Friday, December 26, 2014

Carlson Christmases from 1943 through 1973

Carlson Christmases from 1943 through 1973

I have done a lot of editing but probably not enough.  Laurie Palmer asked about childhood Christmas memories and I realized that for many Christmases our mother remembered for us in letters to her mother.  I have also included some letters from my brothers and sisters.  So I give you thirty years of Christmases. 

Dec 5 1943 from Laura to her mother

Harold has been teaching an extra class 4 days a week at 8 in the morning & he can take the time off but has to each week.  So he has every Sat afternoon off.  Yesterday we took the children & went into Delta to get groceries & do some Christmas shopping.  But we found we can’t find much here, so we are not going to send presents.  The mails are too crowded, & we’ve decided just to send each of the children a savings stamp & call it good.  I hope no one is sending us anything.  We would like to come home for Christmas but it would cost so much we won’t be able to.  We are kind of expecting Bob & Mother down this week and when we knew Jesse was leaving and Royce coming home, we thought you wouldn’t want to leave.  Perhaps after Christmas you can spend a month with us., I wouldn’t want you to just come for a day or two, so will you plan on coming after Christmas.  Well it is dinner time.  Take care of yourself  With Love
            from Laura Harold Alvin & Betty

Dec 6 1944
When I realize how close Christmas is I know that for us it will be very simple.  I’m not sending any presents to anyone, and I hope everyone else will do likewise.  We’ve got that little cradle for Betty we bought last year & we got a doll bed for Alvin too.  I’ve made doll quilts to fit but haven’t got dolls for them yet.  Alvin wants a doll as much as Betty, then all 3 of us will have a baby to take care of.

Dec 17, 1944
I may not get another letter written before Christmas so I’m wishing you now a Merry Christmas, and may your heart be full of joy.  We wish we could all spend the day with you.  I dreamed last night that we all went home for dinner, but discovered that the house was not big enough to hold all of us even to eat a meal so we went to the Lion House and had a table as long as the dining room there, and we were all seated together, children and grandchildren, and we were all there.  Maybe someday it can be more than a dream.
P.S.  Harold has forgotten your letter the last 2 days, so I’m mailing this with a card and a Christmas remembrance.  You can get something you need & want with it.

Dec. 29, 1944
Dear Mother,
            I’ve just decided I must take time out to write.  I can always find something to do.  We had a very nice Christmas.  It is just the last day or so that the children have settled down to normal living again.  They both got dolls & beds, coloring books, crayons & scissors & Betty got a cardboard train & Alvin a boat to be put together.  Maxine gave us a spring fry from her frozen locker & Mrs. Zelenka gave us a roast of venison.  Margaret Biesinger sent 2 boxes of candy.  One she made, & one she bought.  Harold gave me money to buy a coat & shoes & hat, but my problem now is to get into town to buy them.  I can’t leave Jane with Maxine because her girl has such a terrible cold & has had all winter.  She coughs continually; and Jane has had a litttle runny nose so I don’t like to leave her.
                                                                                      6535 W. Alameda Ave.
                                                                                          Denver, 14, Colorado
                                                                                                       Dec 27, 1945

Dear Mother,

            Your letter came this morning, and I too thought I would get one off to you on Christmas day, but it is a busy time with the children.  Alvin was so excited all day he barely ate anything.  Betty takes things a little more calmly.  Santa Clause was good to all of them.  Jane got a teddy bear, a rocking horse, and a push toy.  Betty got a doll that opens her eyes and says mama, and a doll house, and broom, and I made her a plaid skirt out of some material Helen sent last summer, and a blouse, and a petticoat.  Alvin got an iron boat that runs in water, and its guns shoot real fire, and some tinkertoys, and a magic slate, and shoes, and overalls, and suspenders, and they all got coloring books, and story books.  The neighbor children gave them blow bubbles, and hair ribbons, and I don’t know what all.  Harold gave me some house slippers, and 2 house dresses, and some hankies.  He got a wool sweater, coin purse, and appointment book, and we got some towels, and a book “Theirs is the Kingdom.”

            I am sending you a check now because it may be rather difficult to do so during the middle of the month.  I hope you got the last one just before Christmas.

Christmas 1946 was the year Laura had appendicitis

Dec 31, 1947

3 or 4 nights ago we started breaking Lou from sucking his thumb. He hasn’t tried to take it for 2 days.  He seems much better without it too.  It was a case of having to break him.  Before Christmas he had a cold, & his nose stuffed up.  To go to sleep he had to suck his thumb, and he couldn’t suck his thumb and breath thru his nose.  He kept us awake for 2 nights until I was exhausted.  We finally gave him sulpha Christmas eve, and Christmas morning he felt better, but Betty & I had colds.  They were all like yours, hoarseness, sore throat & flem.  We are all feeling good now.
            Youngs went to Seattle the week before Christmas & last Friday Thompsons went to Cheyenne for the weekend.  So we all went to Longmont to Sunday School.  We were the first ones there, and after a while the missionaries came, then one woman.  When S.S. was started 3 children came & that was all.  So I guess our S.S. isn’t the only one not too well attended.
            Claud [Roberts] fixed the car the week after you left but told us we couldn’t drive it more than to town for mail.  Then he bought a new clutch, & he and Harold spent most of last Sat. putting it in.  So we went to Longmont Sun. Our next Conference will be in Longmont about the 25th of January.
            We had a nice Christmas, and the children seemed so happy.  The bonnets for the dolls were just right, & I was surely thankful I didn’t have to make them.  I made dresses & knit booties, & made a dress for Betty & 3 petticoats for Jane.  So I was busy sewing.  Thanks too for the mittens, they just fit, and for the other things for the children.  I called Mrs. Haley and she wants the sweater set, but she won’t get it until the 8th (pay day ) She expected to pay $5.00 for them.  Bertha Young says she doesn’t see how you can make them for $5.00.  The children emptied their banks and went to town & bought me a pair of pajamas.  They are blue fluffy things.  I guess I’d better wear them soon.  They feel nice & warm.  Alvin got some checkers and already he is quite expert, and he enjoys playing.  The children bought Lou some little wooden men that you fit together & they do acrobats.  Harold bought a new suit and an overcoat for himself & I got him some gloves, socks from you, & a tie from his Mother.  Mother C. sent a lovely apron for me.  It is nice & big.  Pat sent me an apron too.  It is a half one, more the party type, but very nice.  I must write & thank her.  I haven’t written to anyone since Christmas.


