Christmas in the 1950’s

posted in: South Side Memories | 0

We most often had a live tree for Christmas, and at times one with the roots so it could be planted afterwards. When my brother and I were very young my mom and dad put the tree up when we had gone to bed so the next morning the tree, train and presents were all out. Boy what a miracle, I wonder how they did it, since I had my own family and know I couldn’t replicated this feat.

We had a two tier platform with a tree sized circle so the tree could stand through the second platform. We had the large gauge trains from Lionel. We were allowed to run the switch and make the trains run. It was great fun.

Christmas morning Ken and I wanted Mom and Dad to get up early because Santa had come. Remember though they were exhausted doing all that fancy footwork, wrapping our presents, the tree, decorations etc. Rose was born when I was 8 and this added another dimension to Christmas celebration.

We had our tree in the living room which faced Larkins Way. My dad would always get the neighbor guys to come in during the holiday for a shot and a beer. I don’t think I ever tried that combination. Maybe some day I’ll get brave enough to have the steel workers cocktail.

My parents were very kid oriented especially when we were young. During this Christmas season 2009, I must admit I really do miss them. They were great people.

My dad was very active in our church and helped build the outdoor Christmas display. He was a member of the Vincent de Paul Chapter at our Church. They do their work quietly and without lots of fanfare. He got furniture for people, at times fixed their furnaces etc. (Thats’ what he did for his real job.) At Christmas time they gave families gift certificates to one of the local grocery stores. He volunteered a lot. When the food pantry was established their, my dad and mom helped set up and distribute food to those in need. Just local folks quietly helping those in need. Can we get back to those values?

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