Jonas Victor writes of Christmas and church customs in America. Roselyn
January 1, 1927
We are now in the Christmas week. No church communion has early church service more than Swedes here in America, but every church has a Christmas tree, a spruce dressed up before Christmas Eve. Everybody pays an entrance fee of 10 cents. Many people are there, but not as many now as before, depending on how many parties there are. The reason for the fee is that there is so much to do with decorating the church. Many people come who never visit the church. There is a varied program with choir singing and speech. I think that you have it this way, too. There are not many churches in the countryside.
I do not know what I should write about, what is interesting to you. You say that when everything is investigated, you will tell me how things are. Thank you for that. We will see if we live.
I think of Sunday School. It is the only occasion when the children get to hear God's word and learn to know God and Jesus. Everybody is interested in that school. Those who never visit the church, send their children there. There are many classes for children and young people in English. At the church Christmas party, the children take part and everything nice is done for them. It is the same in the English and German churches, but some of the young people go out when the Sunday School is over.
I will now finish this letter. While I write this, I have my feet on a warm brick with woollen cloth. My feet are cold and the pain in my legs is worst during the night. With the warm brick during the day, it helps me during the night. I have it much better than many others, who are 10 to 20 years younger than I am. They have to lie many years in bed with pain and get help like children. In the winter I cannot go anywhere. In the summer when it is warm and in the spring and autumn I can be out.
I cannot read, but my eyes are good enough that I can write. I do not hear when the clergyman preaches. My body is as lithe as when I was 40.
When you get this letter the Christmas holidays have passed. I hope you have had a glad and happy Christmas. We are a year closer to the end, where we will go. May God help and lead us, so our rest will be pleasing until the resurrection's morning.
Lovely greetings to your all. My thoughts are often of you.
I said that all were interested in the Sunday School. Most people are, but not all.