Dec 19
Well, tomorrow night is the big school program, then Tues. our Christmas party for Primary.  Which will be about our last meeting.  Our move to Denver must come before the first of March, sooner if possible. …

I’m sitting here, watching the Christmas tree, & the decorations are waving back & forth in the wind.  I wrote to Aunt Maggie the other night, but none of the other folks.  We didn’t get a card off to Wid & Edna & family either.  They get neglected.  I’m inclosing a small picture of Betty & Alvin for them, yours will come when I get around to wrapping them.  Your letter came the day I sent the card.  We’re glad you got the package ok, and hope it was not damaged.  Well, it is nearly 9, so I’m off to bed.  Harold is reading Ben Hur, and looks like he is good for another 2 hours.  Have a good Christmas, and may the Lord bless you,

Dec. 31, 1948

Dear Mother,
            This is the first real stationery I’ve had for a long time.  It was so nice to have a box from home to open on Christmas morning.  Betty just loves the dog pin, and Alvin promptly put on the sox you sent.  You know, its odd, but both Betty & Alvin realize that Santa is Mother & Father, & both eager to help, and not expecting too much.  They both got ice skates, a game, & 2 pr. of overalls.  Betty likes hers.  The girls wear them to school here.  Lou got tinker toys & overalls, & Jane got a ring toss game & a new wool skirt I made.  We had a heap big snow before Christmas.  It didn’t stop for 4 days, and for the last week the wind has been blowing it everywhere.  It is stacked in drifts 4 ft. deep.  Last Sun, the day after Christmas we went to Longmont to Sun. S. & had dinner with Cottles.  The missionaries were also there, and one of them complained all day that he was coming down with a cold. Well, by Tues. I had Alvin & Betty in bed with the flu, & today is the first day they have been up.  At that they went to bed at 6 P.M. tonight.  Sister Cottle called me this morning & said the missionaries had been in bed all week, and her baby was also sick.  The rest of us seem to have so far avoided it.
            Well, Mom, just 2 weeks before Christmas we were assigned a permanent house here, then the dist mgr. Was changed, and the new man insists the two offices be consolidated in Denver no later than Mar. first.  Harold has his orders to get there before Feb. 1st.  It is a heck of a world. 

Dec. 28, 1949

Dear Mother,
            Excuse the paper.  The children manage to use up every bit in the house.  Christmas has come and gone again, and I am trying to catch up on some lost sleep.  Laurie is six months old today.  The past week she has had another cold with mucus in her nose & throat making it hard for her to nurse.  Yesterday & today however she has been almost better.
            We all had a very nice Christmas.  Betty & Jane got a doll with 3 dresses & pajamas, and they have dressed & undressed them so many times I couldn’t count them.  Betty also got a pollyanna game & a book also some much needed boots.  Janie also got boots, and a board that you hammer colored wooden designs on, and she & Lou are at it all the time.  It is just lots of fun for them.  Louis got some blocks, and a balloon, and a couple of small cars.  Laurie got 3 plastic ducks that float, & she has great time with them.  They also rattle.  Alvin got a puzzle map of the U.S. and an erector set.  I got 3 pr of much needed pillow cases, & a pair of nylon stockings.  Harold got some pajamas & a game of bingo.  And all of us together got a radio phonograph.  We have very much to be thankful for.
            Harold has been gone all the time.  He is home for supper then gone again.  Sometimes I wonder if there shouldn’t be a limit.  Saturday, the day before Christmas he spent working on the church.  Sunday morning he was off early to Priesthood meeting.  We all went to Sunday School.  Then at 2 P.M. someone called & asked him to give a story in sacrament meeting that night, so he spent the rest of Christmas afternoon studying the story.  Monday he was off at 8 A.M. to work on the church & didn’t get home until 5:30, & I made chillie to help feed the men at noon.  I guess I sound like I’m complaining a little, altho I don’t mean to.  The children do need to see a little more of Harold tho.
            They have been working so hard to get in our church by next Sunday.  The recreation hall is nearly finished, and we can meet in there until the rest of the building is done.  He is there again tonight, but even so they won’t get in by next Sunday.  It will be another week at least.  They are going to work all day again Sat & Monday the New Year holiday.  The stake is having a New Years dance, & we have thot of going, but as yet have found no one to stay with the children.
            We got Christmas cards from nearly every family in the ward, & we didn’t send any.  Harold sent some to his family & mine one night while I sewed doll clothes, & that was all.  We heard from folks in Estes, Sheridan & even San Antonio.
            The $10.00 I sent, was for you Mom, & don’t go sending it to Bishop DeYoung.  Wid wrote and said if each of us paid $25.00 that would take care of it (the shingles) so we will try to send ours about the 5th of Jan.  If there is any more than that to be paid we will try to help out, but please let us know.  Money doesn’t seem to go very far, but when we are using it in the Lords work, & in doing good we seem to accomplish an awful lot with it.
            Lois sent a picture of Margaret Louise, & we had a card from them today.  They didn’t know where you were spending Christmas.  It is nearly 9 o’clock, so I must get to bed.  Alvin went with Harold tonight, but since there is no school tomorrow he can sleep late.
            I am inclosing some stamps I know you can use.  Harold got them to use on Christmas cards, but when we didn’t send any we can spare some stamps.  Alvin & Betty went ice skating once or twice, but now the weather is too warm.  We haven’t had any snow for 1 or 3 weeks, maybe longer.  There is none on the ground, & today they played out all day with just sweaters on.  The weather has been very mild.
            Edna said they have snow is Salt Lake & from the papers you have had lots of snow in Tabiona, or close around there.  We are liable to get it all in March when it should be getting spring.
            The children were all in the Primary Christmas program, & Jane is getting to be quite a singer.  The Little ones sang Away in a Manger & on the chorus the group would sing asleep in soprano, & Jane would sing the second asleep all alone.  Betty was a raindrop in her play at school & had to dance.  Alvin was a wiseman at school & Primary.  What got me tho was the fact that Betty ‘s play was at 9:15 A.M. & Alvin’s at 2:15 P.M. of the same day.  Nothing is arranged anymore for people with families.
            Well, goodnight Mother, May the Lord bless you in the coming year with health & strength, and may you have and share your happy cheerful spirit that we all enjoy.  Lovingly,

1950 – no Christmas letter

1951 – reported Jan 3, 1952
Alvin Carlson
I323 West Virginia
Denver 9, Colo.

