Sunday, December 19, 2021

Remembering Christmas in the 30's

Here I am in 1933. My parents used this photo on their Christmas card that year. I was just 10 months old when that photo was in Plainfield, New Jersey with my four older sisters. My paternal grandparents lived there also and we always went 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. They always ended at Grandma’s house where she treated them all to her special three-berry pie and whipped cream.

Christmas day, of course, was when we opened gifts. In those years we were just coming out of the depression so we received few of them 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.



Blogger Marie Smith said...

I wish the same back to you too, Ginnie!

6:12 AM  
Blogger Arkansas Patti said...

I can see why your grandma's house was last on the carolers list. Yum.
I think the Christmases I remember the most were when we had the least presents but always a lavish amount of love.

6:12 AM  
Blogger kenju said...

What a sweet photo of an adorable child! We always had a lot of love in our family too - all times of the year - and more at Christmas! Merry Christmas to you and all your readers, Ginnie.

12:42 PM  
Blogger Joared said...

Lovely memory you shared with that sweet photo of baby you. A very Merry Christmas to you!

1:07 AM  
Blogger Goldendaze-Ginnie said...

From my friend Jan .....

What an adorable baby! (But, of course!)I was raised by my grandparents 10 years after you came along - and the "saving" concept was still alive with them. Even today, I save the bows (unless the cat snatches them first) and as much of the paper as possible - but like so many other things, it is so thin and cheap, it is hard to use let alone save. Oh well...
Happy Holidays to all who celebrate!

5:39 AM  
Blogger Anvilcloud said...

What a wonderful memory and with a good message too. All the best to you this season.

5:41 AM  
Blogger Linda P. said...

How lovely to have those memories of the carolers stopping by your grandmother's house. My dad was a shift worker, and not until I was sixteen did he have enough seniority to get vacation time on holidays. Our grandparents were five hours away, so our nuclear family of six celebrated alone. The big meal was worked in around Dad's work schedule that week, whether he was working days, evenings, or nights. Still, there was a sense of continuity in the foods we prepared in the days leading up to Christmas, the sweets that we all looked forward to having, and even in my younger siblings "waking me up" on Christmas morning by singing Happy Birthday to me, my family's recognition of my birthday before Christmas Day got into full swing. In truth, I was always the first one awake in our family, so Mom and Dad counseled me to pretend I was still asleep. I remember only a few presents, but I remember the days before Christmas gathered around the kitchen table, all four of us children employed chopping nuts, cutting up dates, crumbling day-old cornbread or shredding day-old bread to go into the cornbread dressing, and taking a turn at the mixer for the long process of spinning egg whites and sugar into divinity. My next-youngest brother and I made fudge. Those are the memories that stay with me.

7:29 AM  

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