Marian (Mrs. Lad) and Jean (Mrs. Dick)
Trumbull, Conn., Christmas Eve, 1944
To my dear little boys:
My, what memories this day stirs in the dusty attic of the past! The visions of little Alfred, Dan, Ced, Biss, Dick and even baby Dave, with their eyes big and wide with anticipation, romping in to open the stockings and later, all athrill stealing downstairs to see the glittering tree with its candle light softly shining on the piles of mysterious looking packages and boxes, or that time in the attic, when I rigged up some sort of affair behind the curtain with strings attached to your presents. Marty and Butch were here this afternoon, and for a moment, I recaptured that old time spirit, when, with delighted gurgles and shouts, they hung up their stockings in anticipation of Santa Claus’ visit tomorrow. I am looking forward to the time when this war interlude ends and I may, perhaps, watch you boys play the role of Santa Claus for your own little tots.
While it is far from ideal with you boys so far from home, my native optimism rises to the challenge and I realize it could be lots worse. Speaking selfishly, if Aunt Betty and I alone had to go through tomorrow, it would not be much of a “merry” Christmas, but with the girls here with their enthusiasm and energy, it begins to take on much of the old time feeling, and to the climax, DAVE CAME HOME THURSDAY and stays until New Year’s Day. Then too, the weather is doing its part, for we have had the first real snowstorm of the season, and Marian is thrilled. And as an added dividend of cheer, a V-mail letter from Dan arrived yesterday, written on December 13th, reporting all well with him. And today Aunt Elsie arrived on the scene so it begins to take on a real holiday atmosphere.
Perhaps your Constitution is strong enough to stand an account of just how things are progressing on this day before Christmas, 1944. Marian and Jean were up betimes this morning, all prepared for a visit to the woods to find some Christmas greens. Their first thought was to go up along the old railroad tracks but they finally decided to go over to the woods in back of Mantle’s. Fortunately, they ran across Walter and he showed them just where to find some ground pine, Princess pine, hemlock branches, long needle pine and Laurel, which they have used in most tastefully decorating the house. I think it is as attractive as it has ever been. Dave started for church but because he could not get the Buick up the slippery driveways, my Buick had been left until late yesterday out in front of Laufer’s, but with no gas in the tank we had a little trouble getting the car started so as to get gas, enabling me to go to Bridgeport for a wedding which was scheduled for noon today. As the girls were busy with their decorating job I started the dinner, got my wedding out of the way. Then dinner. While Aunt Betty was washing the dishes, Zeke and Biss and the two youngsters arrived, then Bob Shattuck to see Dave, then Carl (Wayne), and while all this was going on, the phone rang to announce that Aunt Elsie was at the station in Bridgeport, so Dave and Aunt Betty went down to fetch our Yuletide guest.
Tomorrow’s post will be Christmas Greetings to the family, Thursday will be events of Christmas Day and on Friday, a special poem with messages and stocking gifts for most of the family.