Dear Grandma Davidson,
            How are you feeling.  I am feeling fine.  We are making cupboards
in the living room where the mirror used to be.  They are made out of
knotty pine.  I am starting a stamp colection and would like to  know
  if you would send me the stamps you get from the old country.
  I got a BICYCLE for Christmas. Did you have a nice Christmas too.
We had bubble lights on our tree this year .  Alice is geting to
  be a pretty big girl.  The others I mean Betty Jane and LOuis
  got roller skates.  Laura got a doll Dad got a of chocolets
Mom GOT a bottle of Cologne and some  Jewlry Bettyand Jane also got
a doll that has been put up for two years.  We were going t o go
  shopping and Laura asked where are we going to the hospital to
get grandma. 


Jan 4, 1952
Dear Mother,

            I know I shouldn’t go so long without writing to you, but Christmas seemed to be surrounded by so many problems, that we could hardly keep our heads above water.  The Thurs. before Christmas, the Primary and Sunday School had a party and program for the children, Santa Claus and everything. ...

            I had started a collection of food among the neighbors for Mrs. Lane, the widow next to Mrs. Thompson, and by Saturday had quite a large box full.  She had been taking care of the children nearly every day because I had to go to each of the children’s Christmas programs, and they were each at a different time.  But Sat. morning that Mrs. Lind that bought the booties called and said that Mrs. Lane was married, and she and Mrs Reilly didn’t think I should give the box to her.  Well, for 2 days I was in hot water over that, and finally gave part of the food to Delores, and the greater part to the old Thompsons, and they were really happy about it.  I guess Mrs. Lane was afraid to tell me she was getting married after I had advised her against it, but she sent a card, and wrote a note on it telling me that she felt the Lord directed this man to her and that he was a good Christian man.

            I did a lot of sewing for Christmas too, and I guess got over tired all the way around.  I made flannel petticoats for the 3 girls, a dress for Laura, 2 shirts for Alvin, one for Louis, and one for Mike.  He went to his Mothers in the morning after we had opened our gifts, and stayed until evening.  This past week Brother and Sister Runyan decided they wanted him to stay with them.  They are building a new house out in Arvada on a couple of acres of land, and want some cows and chickens, and they want both boys so they can keep them busy.  They were planing their house, and needed an extra room for dick, and decided it might as well be for both boys.  He was very happy he was going back there, but we were sorry to see him go.  We got quite attached to him.

            As for Christmas, the main event of the day was a bicycle for Alvin.  Harold couldn’t resist getting it for him, but it has been a source of dozens of rules since.  Louis and Betty and Jane got roller skates.  Sister Robinson dressed their dolls again for me.  Someone out at Harold’s work gave him a new tricicle for Laura, and Alvin and I put the little blue rocking horse together, and painted it red, and Deloros gave us an ironing board and iron that her Mother had sent and they had already got one for Donna themselves.  So Laura was very well taken care of.  We did get her a rag doll.  Harold got sox ties, shirts, and I had to have his watch repaired and a new band for it. And Harley sent him a tie pin, and me some earrings.  Harold gave me some hose, and a rubber foam pillow.  While Mike was with us we had to steal a pillow every night from one of the kids.  I also got some teaspoons, and serving spoons in the stainless steel like the knives I got a while ago.                                               

            We didn’t send any Christmas cards this year, and got over a hundred.  Harold sent some out from the ward, so that took care of those here, but we got cards from many people.  The Clingers, from Omaha Nebraska.  He is with the army there.  But the best news was from the Jim Youngs who are now in California.  He said they, he and Bertha had stopped smoking a year ago, and that the devil must not have been looking, because he was baptized a month ago.  I did write a note to them last night.

            An old Indian just came here this afternoon, and Harold has just taken him to the bus station and given him a ticket to Kansas.
Dec 13, 1953

Dear Mother,
            Every time we have written for the last 4 letters, our letters have crossed in the mail.  But I have surely been happy to receive your letters.  This past week has been so busy I haven’t even been able to keep track of the days.  We still haven’t done any shopping for Christmas and we can’t do much, but we want to make a drastic change for Christmas.  Instead of giving the children gifts we want the children to join us in giving some poor family something.

December 13, 1953

Dear Grandma,
            How are you?  I hope you are fine.  I have just
gotten over the flu.  Laura and I have had
the flu for the last few days.

            It has been cool in Denver.  There is snow
on the grond now, But the sun is out. How
is the weather in Salt Lake.

            In school I have learnd a lot, I have
learnd to read and writh better.  And
so has Louis.  Alvin is taking Latin, he
is learning some songs in Latin now.
            I am sorry I have not written before this
But I have been busy helping mom so I
have not written

            I got A’s on all my last pieces in piano
so I am going to have Christmas
Carols.  Mom is trying to learn the
piano.  She is doing well

                                    Jane Carlson

P.S. Merry Christmas
            Mom Betty and I are remaking doll
for Laura and Alice.  And We are
stuffing aniamals for them

[Incomplete letter, probably written to Jane Davidson  Dec. 25, 1953.  page 2]

make all their costumes.  Then Tues night was the school program which they had on the playground around a Christmas tree in freezing weather.  In fact, at 8 o’clock it was 3o above zero, which is mighty cold.  We were out for over half an hour.  We dressed in Estes Park style, so were ok, but it was surprising how many children came without leggins or hats, & were forced to go inside.  After we went in the building for cocoa & cookies & there were so many people it was like a mad house.  At the same time Alvin & Harold went caroling with the Mutual.  After I took the children home from school I went to church & had chilli with the carolers.  Wed we decorated our tree, & last night for the first Christmas eve I can remember we were in bed shortly after 10. P.M. & everyone slept until 7 this morning. So we have really felt refreshed today.  One day just when the children were getting over the flue we all slept in.  We didn’t even hear the man honk for Harold.  It was nearly 8 o clock when [we] woke.  Harold stayed home that day & helped get the house in order for Christmas.  The children are making so much noise again.  I had better quit.  I’m sending the reg. $5.00 and $3.00 special for something for Christmas.  I hope you get something you really want with it. May the Lord bless you.
                                                                                                Lovingly, Laura

