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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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