In fancy, I go to the Northland, At Christmas time long, long ago,
When my Mom was a small girl in Sweden And forests were laden with snow.
She helped choose the spruce on the hillside - The prettiest one to be found;
Granddad felled it and loaded the stoneboat With small folk and tree, homeward bound.
Red lingon have long since been gathered For jam as a holiday treat;
They grow in the moss-covered marshes, With promise a future so sweet.
Come hither to fill their wood buckets And thrill to the cuckoo's call,
That chimes from the top of a pine tree - A peace and good will song to all!
The candles are moulded from tallow, Good Julbread and fruit soup is made;
Round cheeses, stuffed sausage and lutfisk, Will humble festivity aid.
Preparedness is now in full motion, The floor is sand-scrubbed and looks white,
With a door mat of evergreen branches - Some on stove for incense delight.
This Christmas is full of surprises, Red apples now sway in the tree;
Dear presents - so graciously home-made, And eyes that are starfilled, I see.
It's Christmas Eve! In this lowly dwelling The true Jul-tide Spirit abides,
The head of the house reads the Story - The love of the Christ Child presides.
At dawn, on their brisk walk to God's House, Groups carol the long six-mile way -
Thus honor the Babe with their presence And worship on this Blessed Day.
May you, too, have a heart-warming Christmas, Find you in each good thing God lends
And thrill as each candle-light hallows The Gift that His Love to you sends.
Phoebe Carolina Swanson Johnson
December 1962, Sioux Falls, SD
Joe and Phoebe Johnson, 1951.
Each year Grandma would print a poem or write a song to include with her Christmas Card.