Dec 7, 1954
            We haven’t done anything for Christmas yet, and the time is passing rapidly.  Alice wants a bicycle.  We are not buying any dolls, but trying to dress those we have.
            We had an 18 lb. turkey for thanksgiving it was 39¢ a lb.  It is selling for 35¢ a lb. this week.  We ought to get one for Christmas, but I don’t know.  Our money goes so fast I don’t know where.  Take care of your self, & let us know how Jennette is.
                        Lovingly Laura
Dec. 23, 1954

Dear Mother,
            There have been so many Christmas programs, & each with its practices that every night is taken up.  Last night the Primary had its program & after it the Mutual went Caroling, then came back to the church for chili which Harold & I made.  Tues. night the Mutual had a program with a practice Monday night.  Alvin is Ward teaching tonight.
            Sunday night Bro Lavon Jones was put in as Bishop with Bro Raymond Runyan & Tom Kimball, a new man.  I wonder if I will ever get over the feeling that had I not failed Harold would still be Bishop.
            The children are all excited about Christmas.  LaVon Jones gave us two tricycles for the little girls & Alvin painted them today.  We got little suit cases for them to put their dolls & doll clothes in.  We finished making the clothes today.  Harold Danny has a Mickie Mouse & a suitcase.  He has to have what the girls have.  Louis is getting a black board & some roller skates.  Jane some skates & a puzzle.  We got the skates with stamps like the S & H Stamps, [These were small green stamps that were given out at the grocery store when you bought food and would be put into a book.  Books could be redeemed for prizes] and here it is Thurs. night with only one day before Christmas & we haven’t anything yet for Betty & Alvin.  Nor I haven’t anything for Harold.  Montgomery Wards lost a law suit over a 1,000 Christmas trees & last Mon. put a notice in the paper they were giving them away.  As Alvin was folding his papers he saw it so we went over & got one for us.  Later Harold went over & got one for Monsons.  The 4 older ones decorated our tree.  Please keep us informed about Jennette.  Tell Helen we got the nativity scene, & the children love it.  Lovingly, Laura

Dec 6, 1956
Harold still hasn’t got a call to go to work at Wards.  They told him they were calling back all there old employees first and that it would be about Dec. 6 before they called.  I don’t know what we will be able to do for Christmas, but I’m not worried.  I am planning on making things for the girls, & I have 4 hats for the girls I bought last spring.  And Mother — you needn’t tell anyone, but I can’t help telling you----I’m so grateful.----When Mr. Tasky heard Harold was planning on working at Wards for Christmas he called him to come down.  He told Harold to take Alvin & Louis to Wards and buy them each a suit, a pair of shoes and a hat, and then bring him the bill and he would pay it.  Alvin’s suit we got him when he graduated from 9th grade is above his ankles & is pretty thin.  Louis has never had a suit.  I don’t think either one of them would wear a hat so we may get them each a shirt instead.  For Thanksgiving he gave me $30.00.  I bought flour & powdered milk with it. The Lord seems to look after us when we need it most.

Dec 23, 1957
Dear Mother,
            I don’t mean to neglect you.  I think of you constantly, and I’ve worried about not getting a letter written till I have been better off writing every few days.
            After I got over the flu it seemed to take forever to get my strength back, and then 3 weeks ago both Harold & I got a cold.  It hung on & on, and my nose is one big cold sore, both inside & out.  We finally got some Vitiman C and this morning I feel like the cold is going.  Harold Danny, Alise & Laura all woke yesterday with coughs and runny noses, so we started giving them Vitiman C. too.  Maybe we can clear them all up before Christmas.
            During the last 2 weeks we have had 5 school programs.  Betty played her violin in a high school concert.  Jane sang in a Sunday concert.  Alice was in a program one afternoon, & Laura & Louis an evening performance.  And Jane had another one last Fri.  Laura had a Brownie program last Tues and played 3 Christmas Carols on the piano.  Her first public appearance.  She has been taking lessons for 9 weeks., but does exceptionally well.  Then we had the Primary program Fri evening.  Alice was the Angel of Peace.  She had long dark curls, and is a beautiful child.
            Laura gave her first 2 ½ min. talk in the big Sunday School yesterday in a program given by the Jr. S. S.  She had her talk learned a month ago, and did so well everyone just gasped.  Last night Alvin had a priest cottage meeting here, and so while it was going on we took the little ones out to see the lights, and got caught in a traffic jam in a residential section over by the Stake house.  It took us an hour to go 6 blocks.  10 minutes before we got out of it [a] policeman showed up to untangle it.  We had gone to see the prize winning lighting entry, and so had everyone else in Denver.  They have all had their school & church parties, and Betty & Jane have been kept busy baby sitting.  I think Jane had $12.00 & Betty $15.00 to do shopping with.  But Jane is still loosing things. She paid $1.50 for a toy for Sammy and got home without it.  She never did find it.
            Sammy had a happy birthday last Tues, and you never saw a happier child.  We got him a ball.  The children gave him some balloons, a horn & a small turtle that you pull, and he had a birthday cake, and it was his happy birthday for 3 days.  I wish the rest of them would be satisfied with so little.
            We got a lovely card & letter from Aunt Maggi, and I had already written one to her.  We got a lot of cards off a week ago, but none to the family yet.  It is a constant battle to get done what must be done.
            Today Harold started a vacation along with the children.  They will all be home until Jan. 2, including 7 year old Peter who I am taking care of.  He lives next door.  Sammy still wakes up every morning at 6.  He lay down again with Harold so I got up to write this.  Now they are both up.  I’m sure going to have to be one jump ahead of this tribe this week if I know whats good for me.  We bought a Christmas tree with the $5.00 you sent, plus some icicles & balls. It is standing on an 8 in. table, and reaches the ceiling, and it is lovely.  The priests went to the mountains and got them, and sold them as a building fund project. …

