Christmas 1966

Everyday until Christmas, I am going to try to post a picture from a past family Christmas. img002 (2)

I decided on this picture because of the story that goes with it.  My parents bought this house in 1963 and it was the first fire place we had.  We had trouble with smoke coming in the house instead of up the chimney.  Someone told us that it was because the furnace and the fireplace shared the same chimney, and when the furnace turned on it created a down draft and the fireplace smoked.  However, my mother decided one Christmas Eve day that she wanted to burn some pine to get that pine smell in the house.  We had an aluminum tree so no longer got the nice pine smell from the tree.  I went with her to a Christmas tree lot and she asked for the scrawniest tree they had.  We got one that was bare.  I remember feeling embarrassed as we carried it to the car and hoping I didn’t see anyone I knew.  We brought it home and sawed it up.  That evening she threw some of the pine branches on the fire and it smoked so bad that we had to leave the house.  We left the house with windows and doors open as our company and us walked around the block a couple of times until the house cleared.  

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My mother asked my father to saw a branch off one of our trees in December.  He obliged her and she spray painted it white, put lights on it and few little ornaments.  She diplayed it on our front porch.  At the time she took a lot of teasing from everyone because it was just a bare branch painted white.  At the time we had never seen anyone else do this, but since then I have seen them all over and in store window displays.  I guess she was a little a head of time on this one.

Copyright © 2019 Gail Grunst

Christmas 1960 and 1962

Everyday until Christmas, I am going to try to post a picture from a past family Christmas. 

Mom's Christmas Table

Mom’s Christmas Table

My mother’s Christmas Table in 1960.  Behind my mother is a built-in china cabinet.  On the top left she has some dishes and on the top right is my doll collection.  You can see part of an old-fashioned telephone on the right.  My grandmother is sitting on the chair against the wall and above her is the Knick-Knack shelf that went from house to house with us.  On the table is a terrarium.  The camera flash can be seen reflecting off the glass doors behind my mother.

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Pictured here is my brother with our second cousin, Diana in 1962   Look at all the presents behind them.  This was the first year that we did not have a real tree and my parents went with an aluminum tree.  In the background is our Grand Aunt Helen. 

Copyright © 2019 Gail Grunst

Christmas 1960

Everyday until Christmas, I am going to try to post a picture from a past family Christmas. 

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Christmas 1960

Family photo from Christmas 1960.  Back left:  Ralph Bowers (grand Uncle), George Manfroid (father), Fred Kaiser (grandfather). Next row: Martha Treppa, Elizabeth Farrell (great aunt), Dorothy Manfroid (mother), Helen Kaiser (Grandmother), Helen Bowers (grand aunt).  Front:  Ronald Manfroid (brother) and me (Gail).  Notice the Texaco Truck in front of my brother. My grandfather worked for Texaco for 45 years, and was still working for them when this picture was taken.  He retired in 1963. It was unusual to have Ralph and Helen Bowers, Martha Treppa, and Elizabeth Farrell in our family pictures.  They were with us on some holidays, but not all.  I think this picture was taken at the last minute before they left because of the shopping bags and boots on Aunt Helen.  Missing from the picture is my Uncle Russ, but he appears in the next one and I am missing from that one.

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Uncle Russ is sitting on the arm of the sofa.

 

A visit to see Santa 1956

Everyday until Christmas, I am going to try to post a picture from a past family Christmas. 

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Santa, Ron and Gail

The picture is unmarked but by the looks of my brother’s age, I think this is 1956.  My brother is on Santa’s lap and doesn’t look to happy.  He appears to be grabbing for me.  Oh that scarf!  Hard to believe that those were popular at the time.  But you were not suppose to tie it like it did.   I tied it because it would not stay up otherwise.  How about those saddle shoes, and what a fashion statement for the fifties!

Copyright © 2019 Gail Grunst

Christmas 1956

Everyday until Christmas, I am going to try to post a picture from a past family Christmas. 

This was our Christmas in 1956.  Picture on left is my brother, Ronnie, with Santa.  He is about a year and half old.  I love his face, he looks so happy seeing Santa.  Some kids at that age are afraid of  him.  You can see some of his toys.  This is one of the first pictures I have of Christmas in our first house.  We moved there in 1953, yet I could find no photos of Christmas 1953, 54, or 55.  The tree is behind my brother, and I can see cards taped up around the door.  On the right is me playing the accordion for Santa.  I was nine years old at that time.  The accordion was my Christmas present the year before.  I took lessons for three years and gave it up when my teacher kept me on a song that I hated until I played it perfectly.  I seemed to be stuck there and bulked at taking anymore lessons.  My father was upset with me.  No one ever suggested changing teachers.  I remember the accordion cost $500 at that time, and it must have been a lot of money for my parents.  That’s is probably why my father was upset with me.  I quit lessons and  he sold the accordion.  I didn’t want him to sell it because I would have played for my own enjoyment, or maybe a few years later I would be ready to try again with another teacher.   A few years later my father bought an organ, and I was able to transfer my knowledge of music and the accordion over to the organ.  I  never took lessons on the organ but can play it because of those accordion lessons.  Behind me is a built in shadow box .  My mother used that spray snow and stencils all over the house, and it looks like she put some on the mirror of the shadow box.  

