Christmas History 30. Recently on Windows into History we have been looking at some letters from children published in a January 1910 edition of the Iowa Homestead, writing about how they spent their Christmas. The following is another selection:
Christmas was a very bad day here. It was snowing furiously when I started to my grandma and grandpa’s house in Taylorville, with my sister, mother and father. We had a very disagreeable trip through the snow, but reached there in time for the good dinner they had prepared. In the afternoon we went over to one of my aunt’s, who lives across the yard from grandma’s, where they had the Christmas tree. Several of my aunts, uncles and cousins were there and Santa Claus came and gave us all nice presents. We then had music and played with all the pretty playthings. We returned home about nine o’clock at night, all having enjoyed ourselves very much.
I did not spend Christmas very nicely. I had the chicken pox and did not go out of doors very much. In the forenoon I sewed carpet rags for a while and then I played carom. And in the afternoon I sewed some more carpet rags. After a while I went and played with my brother and his toys. I ate candy, nuts and oranges. That night I played carom again and I went to bed and this was the way I spent my Christmas.
I will try and write a letter to you. I go to the country school and I learn to read, spell and write. I learn grammar and geography and to sing. I enjoy the school very much. I have many friends and playmates. I play with them at recess. We have an organ at home. I have a nice home and I enjoy it very much, I have four sisters and three brothers; two of my sisters are married. We live four miles from town and one mile from school. We have four rooms down stairs and four upstairs in our house. We have fine weather and fine sleighing up here. We haven’t our corn all picked yet; there is too much snow.
I spent Christmas at my uncle’s and had a pleasant time. We had a fat goose for dinner and it sure was fine. I am thirteen years old and I am going to school and I am getting along nicely. We have got a nice teacher this year. We have had him two years and all the scholars like him fine. I am in the Fifth Reader, spelling, arithmetic and geography, and love to play with my playmates. I live in the country with my father and mother, three brothers and two sisters. I like to live on the farm where birds and flowers grow. We have horses, mules, cattle, sheep and hogs and chickens. I like to raise little chicks.
I am a little girl seven years old. I have three sisters. We live one mile from town. I go to the Presbyterian church to Sunday-school. Christmas eve mamma went down to help dress the tree, so she let me go with her. Papa gave me fifteen cents and I got my oldest sister a little autograph album and my little sister next to me a yard of ribbon for her hair. Then I went up to the church and gave mamma the things to put on the tree, then I helped some other little girls go around and get things for the tree. About seven o’clock we all began to go to the church to get our presents and see Santa Claus. The baby class in our Sunday-school all were dressed in their white night gowns and kneeled down and said a little prayer that was in our Sunday-school paper. My little sister, Madeline, and me were in it; she is just four years old and couldn’t learn the prayer, so she just kneeled down with us and I wish you could have seen her. She just drawed her eyes up the tightest and looked so cute. Then after they were all done saying their pieces, Santa Claus came in blowing a horn and was so funny and when I found out who it was, don’t you think it was papa? Christmas day was awful cold, but I went with mamma about seven miles to see a good old grandma that God had taken home to heaven Christmas eve, and an aunt of mine, who is very sick of consumption. So that is the way I spent Christmas.