            The sun is up, & so is everyone else so I’ll wish you a happy holiday, and good health, and contentment. During the coming year.  May the Lord bless you.
                                    From all of us,
P.S. We sent a small pkg hope you get it for Christmas

Jan. 2, 1958
Dear Mother,
            Harold is back to work after being off for nearly 2 weeks, and the children are all back in school.  I have had Peter the 7 year old neighbor boy too, and it seems that all I have done is cook.  They have all been on the go constantly, each going in a different direction, but they all seemed to manage to be here at meal time with one or two more.  We did plan to go swimming together one night, and Betty had a cold, and Alvin was too tired.  The rest of us enjoyed it very much.  We sent out about 75 cards before Christmas, the first time in many years.  I don’t know why we didn’t get any off to our brothers and sisters, except that we wanted to take time to send a letter with each of them, and so didn’t get them done.  The press of activities the last two weeks
before Christmas leaves no time for anything.  We are sorry we didn’t get them sent, and since we didn’t send any we can’t expect to receive any.  We didn’t hear from anyone but Jesse before Christmas, and Dan after.  We appreciated both of them.
            We all had a very lovely Christmas.  The children each gave each other something, and we gave them each a game and something to wear.  With 8 games in the house they have all enjoyed the holidays.  We have never bought games like that before, and they thought it was really something.  I got 6 pair of hose, I guess they all knew I had none.  2 slips, and some pearls, and two head scarves from friends.  Peter’s Mother gave me one, and sister Barber gave me the other.  Harold got a no iron Arrow shirt, that we found has to be at least pressed, hankies, ties, cuff links, and David O. McKays book that he will use in teaching his Sunday School class.  Alvin gave me a vase that he paid $10.00 for.  He was really pleased and so was I.

1958 Christmas.   Jane Davidson must have spent it with us in Denver because there were no letters until this one.  Betty accompanied her Grandmother to Salt Lake and then returned to Denver.

Dec. 28, 1958
Dear Mother, and Betty,
            We all hope you had a good trip to Salt Lake, and that you are rested after so long a time without sleep.  Yesterday again was a lovely warm sunshiny day here, but today it is cloudy.  It tried to snow this morning, but didn’t quite make it.  The ground got wet once, but it stopped, and the ground is dry again.  We may get some snow yet, it looks enough like it might.  I hope you didn’t run into too much snow. 

Wednesday Dec. 23, 1959
[This letter is in cursive]
Dear Grandmother,
           Hope you have
a Merry Christmas,
And a happy New Year.
We have a white Christmas
tree.  We decorated it
Saturday.  Do you have
your’s up yet?
           To day is the first time
I have done any writing
           Love Alice
[with the letter is a Christmas Card with shepherds, sheep and star:]
May all the joy
and peace
of the
Christmas Season
be yours
today and always


Dec. 27, 1959
Dear Mother,
           Two days after Christmas, and I’ve not written a card or a letter for Christmas.  Sister Vivian was asking about you this morning at Sunday school.  We saw Opal & Harry Jones yesterday and they were asking about you.  We took Betty to town yesterday and she paid $10.00 down on a winter coat.  She will need it if she is going to school next winter.  She is still working, and made $30.00 last week.  It will taper off now tho after inventory.  They wanted her to work today, and she told them she had to go to church.  Last week, the 15 top seniors at West took a special science test.  The one that comes out on top will get a $6,000 science scholarship.  She said she doesn’t have much chance of winning, & even if she did, doesn’t think she wants to take that much science.  She has been working hard during the Christmas season, and has quite a bad cold.
           The first of Dec. the new Bishop asked me to teach the teacher training course, so for this month I’ve had 2 classes to teach.  One during opening exercises and the 19 to 23 year olds during regular class periods.  The Teacher training class is so new to me that I’ve really had to dig for it.
           I had to go to school 3 afternoons for Christmas programs, and Harold D. had to have pajamas for his program, so I made new ones for him & will.  I made a jumper & blouse for Betty a skirt each for Laurie and Alice, & a dress for Marilyn & Barbara.  Jane was the only one of the girls that I didn’t get something made for.  I hope your dress fits you, and that it isn’t too full as it was when we tried it on.  I made buttons all down the front because it didn’t hang right when I sewed it.  I hope you get some use out of it.
           Alvin & Marilyn came in on Dec. 19, and will be here till Jan. 3rd.  Marilyn’s Mother, Sis Spencer was in the hospital for over a week, until 2 days before Christmas, then those 2 days they spent moving.  They are now living half way between here and Boulder.  Alvin & Marilyn are out there today.  The baby is doing fine.
           Three weeks ago we had 6 people from Turkey spend Sunday with us.  2 couples & 2 children. The men are here for there government, to learn personell work, and Harold worked with them for 2 weeks.  We want to see more of them, and learn more of there customs.  They are very well educated altho they don’t know too much English.  The one wife with the 2 children speaks very little, and it makes it hard to communicate.  They are Moslems, and made it very clear that there God was the same as ours, that Mohamad was merely a prophet.  They were very interesting people.
           Guggenheimers just returned today from a 2 week stay in New York.  Hans only brothers only son reached 13 and they went back for the Bar Mitzva or his becoming or age.  I didn’t know whether that is the spelling.  I’ve never seen it in writing.
           Elsbeth gave me a lovely bulky knit sweater for Christmas it is tan, & is the nicest thing I’ve ever had.
           A week before they left for New York Hans got fired from his job again.  I don’t know what they will do now.
           We had a card from Uncle Jim, and the one that came from Dan Main I opened then resealed & will send it on.
           Dad has to speak in church tonight.  He is making a gift presentation to the Old Bishop & counselors.
           Next Sun we start S. S. at 11 A.M. and church at 7 P.M.  This afternoon I’ve been so sleepy it has been an effort to stay awake.  Im inclosing some school pictures of the children.
           I stoped for an hour & went over to see the Guggenheimers.  They are tired but glad to be home.  They both had the flu before they came home.  I’m still sleepy as ever, and must get the children ready for church.  I’ll write more often.  I don’t know why I haven’t written more.

