Christmas memories: Bobsleigh ride reminder of boyhood days

President David O. McKay, whose teachings will comprise the course of study in priesthood and Relief Society lessons in the new year, loved Christmas, as evidenced by his writings, which include warm and tender yuletide poems written to his beloved wife, Emma Ray, and to their posterity and friends.

One incident in particular illustrates the Currier-and-Ives sort of sentiment the ninth president of the Church had for his family at Christmas time. His son Llewelyn R. McKay related it in the 1956 publication Home Memories of President David O. McKay:

"Father sent a letter to Mayor Harmon W. Peery of Ogden which read:

" 'I have several grandchildren who during each holiday season sing "Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells" when as a matter of fact they haven't had a sleigh ride behind jingle bells in their lives.

" 'To give them this treat, I tried to buy some bells, ours on the old farm having been lost, strayed or borrowed. I have tried harness shops and other stores, but all to no avail. A man told me you have a number of strings of bells.

" 'I'm writing to inquire if you will sell me a string. I don't want to borrow, because I shall use the bells each winter. A bobsleigh ride will delight me as well as my kiddies. It will take me back to my boyhood days.'

"Mayor Peery answered:

" 'I'm sorry I haven't such a string of bells, but I am sure some of my many western cowboy friends will come to my rescue, and we'll get the bells for Apostle McKay.'

"The next day father's letter appeared in several papers.

"Within a few hours, father had his 'jingle bells,' and his children and grandchildren had the bobsleigh ride!"

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