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A Hard Christmas

Late in his life, Joseph F. Smith still remembered how hard it had been as a young father to see some people with “means to lavish their every want,” while he and his family were “of necessity tugging away with all our mights to keep soul and body together.”
 
“Under these spiritless conditions,” he wrote, “one day just before Christmas, I left the old home with feelings I cannot describe. I wanted to do something for my chicks. I wanted something to please them, and to mark the Christmas day from all other days—but not a cent to do it with! I walked up and down Main Street, looking into the shop windows—into Amussen’s jewelry store, into every store—everywhere—and then slunk out of sight of humanity and sat down and wept like a child, until my poured-out grief relieved my aching heart; and after awhile returned home, as empty as when I left, and played with my children, grateful and happy only for them and their beloved mothers.”

Joseph F. Smith, “Christmas and New Year,” Improvement Era, vol. 22, no. 3 (Jan. 1919), 266–67