything organized and in place.
Little Timmy tearfully announced that
he had forgotten his welcome words,
while Molly cried out that her angel
wings had come undone. Through all
this bedlam Mrs. Reid's kindly smile
Continued on page 17
jóla og nýárskveðjur frá Gimli — Business Directory
Sapta LuciaPizza
Delicious Pizza, Chicken, Spareribs,
Lasagna, Spaghetti
Phone 642-5471 in Gimli
PHARMASAVE
CENTRE & FOURTH AVE
GIMLl. MANITOBA   RÖ€ 180
Pharmacists: Ernest Stefanson & Garry Fedorchuk
TEUPHOWC t204) 642-5504
a/tc/
a rrappv- A/c«/ ve-ar-
Shear Pleasure Hair Design
Speciaiizing in Family Hair Care
Earpiercing, Colors, Perrns & Cuts
Tanning Bed
Appoiníments & Walk-ins welcome
6th Avenue & Centre Slreet, Cimli, MB.
Corinna or Leona 642-8370
Bestu óskir um gleðilega jólahátíð
Fraserwood Creamery
owned and operated by ISjorusons
Box 92, Fraserwood ROC 1A0 * Phone 643-5544 or 642-5507
Greetings and Best Wishes to all our Friends
< icoxsii vw jiw irnics
JEWELLERY - SOUVENIRS - WATCH REPAIRS
ENGRAVING - CRYSTAL - SILVER
40 Centre           GIMLI, MAN.           642-5039
^   lOAf #BOK F00DS<g>GIMU
GROCERIES -  MEAT -  PRODUCE
IN  STORE  BAKERY
WAYNE  FORBISTER
Box  428,  Gimli,  Manitoba  ROC1BO
1 - 642-7447
1 - 642-7147
Óskum öllum íslendingum gleðilegra jóla og farsældar á komandi ári
Compliments of.
Central Bakery & Coffee Shop
Pastries, Wedding and  Birthday Cakes
Home Made Bread
Chris & I'carl Neufeld
CENTRE STRRET and 3rd AVE.
Phone 642-5544
GIMI.I,  MANITOBA
r\.»THttMiWB77
H.P. Tergesen & Sons
I-204-642-5958
Boxl8l8-82lstAvenue
Gimli, Manttoba ROC IBO
GIMLI'S HISTORICAL
LANDMARK STORE
We carry books
of lcelandio Canadian
Interest

					
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