Thursday, December 20, 2007

YES ... It’s me ... my first Christmas, 1933


You know I’d be lying if I told you I remember that day in 1933 but I came across this Christmas card that my folks sent out that year and I thought I’d use it to send my best wishes to each and every one of you reading this.

I was just 10 months old when that photo was taken...living in Plainfield, New Jersey with my four older sisters. My paternal grandparents lived there also and we visited back and forth very often. We didn’t own a car and I recall that the walk to Papa’s and Grandma’s house took about 15 minutes.

I do remember many Christmases as I grew older. We would usually go to their house on Christmas Eve for one of Grandma’s super dinners. They lived in a small home that sat close to the road in a highly populated area. It was a modest neighborhood but everyone seemed to pitch in to make the season festive.

The highlight of those visits would be the carolers who arrived just in time for coffee and dessert. They were local residents who yearly traveled from house to house singing the traditional Christmas carols. I have no idea if they ate at other houses, but I do know that they always seemed to have room for Grandma’s special three-berry pie and whipped cream.

After the carolers left we would help Grandma clean up and then we’d walk home…the frosty air helping to keep us awake.

No matter how late we got to bed we would be up before dawn. A Christmas stocking would be at the end of our beds filled to overflowing with tangerines, nuts, raisins and candy mints. Of course we ate our fill and that sufficed for breakfast.

The actual opening of gifts would come when Mother and Dad had joined us. We had far fewer gifts then and each one became a treasure. Dad would play Santa and Mother would collect the ribbons, bows and wrapping paper that could be salvaged for use the next year. It was a “waste not, want not” era and I find it hard, to this day, to watch anyone tear apart a gift so that nothing is reusable!

When I remember those Christmas days in the 30’s and 40’s I realize how simple life was then. We had seven mouths to feed. It was a time of our country’s depression and then World War II. We had few frivolous possessions but we lacked for nothing. Love, laughter and respect for each other were in abundance and it is those things that I wish for all of you...my blogger friends.

8 Comments:

Blogger Pam said...

The same to you Ginnie, may you have a wonderful holiday. The picture of you is adorable and just nine years after your photograph was taken, I was celebrating my first Christmas in Orange, New Jersey.

2:07 PM  
Blogger kenju said...

You were a precious doll baby! How nice to have that photo, Ginnie.

I think that the Christmases of long past, especially during the depression, were more meaningful to children then. You knew how hard it was for parents to buy anything - so you appreciated it more! Merry Christmas to you and your family, Ginnie.

5:09 PM  
Blogger Bud said...

Yes Virginia there is a Santa Clause ( I remember when you wrote that letter)And you do have wonderful memories. Merry Christmas Ginny.

5:48 PM  
Blogger Anvilcloud said...

How neat! I had no idea that they would "do up" photos like that back then. We are still pretty careful bout wrapping paper although we've really gotten into re-usable bags, which are great for those of us who have never mastered the art of wrapping a present.

9:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy Christmas VIRGINIA.

You've not changed a bit. :-)

John .. http://oldgit.wordpress.com/

5:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a great keepsake that card is. And such an adorable baby.
Stopping by to also wish you a very Merry Christmas, Ginnie. May all good things find their way to you.
Terri
http://www.islandwriter.net

5:11 AM  
OpenID gawilli said...

Love, laughter and respect for each other sounds pretty good! Merry Christmas, Ginnie.

11:49 AM  
Anonymous sarahdipidy said...

Ginnie...Well, I've been so long gone from blogging. Finally took a quiet moment to look you up again..and it's delightful to read your Christmas story.

Not forgetting you....Sarah

5:37 PM  

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