Sunday, December 20, 2015

Christmases Past: 1956 and 1957 Photos

Looking at old photographs brings back memories, shows us the world of our past, and reveals things we took for granted.
1956
I had forgotten that Mom decorated the doors and windows with stenciled 'snow' paint. I love the hat with the balls on the ties. The over the shoes snow boots had loads of clasps which I still couldn't manage in kindergarten.

Christmas 1956. My hair was in pigtails. I was five years old. Here I am coloring with stencils. Coloring was one of my favorite activities. The flannel nightgown was a must; our 1830s house had no heating in the upstairs bedrooms!
Skunk and Mouse get an education with my new chalk board. This is one of the few photos that still has good color. Most I converted to black and white. The television was our 'new' one.
Mom was twenty-six years old.
A doll bed. I wonder what doll I put in it? Perhaps the skunk and mouse? Santa on the closet door was Styrofoam with flocked red hat and nose. Mistletoe hung over the door into the kitchen.
Here I am with Dad, aged 27. I have a board game set. A metal doll house is next to Dad. On the left is a 'modern' table holding the creche.
What a mess! I was still an only child and Mom loved Christmas. The toys weren't expensive, but it didn't matter to me.
Mom painted the Tole painted magazine rack next to the chair. Yep, that's real tinsel on a real Christmas tree.
Christmas 1957
I was five years old.

I see a toy ironing board and iron on the right. Next to the chair is a pink suitcase with Tiny Tears and all her clothing and baby things, sitting on a box holding a tea set. Under the tree is my new dress. I am holding my first 'fashion doll', a Miss Revlon. She came with underclothing and two dresses, a belt, a hat, and a purse. I rearranged and made my own style. I liked her in the bra, crinoline, and the belt in her hair, which was perhaps my idea of a ballerina.

A vintage Little Miss Revlon doll with original box
In the photo below you can see Tiny Tears and the tea set.

Miss Revlon and Tiny Tears.
I really liked that fashion doll. Here she has a Pill box hat.
I took the doll with me to visit my aunt and uncle and cousins who lived in the upstairs apartment. Note the old wallpaper border at the top of the wall.
My first dog Pepper sits next to me. I loved that dog! 
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The little modern coffee table of metal and Formica would be very in demand today. Mom's wedding candy dish sits in the middle of the table. There is a heavy white, scalloped edged, glass dish with green interior to the left, and a clear plastic Christmas tree on the right.
Here I am in the new dress. It was brown print with a white bib. Mom and I had matching permanents in a "Bubble cut" so my straight hair was very Shirley Temple curly.
I see a pile of games and books next to the chair. You can see the Tiny Tears in her pink suitcase on the right. The bottom of my stocking can be seen on the wall.
Dad supported us by running the gas station his dad had built in the 1940s. We didn't have much money. But when I saw the ads on television showing poor children of the world I felt very guilty for having so much. I knew I didn't need, or deserve, it all.