Nancy's story of a 1940s Christmas.. I love these memories where something they write stirs memories in myself!!
By Nancy Smits, WI
Having a brother 18 months older had its share of challenges... Needing action every minute, Christmas was no different. Together we put the crib and figures under the tree. During the day figures were moved around, found in another room and also disappeared for a day or two.
In the 40s we used green or red tissue paper to wrap our gifts. Slowly my brother would tear a layer off. One day I noticed his gifts looked like they were opened and rewrapped. These gifts were the ones we exchanged as family.
Santa's gifts were not around, but my brother did look high and low. Years later, we found out that they were kept by a neighbor. Mom made cookie dough ahead and put it in the refrigerator to bake. No need to... bit by bit it disappeared.
One Christmas the ornaments came sailing down the branches, falling on the floor with needles in them.
Mom went out and found a silver metal tree about 3 feet high. We got a revolving color spotlight to shine on the tree. We transferred all the ornaments and actually it looked pretty good, but did not have that beautiful pine smell. I still use the tree at parties for groups I am in and we put our exchange gifts under the tree and exchange ornaments on it.
We kept our gifts under the tree to show friends and relatives. My brother's boxes of gloves, cap, scarf or books and board games were usually empty a day or two after Christmas, but boxes left behind to show he did receive some gifts. Of course our new bikes got ridden on snowy, icy sidewalks.
The 40s were a great time to celebrate Christmas. Today I have so many other decorations, I skip putting up a tree. A table is cleared to put the gifts on, and cards are set upon the desk.
So to all, Peace on Earth and a good night!
Pssst! My sister and I would unwrap/re-wrap a few gifts each year... don't leave them under the tree early! They are only temptation for kids! Grin! Christmas in the 1940s and 1950s was so very different than it is today. Merry Christmas!