12-07-2013 Christmas Memories   2 comments

My better-half has always been known as a Christmas animal, shopping for gifts, decorating every damn thing  in sight, and stressing herself to the max.  Of course that stress level spills over onto me more often than not.  I’m “that guy” who ends up doing the heavy lifting on most of the chores, except for the shopping and baking.  Since I’ve escaped most of that nonsense this year  because of my broken leg  I have a little extra time for blogging and other activities. I decided to take a short trip down memory lane back to 1952 where as a 6 year old I couldn’t wait for Christmas to arrive.

As a kid Christmas seemed to be more of a religious holiday for us because of my Mom.  Gifts were exchanged but weren’t the center of it all.  We as a family barely had enough money for essentials let alone for purchasing large numbers of gifts.  My mother was and always remained a loyal Catholic follower and  I certainly admired her determination to keep the holidays something special religiously speaking.

We attended all of the many church functions and celebrations, listened to Christmas carolers, and sent out tons of Christmas cards to everyone imaginable.  She’d then take all of the cards she’d received and tape them around the entry way to our living room.  It seemed like a big deal back then to acknowledge each other with Christmas cards and displaying them throughout the home. Emails are fine but just aren’t quite the same as a personally signed card with a short handwritten holiday message.  I remember conversations between my Mom and her friends talking about how many cards they’d each received and who sent them.  It was a big deal.  Sadly with today’s prices for mailing letters it would cost a small fortune to send a hundred cards to friends and family.

Check out this price list from 1952 and then match it against our current prices.  It’s scary”:

House: $16,800
Average income: $3,515
Ford car: $1526-$2384
Milk: $.96
Gas: $.20
Bread $.16
Postage stamp: $.03
Hen Turkeys: $ .53 lb
Pkg of 6 Bran muffins $.21
1 lb pkg of M&M’s candies: $.59
Gillette Blue Blades, pkg of 10: $ .49
At Sears – – –
Ladies Corduroy Jackets: $4.99
Cotton knit blouses: $1.98
Men’s Rayon Sport Shirts: $3.66
Men’s cotton flannel shirt: $1.79
Red “Radio Flyer” wagon: $8.75
Westinghouse Open-Handle steam iron: $19.95
Men’s T-shirts and briefs – – –
T-shirts, 2 for $.59
Briefs, each : $.59

I guess the good old days weren’t all that bad after all.  At least you could afford to live reasonably well on what we now consider pauper wages. Families felt closer and the holidays seemed to mean more than they do now.

I’m not complaining because time and things change in the blink of an eye. You can’t expect things to remain the same forever because they just won’t. You must be able to change and adapt to keep the holidays something special and meaningful not only for you but for your children.  It seems a little harder to accomplish these  days but it’s still doable. I’ve always known that if I work exceptionally hard at something it will mean much more to me.  With that in mind I’ll spend the next two weeks helping my better-half to relax and enjoy her favorite time of the year.

HAPPY HOLIDAYS

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2 responses to “12-07-2013 Christmas Memories

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  1. Just think how hard you had to work for that $3515 average salery. If the “me” generation had to work that hard they would want that much per week!

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