8th Day Christmas Past Question & Story

Posted by on Dec 19, 2015 in Christmas Past 2015, Uncategorized | 7 comments

2015-Christmas-Past-tradOn the 8th Day Christmas Past, pleased & satisfied.

Question: How can we be more easily pleased and satisfied like a pioneer child?

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The Plum Pudding
By Annie C. Kimball

William Wagstaff was a successful gardener in his Bedfordshire home where he joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and set out with his wife and 7 children to unite with the main body of church in America.

The vessel, James Pennell, docked at New Orleans in the autumn of 1850 and the immigrants proceeded up the Mississippi by steamboat to St. Louis. Little 2 1/2 year old Rachel died on the way and was buried at a refueling depot on the river shore. The rest of the family reached St. Louis near the last of November.

About 2 weeks after the arrival, Mary Gilby Wagstaff died of pneumonia and William found himself in unanticipated trouble. Isaac and James were in their teens, but the only girl, Mary, was merely 11; nevertheless she tried to do the cooking, cleaning, and mending the best she could. It was December, the children’s month. Even in bereavement and sorrow the thoughts and reminders of approaching Christmas stirred remembrances of former happiness and anticipation expressed itself in the eager questioning of childhood.

“We can’t do much for Christmas,” William replied to the anxious requests, feeling so alone and helpless.

“Maybe we can at least have plum pudding,” suggested thirteen-year-old James.

“I’ll try to make it,” from Mary.

“Who remembers how mother used to do it?” the father asked.

Then each offered suggestions. Isaac, the eldest, knew it contained suet because he was the one trusted to chop it with the large sharp knife; six-year-old Jacob remembered raisins and how his mother had slipped one to him occasionally when she was cleaning them; father suggested tiny dried store currants and peel for this since there were no raisins to be found. Mary knew about flour and about boiling the pudding, all tied up in a piece of clean white cloth.

William felt that the project was a real undertaking and, as ingredients were anything but cheap, he must move with caution. When the momentous day arrived, he decided that he, himself, must perform the important feat. So, with all eyes upon him, and everyone helping who was large enough, the pudding was made, with “dip.” Then all sat down to a Christmas Day feast. Poured over the treasure was a tiny measure of brandy that burned with a glowing blue flame when the lighted match was applied. What a thrilling fairyland sight! What a wonderful pudding! Only the soul-sick, lonely man knew that it did not taste like those of the past – children are so easily pleased and satisfied.

Most of the Christmas whirlwind is created by extra, unnecessary & unimportant things piled on by adults.  How can we focus more like these children did on the simple more important parts?

Kate B. Carter, Tresures of Pioneer History, vol 1, p. 107


  1. Even with the abundance that it seems we sometimes have, we need to remember that there are those who still have the bare necessities. There are many opportunities for service and giving at Christmas time that can help us feel the spirit of giving and the joy that comes from bringing happiness to others.

  2. I think that as you get older you realize that the most treasured gifts you can give or receive at christmas time are those spent with loved ones and close friends. Having last those close to me I realize that the best gifts to give in memory of them is to serve others and share with them the love our savior has for us.

  3. There’s plenty of daddy’s where we can think about ancestors.I’ve been think this past week. How I wouldn’t make it through the winter. While being out in the wilderness. My ancestors froze Anne had passed away. It would be hard to bury my loved one.

  4. I do think about being cold. In three winter time even when I have hardly any shelter. Being a bell ringer I’m always so cold. I keep thinking about giving someone a blanket to some one.

  5. Everyone remembered their fav part and enjoyed putting their own part to make it taste good. Working together n remembering the simple things can draw us closer to each other

  6. We always read a Christmss story together with the family… Gives us a chance to slow down

  7. We can carry the spirit of Thanksgiving right through to the Christmas season. We can reflect each day on our blessings and reach out to others who are in need.

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