                                                                                                   January 3, 1960

Dear Grandmother
            I hope you are feeling well.  We are feeling well here except mother has a sore throght.  How is everyone up there?  Mother said you got my letter.
            Alvin’s & Marilyn’s address is 2548 Mapleton.  Their phone number is Hi.3-3816.  They have been with us during the holidays.  They will stay till after fireside tonight.
            Mother made Marilyn & Barba a dress that maches.  She also made a other dress for Marilyn to wear today.
            We each got something for Christmas that mother made.  The girls got skirts, bloses, peddcoats, & dresses.  We got severle toys & games for all of us.
            Willy was the first to eat all of his candy.  So we all share ours with him.  Harold’s went next. 
            Our tree was white with lots of thing on it.  We took it down New Years day.

                                                                                                Love Alice

Undated Christmas Card - December 1960]

Home for Christmas
Greetings of the Season
friendly good wishes for
the New Year

How I wish we could all be home for Christmas.  We went to Boulder Fri evening and brought Alvin & Marilyn home, then waited all day Sat. for Betty to come home.  She was coming (inside) on the bus, but at the last minute came with Frank Lawton (Winnie Laforce’s brother) and two other boys.  We waited & waited.  The weather report was that the passes were snow packed, and chains necessary, and it was snowing.  The children went to bed by 10:30 P.M. and Harold about 11.  They finally got here about 12:15.  Cold, hungry & tired.  They had car trouble all the way.  They stopped once and bought a loaf of bread and some lunch meat, and that was all the 4 of them had all day.  They were pushed at least 6 times.  They were pulled up Berthod pass by a snow plow, and 4 different highway Patrolman helped them.  What a blessing you didn’t go with them.  When they got here it looked like the whole car was burning up.  It was smoking terrificly.  They had a Cereberial Palsey boy with them, and he couldn’t move unless someone moved him.  After they got here Harold had to take the 3 boys home.  The boy with the wheelchair clear out to thornton.  He didn’t get back till after 2 A.M.  It is good to have Betty home well and safe.  Willy had a birthday (5 years) yesterday.  He got a red wagon.  A shirt, coloring book and a story book.  Alice made him a cake, and we all went swimming to celebrate his birthday.  Harold Danny’s arm is healing.  The cast has been off a week and the black & blue is beginning to fade.  Harold is leaving by plane tomorrow morning and won’t be back till Fri evening.  He is going to Nebraska.  Take care of yourself and know that we all love you.  We’re sending a small package hope you get it by Christmas.        Lovingly Laura

To Grand-
[Picture of Alice]

Best Wishes for a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

Alice Carlson [signature cut from previously used card and replaced with name]

Dec 1, 1961
I’m still teaching the teacher training lessons, and so far I have had an assignment for part of every Relief Society lesson this year.  I’m just going to have to start telling them No.  I am chairman for the luncheon committee for work day in December, and I guess they want it a little special for the holiday month.  Today I am roasting a 25 lb. Roast beef for the Ward dinner tonight, and Willy and Harold have been home from school 3 days this week with a cold.  I think we have it just about licked now tho.
            None of the things I have been doing are especially hard, it is just the ... nstan.... ... ... [mouse nipples have destroyed the line.] We were happy to see Betty Home last week, and on Thanksgiving after dinner we went into the foothills, and went toboggening, and Willy and I bumped heads, and I dislocated my jaw, and couldn’t eat or talk much for 3 days.  It is almost better now tho.  Betty will be out of school for the Holidays on the 15th, and will be home on the 16th.  Woolworths told her they will put her to work the minute she gets home.
            Alvin and Marilyn are doing fine. I believe they are getting homesick now that Christmas is coming near.  Marilyn bought Alvin a typewriter for his birthday, and he has been practicing an hour a day on it, and he is getting pretty good.  He hopes that by the time he goes back to school he will be good enough to do his paper work with it.  Louis has been going out for basketball both at church and at school.  They finally weeded out all but 20 at school for the freshman, or sophmore team, and He got weeded out Wednesday, and yesterday he was pretty unhappy.  He has been doing so very good we were a little surprised.  All fall tho he has had trouble with his neck.  Two of the vertebrae keep popping out, and it gives him headaches.  I took him to the chriopractor, and he is much better now.

Jan 9, 1962
Betty left here on New Year’s Eve, and went to Tabiona to spend New Year’s day.  She wanted to get some geneology from Aunt Jennette.  Then she was going to Provo with Reed.  They just live thru the block from each other.  Betty worked at Woolworth’s all the time she was home except the last two days.  I worked there on Wed and Thursday after Christmas to help them with the inventory.  Jane is still working there two or three nights a week.  They called her last night and told her not to come to work.  They closed the store at 6 instead of 9 P.M.  All the stores in the shopping center closed because of the storm.  There was no one out in it.  Even the downtown stores that stay open till 9 on Monday closed by 4 P.M.

Dec 27, 1962
Dear Mother,
            Christmas is over, and I only got about half of my cards mailed.  I got this much written when Alice brought in your card & letter, & one from Betty & many others.  It took 7 days for your letter to come from California.
            Betty spent Christmas in Clearfield at the Stokers.  Blen arrived in S.L. from Denver Sat. night at 11:P.M. & they went on to Clearfield that night.  She called us Christmas day to tell us she received a diamond for Christmas.  She seems very happy, & very sure.  Blen is a good boy altho he is 28 or 29 in Jan.  He is rather shy.  He will not be returning here until the 2nd or 3rd of Jan, so you will have a chance to meet him before he comes back.
            Just after Betty called, Alvin & Marilyn called from Denver.  They had 4 inches of snow - we have 8 inches.  They had a lovely Christmas, and sent a lovely picture of the children to us.  They are going to have Karen blessed this Sunday.  Alvin got a Superior Performance cash award of $225.00 and he has been left in charge of the ofc. for a month.
            Jane arrived last Sat morning at 1:30 A.M. and will leave to go back at 3:A.M. New Years day.  I think another year we will encourage her to stay in Utah.  She came in last Fri night after one of the strangest ice storms I’ve ever seen.  Louis is in Denver.  Surely our family has been traveling to and fro upon the earth this Christmas time.
            Bill Jones, a boy from Denver who is a Methodist & attending the John Hopkins U. at Baltimore has been with us since last Wed.  He is leaving again tomorrow.  He seems to have enjoyed himself while he has been here.  He and Jane went into Washington yesterday with Harold, & went sight seeing all day, & came home with Harold at night.  He couldn’t afford to go home for Christmas, and he has fit in here nicely.  He has Louis room while Lou is in Denver.
            I think it is cold anywhere at this time of year.  We surely feel the cold here.  We have a fire place, but no logs.  We didn’t realize we would need them.  All fall men came around with trucks of logs, but we didn’t think we would need them.
            Harold was sorry he missed you when he was in Salt Lake.  I was going to send you $10.00 for Christmas, but that trip took all we had.
            I’m glad you were warm on the bus going.  We have a lovely Christmas tree.  Write again when you get home.

