by Ruby Casto

     When reading of past Christmas memories it usually has to do with bright colored lights and all of the modern decorations.

     What about Christmas without all of the lights which was still a beautiful sight to a small child? Wreaths were hung in every window and even though they did not have lights I thought they were so pretty.

     We always had a Christmas tree with glass ornaments until the cat climbed the tree and knocked it over and that was about the time that plastic ornaments were coming into being.

     There was red and green rope put up from one corner to the other with a big red bell in the center and with icicles draped over the rope. It was a fact that no one was going to hit their head on the bell with 12' ceilings.

     Our dad died before I was two years old and our mother carried on his tradition of oysters for breakfast. Usually they were kept in the rain barrel and if it had frozen over then they had to be chopped out with the hatchet.

     In our stockings we would get an orange, apple, nuts and of course candy. Our mother loved what she called haystacks but now are called chocolate drops. She always loved the gum orange slices that you could get at Murphys. Murphy's had one of the best candy counters and if you wanted to meet someone you always met them in Murphy's.

     Having three brothers sometimes they would get a new sled to use between us, one for all four children. My brothers also got a pair of high top boots with a small pen knife in a pocket on the side. This was used for whittling and for playing Mumbly Peg. Those little pen knives were in school every day. I also remember a train but it was a wind up one, not electric. We did not have all of the advertising that kids have today, we might have had the Sears or the Montgomery Ward catalogs and I remember Santa Claus being in the basement of Murphy's.

     I would always get a doll and possibly a tea set. We didnít get much but we were oh so happy and satisfied with what we did get. We couldnít wait for it to get dark on Christmas Eve so we could go to bed and would wake up way before daylight so we could get up to see what Santa Claus had brought us.

     For Christmas day our mother would make all kinds of pies, we had an angel food cake with chocolate icing and two bowls of Jello, one with grapes in it and the other bananas. One brother did not like bananas so that was the reason for the second bowl of Jello.

     There were times at our home that relatives would have no place to go and they would also be there to celebrate Christmas with us. I am talking about the 1930's.

     There were always Christmas plays at school with the real meaning of Christmas and also at church. In fact two of our teachers attended the same church with us.

     Lets continue to keep Christ the main reason for celebrating this Christmas Day.

     We did have a camera but of course there was no flash so I do not have any Christmas pictures from when I was young but I am enclosing a picture and I must have been seven or eight years old. Also a picture of Bob and me taken December 25, 1979.

     I wrote this article several years ago and every year had intended to send it into the local paper as they are always wanting stories for Christmas, but just never got around to sending it to them.

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