This is the first part of a very, very long letter written to Lad, in Venezuela, on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, 1939. For the rest of the week, you’ll be reading some of the twelve original letters each day, written by all the guests on this Christmas Day in Trumbull, Conn. I’ll also include 2 Christmas Cards sent to Lad in Venezuela.
Alfred Duryee Guion (Grandpa)
Dear Lad: R-56 December 24, 1939
I suppose you have heard the new song which begins: “Last night I saw upon the stair a little man who wasn’t there”. It goes on to tell that he wasn’t there again today, and climaxes with the words: “Oh, how I wish he’d go away.” Well, that’s you — except for a direct reversal of the last wish.
Last week I wrote to you from bed, but this week, as you can see, I am back in circulation again. It has been a busy week, too, what with the Christmas rush at the office, (not so much volume as the necessity for getting them out promptly), the Christmas shopping to do, the house to get in order for Christmas guests, the meals to prepare, etc., so while I have not been feeling quite up to snuff I’ve been too busy to pamper myself. Dan got home (from the University of Connecticut) Wednesday and helped, while Dave is doing quite a lot in the Christmas decorating line, trimming the tree (a live one which Dan and Ced bought), fixing the table decorations, putting up wreaths on the front door, hall and living room. Dave decided to place the tree in the living room between the two windows opposite the fireplace where there was a plug handy. All the youngsters who have been away to college are back home for the holidays and have been dropping in on and off, including Dick Christie, Don Whitney, Cy and Pete Linsley, Charlie Hall, Red Sirene, also Benny Slawson, Jean Hughes, Barbara Plumb and a few minutes ago, Wop and Agnes Ives, with some brownies and other Christmas cookies. Aunt Betty arrived yesterday and Aunt Elsie is due sometime today. We expected her in time for dinner but that is long past now (4:30) and no word from her yet.
Today it is quite cold, the coldest we have had this year and the weatherman says snow tonight and probably tomorrow morning. There is some talk of our all going down to visit the Chandlers between Christmas and New Year’s but nothing definite has been decided yet. Oh, by the way, the Ives asked about you and when I told them I was writing to you, they asked me to send you their best wishes for a Merry Christmas. I read them your last letter which began with the paragraph about your coming home in June, 1941. I did not get the expected letter last week with the new snapshots in it, but whether that was because of the seasonal delay in delivery of Christmas mail or because you did not write is unknown at the present writing. We have had the usual mass of Christmas cards, although I have not sent out any myself. Some of them are: Cecelia Mullins (Lad’s girlfriend), Helen Plumb, Mrs. Lee, the Ives with pictures of their three dogs, Don Quaintance, Larry with a picture of the baby, Charlie Kurtz and family, Burr Davis and family, Mr. in Mrs. Searles, the Cudlipps, Brita (Heurlin Bagshaw )and Sidney Bagshaw), Ray Beckwith, Mr. and Mrs. Kascak, Alice Reyom and Barbara (Plumb, Dan’s girlfriend). Also Rudolph Noer, George Woods and Mr. Blatz.
I don’t know what is behind it but Elizabeth asked me yesterday if she could come in and celebrate Christmas with us because Zeke has never made much of Christmas and was going to his home for the day. Elizabeth wanted to come in for stocking opening time (I hadn’t up to that time thought of including her in the stocking filling ) right through including dinner. Of course, I said, “Yes.”
Tomorrow I will continue this letter with more news of Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. On Wednesday and Thursday, a collection of notes written on Christmas Day to Lad from those present, and on Friday, two Christmas cards sent to Lad.