Nov 21, 1963
This morning is Relief Society, but I guess I won’t be able to go.  Mr. Wilkinson will probably bring Johny over after he has taken him to the Dr., and if he has had a fever I won’t want to take him out.  I went last week, and we made some bells for Christmas out of chicken wire.  They are about 9 inches high, and 2 of them tied together at the top with a wide ribbon.  They have little tiny christmas beads on the ends of each wire at the bottom, and ribbon twined thru the wire around the middle.  They make a lovely decoration.  It hasn’t been often that I have made anything for myself at Relief Society.  It seems that I have always had to help with the demonstrations or been helping someone else, so it is a pleasant change.  I brought the bells home, they were painted, but the ribbon and balls were not on them yet.  Laurie wanted to take them to school and finish them there for a school project she has to have.
Washington D.C.
Dec 22, 1963

My Dearest Mother
            Ever since I first started writing Christmas cards around the first of December I have been telling myself that I would write my darling mother a letter and not just send her a card.  Things have been so hectic that I almost didn’t get it done.  And what with the mails being overtaxed and the big snow storm my message might be late anyway.
            At Christmas time especially we become nostalgic and think with fondness of the wonderful happenings in our lives.  It seems only as yesterday that we were all at home busily getting ready for Christmas.  We probably didn’t have a lot of money but it seems as though you and Dad always outdid yourselves making Christmas merry and spending more than you could afford.  The time or two when things were really rough and we kids could tell that you and Dad were worried about where Christmas was coming from seem to stand out as the most happy ones of my life.  When we couldn’t afford lots of Christmas candy I remember we always had a big five gal. can on honey from which we could make honey taffy.  Sometimes we cooked it too long so it couldn’t stretch, but the real fun was in doing things together.  That was something there was no shortage on in our home.
            Can’t just speak of the “old times” you will want to know of the present.  We are all well - Laura did have the flu for over a week but seems to have recovered just in time for Xmas.  Jane has been working hard in the Dept of Agriculture as a Steno to earn money so she can go back to the Y in February.  Lou is in his last year at high school and doing well.  He has been as to escort a young girl to the annual “Debutante Ball” a big afair at which the upper crust present their 18 year old daughters to society.  Lou will be in tuxedo etc.  He hopes he breaks his leg and can’t go.  Alice and Laurie are both doing fine.  They both do a lot of baby sitting and so had saved fro Christmas.  Laurie is in 1st year high school and Alice in Jr. High.  Our little boys Harold and Willy have been busy thinking up errands and jobs they could do for mother to earn money so they could help too.  So all in all we will be showered with gifts.  Blen and Betty are fine too and will spend Xmas with us.  Alvin and Marilyn and their three little ones are too far away (much too far).  They will be alone at Ainsworth Nebraska where Alvin is working hard.  Still expecting to go back to College.  But after he bought a new 1963 Chevy last summer I sort of gave up hoping he would go back and finish.  Maybe he’ll full [fool] all of us.  I hope so.  But–on the other hand.  Not everyone has to go to college.  Alvin has a good job, a lovely wife and three darling children.  I see no reason why he can’t be considered doing fine just like the rest of us.
            We don’t hear much from Bob and Mary Louise anymore.  Too bad we didn’t get together more while we were both living in Colorado.  From the few letters we get–I’m sure you get more–it seems they are doing real well.
            With the Worlds fair being in New York this year we are hoping that several of the families might just take the notion to come east.  If so its just overnight from New York to Washington and there is no excuse for anyone missing us.  Even without a world’s fair, the Nation’s capitol has a tremendous attraction for Americans both young and old so if anyone mentions it encourage them to come.  We have plenty of room to sleep 10 extra if need be. 
            Well I guess I had better stop.  You will note that I am using Uncles [Uncle Sam’s - United States Department of the Interior] stationery.  Everyone in the office have slowed down in production for the holidays so I thought I would get this letter off while I had a moment.
            May the good Lord bless and keep you and may the spirit of this Christmas season gladden your hear.  Tell Ruth and Ock hello - In fact I’m sure they will be reading this letter to you.  I am enclosing my check to Ruth with a request that you get her to buy a present from Laura and I to you - something you need or can use.  Being so far away we have no idea what would be appropriate.  Give all the family our best Christmas wishes and prayers for a happy and successful 1964 for everyone
                                                Your loving son
Jane and I attended the candle light service marking the end of the 30 day period of morning for  President Kennedy’s death.  It has been interesting being here in Washington at a time like this.
            Love Harold.

Jan 5, 1964
Christmas has come and gone like as if it were a dream.  I didn’t write any letters or send any cards.  Harold wrote out about 80 cards, and sent them off.  Otherwise no one would have heard from us.  He left my brothers and sisters for me to do, but I didn’t get them done.  Christmas day Willy was sick.  He didn’t eat anything all day, and vomited during the morning.  By Christmas evening I didn’t want to eat anything.  By the following morning I didn’t eat any food either.  It was just a short term flu I guess, but for a couple of days I felt all washed out….

Betty and Blen took Harold and I to an icecream parlor a week ago, and I saw some Christmas Candies there that I hadn’t seen since I was a child.  We got some, and are sending them on to you.  I know you will remember them too.  It may be a few days before they reach you…..
I haven’t written to Alvin and Marilyn since Thanksgiving, and should try to get a letter written to them today too.  We did talk to them on the phone Christmas day.  Alvin called us.  Betty and Blen gave us a Sunbeam mixmaster for Christmas.  Ours has been broken for about 6 months.  Betty also got a new Singer Sewing machine.  It is a beautiful desk model, and she already has made 2 dresses for herself.  Jane got some money for a new winter coat, and we bought her one for her last week during the sales.

