Sometimes all a girl needs on Christmas is a brand-new, hand sewn dress for her special doll baby.
In honor of all this ridiculous snow that refuses to go away, I’m bringing you a story this week about Christmas during the Great Depression.
Yes, it’s a story from my grandma. I’m bringing her back by popular demand. Apparently my life is not quite as interesting as hers.
She wrote an essay in 2007 called “My Christmas Story (Behind Locked Doors).”
The message in it is pretty clear. It’s not money and stuff that make a family because both were in short supply during that time.
The story is set in the early 1940s. Technically the Great Depression was over by then, but that doesn’t mean families weren’t still suffering from its lingering effects.
At least my grandma’s was.
And by that time, World War II had started and my grandma’s brother, Bernie, was away in the Army. Without him there, Christmas wasn’t the same.
Grandma’s dad usually went coon hunting every night, but because it was Christmas Eve, he sat in his easy chair, instead, smoking a cigar and listening to Walter Winchell on the radio, my grandma said in her essay.
“The war wasn’t what I wanted to hear,” my grandma wrote. “I didn’t want to hear about the boys getting killed. I knew my brother was in the service, and every night we prayed the rosary for the war to end. So Papa turned off the radio, and we all knelt down and prayed the rosary. No one fell asleep because this was Christmas Eve at our house.”
Grandma, a little girl at the time, couldn’t stand the suspense. Her mother had locked the living room door where Santa was sure to put all of the presents.