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Latter-day Saint Authors Share the Christmas They'll Never Forget

Between the garland and holly, the cinnamon and turkey, there's something about Christmas that makes it more magical and memorable than any other time of the year. With family and friends gathered around, we share recollections of the past and create new stories to recount for years to come. 

We asked Deseret Book authors for their most memorable Christmas stories, and they shared with us these amazing (and true!) seasonal anecdotes. 

Christmas Carpet

Josi Kilpack, author of Lemon Tart, Rocky Road, and other LDS culinary mysteries

One school teacher’s salary. Nine children ages 2 to 20. Four sets of braces to date. Shoes, jeans, Sunday clothes, winter coats, an ongoing remodeling project, and all the other relentless expenses of childrearing.

For years, my parents had been saving up for carpet—a third of the house was subflooring. Carpet was expensive, but my parents were amazing home economists, and slowly the carpet account grew.  However, each time the money in the account was nearly enough, another child was ready for braces. Because the monthly budget could not hold another payment, the carpet account was emptied, braces were put in place, and Mom and Dad started over again. If only we kids had inherited our mother’s naturally straight teeth.

December: Dad got the mail and brought it inside while grumbling about bills and Christmas and the gosh-darned carpet that, once again, would not grace our floors come the New Year. It was nothing we hadn’t heard before. We let him continue as he opened one bill after another. Grumble, grumble, grumble.

Kids chattered around the table as he opened the mail. Suddenly, Dad went still. He told us to listen. He cleared his throat and read the letter in his hand while putting a smaller, rectangular piece of paper on the table top in front of him.

Dear Mr. Schofield,

Last year I took a drawing class from you through continuing education. I learned a great deal and enjoyed your class very much. 

My mother passed away recently, and I have decided to share a portion of my inheritance with people who made an impact on my life. You are one of the people who came to mind as I recalled your talking about your large family. I hope this money brightens your holiday season.

If I were to tell you my name, you would not know who I was, but I know who you are, and I appreciate the good you do.

Merry Christmas,
A Grateful Student

Five years of saving. Priorities. Four beautifully orthodontiated smiles. Warm feet. Full bellies. Children’s hearts that would one day understand the daily sacrifices our parents made. An anonymous, giving heart that surely made its mother very proud.

And carpet for Christmas.


Includes all twelve volumes of Josi Kilpack’s Culinary Mystery series. 

  1. Lemon Tart
  2. English Trifle 
  3. Devil’s Food Cake
  4. Key Lime Pie
  5. Blackberry Crumble
  6. Pumpkin Roll
  7. Banana Spilt
  8. Tres Leches Cupcakes
  9. Baked Alaska
  10. Rocky Road
  11. Fortune Cookie 
  12. Wedding Cake
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