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A 50's Kind of Christmas

Updated on December 11, 2017

Just a girl and her Betsy Wetsy doll.

Things to notice about this late 50's, early 60's picture. There is a Christmas tree laden with tinsel and garland. That was a HUGE thing back then. Then there is the flowered carpet. We had hardwood floors but each room had an area rug and the trend was floral (yuck!). On the coffee table is a candle/greenery arrangement. My Mom made one every year from scratch. It always had 2 candles of different heights, small silver ornaments and lots of greenery. And she always sprayed it with fake snow. Another sign of the times. I think I inherited my craft skills from her. The thingy in the foreground of the pic is a desk I had gotten for Christmas. It had a seat and a fold down desktop. Quite tecchie for those days! Later on, when I got a bit older, my Dad bought me a real desk and since there was no real space for it anywhere in our house, it was placed on the landing behind Dad's grey leather "easy chair" which I am sitting on in the photo. There were 6 steps to the landing which was pretty large, and then you turned left and went down 6 more steps to the front door.

I hated doing my homework on that landing. First of all, it was COLD in the winter! Secondly..there was a window right next to my desk and I was sure Old Lady Kirby from next door could see me while I was sitting there and she scared the living daylights out of all the neighborhood kids. She had impossibly long, grey hair which she would wash and in the summer, she would sit outside and brush it til it dried. She looked like a witch. Plus she had so many cats we were sure we could smell them.

In the summer, we would play Blindman's Bluff and my cousins, Charlie and Jerry, who lived downstairs in our 2 family house, would blindfold me and walk me up to Old Lady Kirby's front door, ring the doorbell and then leave me standing there. I was lucky to have not broken a leg or arm trying to run down her steps once she came to the door and I realized where I was.

I am bare-legged in this photo because I wanted desperately to be allowed to wear nylons. Back then there was no such thing as pantyhose. We wore nylon stockings attached to either a garter belt or plain, old (insufferable!) garters. My parents thought I was too young to wear nylons but that didn't stop me from going around the house bare-legged in pretend, old enough to wear nylons, mode.

Behind me and next to the tree is a door leading out to the front porch. Did you notice the "venetian" blinds on that door? I hated those things and it seems that they were in every house in those days. When it was time to wash them, they had to be taken down and put into the bathtub and scrubbed and sprayed endlessly in order to get them white glove clean.

My Mom made the front porch like a summer getaway spot since we didnt have AC. There was nice garden furniture out there and my Dad had bought a small TV and we watched TV out there on those hot, humid Cincinnati nights. If it got really hot, Mom would make me a "pallet" of blankets and quilts on the front porch and I would sleep out there. I loved doing that and to this day, I remember vividly lying there looking up at the stars and moon and fantasizing about whatever little girls fantasized about back then.

They say pictures tell a story.

For me, all of the pictures of my childhood are a jumbled mess of memories in my mind of a sweet time, long ago.


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