R-108 Trumbull, Conn., December 29, 1940
Another Christmas has departed into the limbo of the Past, and soon 1940 will follow in its wake, if you don’t mind mixed metaphors. It is trite to say I missed you, but in spite of that fact we had a pleasant day, following the usual routine of the opening of Christmas stockings first with the accompaniment of munching popcorn balls, tangerines, chewing gum, etc., and when Part 1 of the Day’s program was finished, Dick departed in the Buick to pick up Aunt Elsie at the railroad station. Then followed a breakfast of pancakes, after which we all retired to the Music Room where David had succeeded in creating an attractive winter scene over the mantelpiece, showing Santa traveling from the cold North Pole with his reindeers and sled. The base of the Christmas tree, the tree itself and lighting arrangement of the two small windows on each side of the front door were all attractively arranged. Dave distributed the gifts, during the course of which Jean and Red dropped in and soon after Zeke and Biss and Butch. I had hung Elizabeth’s red stocking, similar to the ones you boys got (I hope) and Dick’s and Dave’s, on the mantel in the living room, which she pounced on at once, and Butch beat a few tattoos on his new drum and grinned with a pleased smile at the noise. I tried to get him a little kiddy car with memories of my own youngsters experiences in mind, but the nearest I could come to it was a steal locomotive with a seat on top of the cab and a steering handle sticking up where the smoke stack was supposed to be. David had given him a cute little stuffed dog and this immediately went into the tender. I gave Elizabeth a card table (when she was living here she was continually borrowing mine) and a sort of knitting bag to replace the old oilcloth bag she continually carried around with her to hold the babies bottles, etc. Dick received a Waltham wristwatch, a snare drum and stand (one of his favorite pastimes recently has been pounding on your old Venezuelan drum, Dan, in time to radio dance music), The Yearling (a book which he read and liked so much he asked for a copy of his own), bookplates with his name on them, handkerchiefs, necktie, etc. Dave, a briefcase with handles and zipper fastening for his school books, a new model doubleheader Remington Rand dry shaver (and it is a dandy – – the best I have ever tried), a drawing table, gloves, and amateur theatrical makeup set, handkerchiefs, necktie, etc. for Aunt Betty I bought an all wool bathrobe which she needed and a fountain pen, likewise needed. Elsie received a part wool blanket and an overnight bag. Of course I explained that these gifts were jointly from Aunt Betty, Dan, Lad and myself. To each of the New Rochelle families I sent small remembrances of tooled leather wares of various sorts, letter files, albums, memorandum book, etc. Larry (Peabody) sent me a book of detective stories, Helen and Ted (Human) a handkerchief and for myself I bought a new type smoking pipe. In addition to the things which I sent to you boys, I also subscribed to the Spanish edition of Reader’s Digest for Dan and the Sunday Post for Ced. Altogether the total cost was about $125 of which Aunt Betty contributed $10, Dan $45 and the balance myself and Lad. Ced’s shipment from Alaska has not yet arrived so we have that to look forward to with a great deal of pleasure. Several have mentioned receiving greeting cards from Lad. After the gifts had been distributed, I went into my act as chef and prepared the Christmas dinner which consisted of chicken gumbo soup, roast goose, candied sweet potatoes, Brussels sprouts, lima beans, celery, pickles, some more Alaskan cranberry jelly, Burrough’s cider, which had been bought a few days before and had a nice head on it, and Apple pie for dessert, nuts, etc. Also some great wine Mr. Laufer very kindly presented to us.
I’ll be using Thursday and Friday to finish this letter.
On Saturday and Sunday I’ll have more Special Pictures.
On Monday, we move to 1942 when Dan has been drafted and Lad is expecting it any day. Ced is in Alaska and getting deferments from his job. Dick and Dave are holding down the fort in Trumbull with Grandpa.