Trumbull – Dear Lad (2) – Christmas Visitors and Happenings – December 24, 1939


The house is quiet here now as everyone who has skates has gone out to find a frozen pond. Ced, who has no skates anyway, is working on his car. Incidentally, I have bought him a pair of skates with your Christmas money and Dick a pair of skis.

While we were at dinner the phone rang and Dave, who answered it, reported that the American Railway Express in Bridgeport had a box of fruit from Florida consigned to us and asked if we were coming down to get it. With the possibility that we might stop in there when we went down for Elsie (Duryee, Grandpa’s sister) we said maybe, but no one has gone down yet, so we don’t know who sent it to us and will have to wait now until Tuesday to find out.

Mack has just come in and squatted down near this machine. Oh, how I wish Santa would send him a bath for Christmas. He’s almost ripe. Even the fleas are getting discouraged.

For dinner today, ye amateur chef supplied: tomato juice cocktail, roast Turkey with sausage dressing, cranberry sauce, sweet pickles, stuffed olives, baked white potatoes, giblet gravy, fresh peas, cider and fruit pudding a la Guion.

Tomorrow I plan to have fruit cocktail, Virginia baked ham, celery, currant jelly, ripe olives, sweet potatoes, Brussels sprouts, plum pudding with hard sauce, cider, nuts and raisins. And much of this, dear boy, was made possible by your generous check, part of which was spent on some of the good things to eat.

Christmas day in the evening.

Christmas Dinner Table - Trumbull

                                                                  Dinner Table in Trumbull

Aunt Elsie came up last night. Ced went down for her in his car accompanied by Dave. By the time she arrived we had filled all the stockings and Aunt Betty had just gone up to undress. This morning, at a few minutes after nine, we all assembled in my room and went through the procedure of opening stockings. The baby was also present, accompanied by his mother. After this ceremony had been duly disposed of we all came down and had breakfast. I then delayed matters for a few moments to get the ham started in the oven and we then went into the living room where the tree was aglow and passed out the presents, David acting as the caller off and distributor. Everybody seemed to agree that they had had a wonderful Christmas (and you know the reason). After this was over I got most of them working in the kitchen helping to get dinner, after which we sat around for a while and started writing a round-robin letter to you which will be enclosed with this. Aunt Betty and Aunt Elsie are leaving in about an hour to catch the train home  in a short while so that we will have to finish this letter without undue delay.

Dick was quite thrilled with his skis and Ced put on his new skates at once and has gone out to try them with the other skaters in the family and visitors who are inclined the same way. I don’t know where they went but I have an idea it was Pinebrook.

While we were talking of you today, Aunt Betty asked if you got your own meals in your little home that you referred to in one of your recent letters. I couldn’t answer her as to the meal arrangements because I don’t recall you ever having mentioned whether or not you get all your meals at a central dining hall or whether each group of cabins has their own chef, etc. You might tell us some time more about your eating arrangements.

Did the company give you a bonus for Christmas? Did they have a tree, or Christmas party, or what? I’ll be anxious to hear what sort of a Christmas you had and just how you celebrated it. Meantime, while this will reach you after Christmas has been a memory only, it is very real right now, as is my old but sincere wish that this may be a Merry Christmas.


Thursday and Friday, you will be reading the Christmas letters written to Lad from all the guests at the Trumbull house on Christmas Day, 1939. On Friday I will post two Christmas cards received by Lad in Venezuela.

Judy Guion




3 thoughts on “Trumbull – Dear Lad (2) – Christmas Visitors and Happenings – December 24, 1939

  1. Valerie says:

    I’m always fascinated by menus of the past – love the ones above. Do you have any of the recipes handed down? – the “fruit pudding a la Guion”, or the plum pudding?
    Cultural difference here – what is sausage dressing? Is it a stuffing-mixture using sausage-meat, or a garnish of little sausages?
    It all sounds very festive and cheerful.

    • Judy Guion says:

      Valerie – I’m sorry I do not have any of Grandpa’s recipes. I do not know what Fruit Pudding was. I do know that sausage stuffing is primarily bread crumbs, ground sausage and spices. I do not remember any meals cooked by Grandpa, although I know he cooked for himself in the apartment where he lived. I also remember he used a juicer for vegetables and drank the juice daily, way back in the 1950’s.
      My family moved into the main section of the house circa 1950, after the house was divided into two main living quarters with the small apartment for Grandpa. From that time forward, my Mom was the primary cook for all holiday meals. We continued having Christmas Dinner with 25 to 30 family members present, at the Grown-up Table, the Teen Table and the Kid’s Table, scattered around the house. The Grown-ups were at the same table you see in holiday pictures from the 1940’s, the Teens were in the enclosed Porch and the Kid’s were in Grandpa’s Apartment. It was quite a crowd. At some point, there may have also been a Table in the original portion of the house.
      At this point, there are over 150 descendants from Grandpa Alfred and Grandma Arla.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.