By Rosie Moore

Only as many as your heart desires. I thought of Christmas from seeing all the Christmas decorative pictures on Facebook. Yes, they are abounding everywhere, beautiful in their decorations and lovely colors of green and red, silver and gold, and, most of all the happy faces of those who decorated them.

Everyone knows that the artifacts of Christmas seem to appear earlier each year in the stores. And it’s astounding to me, because, as a young girl, I had no memory of decorating a Christmas tree. It was many years later when I was able to decorate my tree many weeks before Christmas. Why? Let me tell you.

The great Depression of ‘29 was still harassing many people, especially the very poor. Jobs were hard to get, and they didn’t pay that well. Unemployment was still at a very high rate. Even though there wasn’t much money for food, grocery stores still raised the prices on certain foods such as meat, milk, and eggs. Thank goodness, however, Campbell’s soup and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches filled our tables. Once in a while, a chicken would turn up, usually on a Sunday.

During these meager times, when Christmas season entered the picture, there was no thought of buying and decorating a tree. The children didn’t see the decorated tree till Christmas morning. Why? Because the vendor who sold trees gave them away on Christmas Eve, when people no longer wanted to buy them. It was Christmas Eve, it was too late. So the very poor walked the streets looking for free Christmas trees and they were fortunate in finding them.

That Christmas tree that we saw on Christmas morning was a bonus. Miraculously, a string of lights adorned it, tinsel and a few red balls added to its decor, while embracing the area around the bottom there might be a doll for a dollar or a toy truck for two dollars. That was a great Christmas to our little minds.

Yes, the beautiful holidays of today are resplendent as compared to the meager ones of yesteryear. But the ones from long ago retain beautiful memories despite the cloak of desperation that engulfed it. Never to be forgotten.

Thought for the day: Every day comes bearing its gifts. Untie the ribbons.    Ann Ruth Schabader


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