Christmas 1957

by Peter Twitchell

It was December 25, 1957, Christmas morning, and the floors of my mom and dad’s house were warm from the 4 X 4 foot steel wood burning stove in the basement of their house. The Christmas tree didn’t have fancy LED lights, but it did have beautiful Christmas tree bulb ornaments from the late thirties and forties. They were colorful and artistically crafted into different colorful shapes, unique to the time when people took great care and put love into their work.

There were a few shiny strands of decoration I’d help dress the tree with, mom and I hung around the tree the colored cray paper loops I’d glued together into a ten foot strand in Mrs. Fancher’s 2nd grade classroom.

There was a beautiful golden angel resting atop the tree.

Mom made popcorn and I was anxious to see the tracks ole St. Nick’s Reindeer made outside the house. When I didn’t see any signs of a sleigh or reindeer having been outside the house or on the roof, I felt a little disappointed and sad, because good little boys were supposed to be on St. Nicholas’s list for Christmas, and I’d been especially good.

It didn’t take me long to forget that part of Christmas and moved on to opening a present from my Grandma Hannah who gave me a warm yellow and black striped flannel shirt, and warm socks and gloves hat from mom and dad, and the wind-up hard plastic rabbit with wheels was perfect for mom’s hard wood floors.

It came with a double barrel shotgun with two bright red projectiles with suction cups. This present came in the mail from my dad’s sister, Elsie T. Orcutt at Roseburg, Oregon. This toy made me a better shooter, because it taught me how to lead my game when they were on the fly or run.

All my gifts were valuable in that my clothes kept me warm. Back then the winter temperatures were cold, winds had a stinging bite to them and the snow went all the way up to the eaves of houses.

Life was simple then when people cared, shared and loved one another more than today. Love that comes from the heart conquers all, very appropriate for this time of year. All the gifts will never replace the love we give one another, and it’s free.