Tooele Transcript Bulletin – News in Tooele, Utah

December 22, 2011
The Yule Log

by Ruth Anderson


I want to tell you about a Christmas I will never forget. I was only 6 years old.

My family lived in a big twostory house on Coleman Street. My dad was a farmer and I remember it was getting close to Christmas. My dear little grandmother, who lived on Coleman Street in a log cabin and my two aunts were gathered together to bake Christmas goodies. She brought the recipes with her from Switzerland. This was a treat we really enjoyed. Many hours were spent preparing these treats.

As the time came to get a Christmas tree, the work horse was harnessed to the wagon so we could take the wagon to the canyon to cut a Christmas tree. As we went along the road to the canyon, we talked about the size of the tree we would want in our home. It had to be a tall one that reached the ceiling. It was then that my brother said we would have to have a Yule log. I thought, “A Yule log! That is something for English people!” But he insisted that we have one and we gave in to him. So a short, flat tree was chosen for the Yule log.

Upon returning home, the stand was made for the Christmas tree. It was put in the living room and the branches hit the ceiling. As for the Yule log, it was taken outside and trimmed so that just the trunk of the tree was left smooth so it would fit into the fireplace. Everything was done and the tree was decorated, so we put our night clothes on. Brother decided to put coal oil on the Yule log and place it in the fireplace. There was nothing to hold it in place, and he lit it and went to bed. We were awakened by a yell of “Fire, the house is on fire!” Black smoke came up to our bedroom. We put on warm clothes and ran downstairs to the cistern to form a fire brigade. We spent time passing buckets of water to make sure the fire was out. It was then that we wished my brother had never gone to the library and got the book that told about the Yule log. We wished we had never gotten a Yule log, and we never wanted to talk about a Yule log again.

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