Copyright © 2019 Gail Grunst

Christmas 1952: Dad and me

Everyday until Christmas, I am going to try to post a picture from a past family Christmas. 

Christmas 1952 Dad and me

Christmas 1952

Here is the father who went without lunch and saved his lunch money to buy the Rita Doll in my last post.  He did many other things for me throughout his life.  He built me a doll house, a model train layout, and ran to every store in the area with me to find red wax lips that were popular at that time.  He was always there for me, gave me advice, tutored me in history, walked me down the aisle, and was a wonderful grandfather too.  I know he liked my husband because he told some friends of ours that he hoped when their girls grew up they would find someone like my husband. I loved my dad, and I have no doubt he loved me.  So many times I wish I could talk to him and get his advice now.  But that will have to wait until another time.   I still have the manger scene under the tree.  You can’t see the dress I am wearing very well, but it was made by Aunt Fran, my grandmother’s sister.

Copyright © 2019 Gail Grunst

Christmas 1951: Rita Doll

Everyday until Christmas, I am going to try to post a picture from a past family Christmas. 

Christmasa 1951

Christmas 1951

In 1951 Santa brought me a Rita Doll.  You can see by the picture that she was half my size and she walked.  Oh, how I wanted that doll, and when I was older my mother told me that my father went without lunch and saved his lunch money to buy me that doll.  It meant even more to me after hearing that story.  Once her arm came off and we took her to a doll hospital to be fixed.  This picture was taken in my bedroom and that little dresser was painted pink and blue.  Every year we would go the A&P food store and buy one of those little trees for my bedroom.  There were lights on it and you can kind of see the cord going up the wall and around the door to be plugged in.  I like the paper chain on it, and I remember there were some glow-in-the-dark stars and icicles on it.

Below is information about the Rita Doll from dollreference.com

The Paris Doll Company ad for the Rita doll states: Rita’s a must – See her during Toy Fair at the Hotel McAlpin Rooms 1046-48, doll is unmarked.  Hard plastic head with glued on saran wig, hard plastic jointed body, sleep eyes, real upper eyelashes, painted lower lashes, open mouth with teeth. Came as a black or white doll.  May have been dressed in several different outfits one of which was a Majorette, as well as shown in the ad wearing a cotton plaid dress with white sheer pinafore trimmed with red satin ribbon, white socks and mary jane shoes.  Doll is unmarked24 or 28″ tall.

Copyright © 2019 Gail Grunst

 

Christmas Family Portrait 1948

Everyday until Christmas, I am going to try to post a picture from a past family Christmas. 

Christmas 1948 Family

Christmas 1948 Family picture

The picture was taken on Christmas Eve 1948 in my parents apartment.  On the left is my grandmother holding a doll, Fran my grandmother’s sister is next to her, my mother is in the kitchen doorway, I am next to my mother, Pat (Fran’s daughter) is front left, my Uncle Russ, and Grandpa.  I assume my father is taking the picture since he is missing.  I always like looking at the background in these old pictures.  In this one you can see a little into the kitchen.  There is an old stove with a kettle sitting on a burner.  The stove has a shelf and on the self is a clock and two coffee carafes.  I remember that kitchen was very small, and there was a small table that fit the three of us. Notice the knick-knack shelf on the wall.  I think my mother had that one and others in all of her houses until the day she died.  I know my grandmother did.  I don’t see them anymore, but they were kind of nice for displaying items.  I know I am always looking for shelf space to display things.  A few of those around would help.  The knick-Knack shelves now are plain square boxes. I love to see how styles of furniture, kitchen appliances, clothes, and hair styles change over the years.  The trees were always real with the bigger lights and tinsel.

 

Christmas 1927

Everyday until Christmas, I am going to try to post a picture from a past family Christmas. 

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Mom and Santa 1927

This is my Mom again with Santa in 1927. I don’t think I ever saw a Santa outfit quite like this one. Love the outfit my mother has on.  It looks like it would be warm.  My grandmother wrote “Howe Street” on the back.  So I am assuming that this was taken on Howe Street in Chicago.  No date on picture other than 1927, but I assume it is near Christmas and there is snow on the ground.  I wonder did Santa walk up and down the streets of Chicago to have his picture taken with children.  We are use to seeing Santa in department stores.  The picture appears to be a professional one, not just a snapshot.  

Copyright © 2019 Gail Grunst

First Christmas 1947

Everyday until Christmas, I am going to try to post a picture from a past family Christmas. 

Christmas 1948 Gail

Gail’s First Christmas

This is my first Christmas and we are of course at Grandma’s house.  I can actually remember some of the toys.  Rudolph on the left is one that I remember.  I think I had him for several years.  The Teddy bear on the right I had well into my grown-up years, and I think I might still have him packed away in the attic.  I look happy and I am clapping my  hands.  Where is everyone?  

Copyright © 2019 Gail Grunst