Wednesday, December 23, 2015

MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL! By Pat Kinsella Herdeg

Wishing all of the TaylorBaker cousins a very Merry Christmas this year.

2015 saw our group lose two of our own:
  • ·         Mickey Hawkes, son of Aunt Doris Taylor
  • ·         Harold Baker Taylor, son of Lloyd Taylor and Ethel Baker
Both will be missed more than words can express.

The Hawkes Family at Christmas 1957--Apparently another warm December like ours this year.
Aunt Doris, Charlie, Mick, Steve, Cyndi and Uncle Bud

Uncle Harold

As many of us travel by train, car or plane this holiday season, safe travels to all!

Aunt CB and Uncle Jack, in 1971, on the move!

Evelyn June Laufer Taylor, wife of Mom’s first cousin Bryant Taylor, has written memories of some of her Christmases through the years. First up is a story about Christmas wrapping through the years, and then a story of her and Bryant’s first Christmas together:

 Christmas 1972, Esther and Dick Lochner, Evelyn and Bryant Taylor

Christmas package styles evolve and change through the years just as clothes, houses, and cars do.  In the late 1920s and early 1930s we wrapped gifts in red or green tissue paper, fastened the ends with Christmas stickers, and tied them with red and green twisted string.

One time when I was about twelve years old, I decided to be more creative in my wrapping, so I chose white tissue paper and decorated the packages with blue stars like teachers used to reward students for good work. I glued the ends and did not use cord.

My mother had been working once a week as a companion to a wealthy woman whose husband was Vice President of Eastman Kodak Company.  When she wrapped gifts, the ends of the paper were cut even with the box’s edge and glued – 3M had not yet invented Scotch tape. 

I am not sure exactly when the colorful, printed Christmas paper came on the scene – probably in the mid-1930s, but how precious it was.  We carefully unwrapped each gift and folded the paper to use the following Christmas, for it was expensive and too pretty to throw away.

After World War II, there was a welcome release from rationing and conserving.  With more money to spend, gift paper became more lavish and the packages more glamorous.  Ready-made bows in assorted colors and sizes could be purchased in packages.  Now, it was not necessary to tie them with ribbon if you did not want to, although curling ribbon was fun to use.  Neither did paper need to be saved, for it was now affordable and plentiful.  Scotch tape had become part of our vocabulary and a staple among our household items.

Red and green tissue paper still is part of my family’s Christmas as Santa uses it for stocking presents.  There is always a brown paper bag in which to save the bows (some habits are hard to break.)  If I am lucky enough to receive a gift, wrapped in beautiful shimmery Mylar paper, I carefully fold it to save for “wrapping up Christmas” next year!


Bryant and I were married in October, 1942, so this was our very first Christmas together in our own furnished apartment, which was the upstairs of a house at 168 Mulberry St. in Rochester.  The Drews, our landlords, lived downstairs.  The living/dining room extended across the whole front of the house, so we could have a big tree.

Since we had no car then, we walked three blocks to where trees were being sold.  Big ones were expensive, but we made the decision to "go for it." Really, $5.00 was a lot of money when you only earned $60 a week!  We dragged it home on the sidewalks, excited as kids  --  but then,  we were only twenty  --  not too far from "kids" at that.

We purchased two boxes of beautiful, hand painted, large ornaments which, 60 years later, are still lovingly hung on the tree.


CB said...

Lovely trip own memory Lane! Yes, I remember saving paper and Ironing it for use the next year! [ In fact, as kids, we Taylors used to rewrap whatever we got and celebrate Christmas over again!!]For Jack and me , our first Christmas, we bought a tiny tree [ 75cents near the 24th, ] and decorated it with cut out portions of the cards we received! He was working om his Masters degree and I was working as a nurse at 99cents per hour so $$ was tight.
Thnks , Eve for the trip!!

Susan Kinsella said...

99 cents per hour!!!