            We all had a very good christmas.  We bought Harold a suit, a sweater, and a coat during the first part of December, also house slippers and a robe, and we called it his birthday and christmas.  He did get a pair of gloves for christmas.  Willy and Harold got gloves and games, and the girls got a sweater and skirt, and house slippers.  I got a robe and house slippers.  Lou got a watch that made him very happy.  He worked all during the holidays, and is trying to save his money for school next fall.  Jane is just about ready to go back to school.  She will most likely come on the train it will probably take her right to Provo, so she may not see you till a week or two latter than that.  She is anxious to get started back.  She did want to come by plane, but paid more for her coat than she had planned, so is going by train instead.  That is she will if it will save her any days working.  I would like to get some clothes made for her before she goes back.

            It was so good to talk to you on Christmas eve, and to know that you had been out with the bunch caroling.  I’m sure that you must yet come back here, and spend a few months, so when one of them is coming, you had better plan on it. 

Nov 25, 1964
Betty & Blen are planning on leaving here about Dec 4th and will be in S.L. for the holidays.  They are driving.  I haven’t heard what Jane & Ken & Lou are doing for Thanksgiving.  Lou called about 2 weeks ago asking if he should come home for Christmas.  The chartered plane costs $130.00 round trip, & there were 3 students driving a Volkswagon bus & that would cost him $40.00 and 2 sleepless nights each way.  Harold told him to stay there, or go to Denver with Alvin.  Jane & Ken are going to California for Christmas.  It is Jane’s birthday this Sunday the 29th.  We sent her some pajamas & stockings.

Dec 12, 1964
I’m happy Jane & Ken were with you for Thanksgiving.  They are going to California for Christmas, leaving the 19th Lou is staying either in Utah or he may go to Denver for a few days.  We didn’t have money to have him come home.  I’m sure he would like to come home, & he could make the round trip by plane for $125.00 which is what you paid for one way.  It is a chartered plane.  But he will probably go over & spend 2 or 3 days with Alvin & Marilyn.
            I hope you have seen Betty & Blen.  They were with Alvin Wed evening, and the 3 little children had the chickenpox.  Betty & Blen will be around Utah till Jan. 4th I wish you could come back with them, but they have the babys mattress filling up the back.  We are going to have to have you come back again by plane, so keep your ears open for someone coming, and you can come with them.  We will too.  We have that extra room.  Alice is using it now, but there is an empty room in the basement.  If I work after Christmas it will be for only 4 hours a day, and some how you have a refining influence on our household while you are here.
            I still haven’t sent the corn slicer or whatever that Dan gave me for Jennette, but they can’t use it anyway till next year so I’ll send it after the holidays.  Dan also said he would like to have found a good knife for her, but he didn’t.
            Time for me to get back to work.  Tomorrow is Sunday, and I haven’t sent any Christmas cards yet.                        

[Death of Hannah Jane Smith Carlson 16 Dec 1964, Salt Lake City, Utah]

Laura Carlson note:  I was working at a large department store Woodward and Lothrup clerking in the men’s department for about 6 weeks before Christmas. ]

I was working at a large department store Woodward and Lothrup clerking in the men’s department for about 6 weeks before Christmas. ]

Jan 17, 1965
The children are all well, and are keeping busy.  We had a nice Christmas but missed Lou Jane, Betty, & Alvin.  In fact, it seemed like a very small part of our family was home this year.  The children got mostly clothes that they badly needed.  We had some beautiful lights on the tree on the front lawn.  We had a group of Laurie’s friends in one night for a party.
            I worked up till Christmas, and the day after.  I really should try to find another job.  Lou and Alvin both need help to stay in school, and we haven’t been able to help them much.

Dec 8, 1965
It doesn’t seem possible, but I will be leaving for Salt Lake in just a week and 3 days.…

The children are all getting ready for their Christmas programs.  Their last day of school is Dec. 22, so they will have 2 days off before Christmas this year.  Harold is going to stay home from work during the time I am in Salt Lake, and he can take Mike and do a lot of work on the Chapel during that time. …

I think it will be good for Mike to have a Christmas with the children here.  Phyllis Carlson, his sister was here for 4 days over Thanksgiving, and she says that Christmas has been just like another day for the past half dozen years.  His Dad never had a tree, or presents, but was always promising him something, and never getting it.

Dec 23, 1965

Dear Mother,
            Jane is still home.  It has been a good thing too.  I’ve been able to get 10 or 11 hours sleep each night, and I guess I’ve needed it.
            She only had 2 recieving blankets, and we bought some flannel, and have been making some–also some bibs out of the end pieces.  She only has 1 blanket, & 1 small quilt.  It was good that the children made a quilt & I knit the shawl.  She still should have a couple more blankets.
            Louis surely left here in a hurry.  He got special permission for him & his companion to have dinner with us Sunday afternoon.  We saw him a few minutes Sat. evening, but he spent a couple of hours here Sunday.  Betty sent him a box of candy & Blen sent him some ties.  He had a little of my fruit cake & cookies, but most of it I guess he left for the other missionaries.  He called here at 5:30 P.M. Monday & said they were leaving at 6:10 P.M. on the train.  I already had my coat on so Ken & Jane could take me to the bus for Salt Lake.  It left at 5:45.  Another minute & I’d have been gone, & missed Lou.  Many of the boys didn’t have anyone to see them off.  Some of them didn’t even have their money or all their clothes.  There were 2 bus loads that left from here that night.
            I understand that once Jane is in the hospital, they will not let me in.  So I will plan on coming to Salt Lake for the 2 or 3 days she is in the hospital.  There is a train that leaves here at 7:40 A.M. which should get to Salt Lake about 9:A.M. and another that gets into S.L. about 10:P.M.  The Depot is only about 2 blocks from Jane’s place and cost about half that the bus does.  So I’ll be coming on the train if the time is right.  I ought to know how to get a bus from town out to your place.
            What are you planning on doing for Christmas?  I don’t know where I’ll be yet.

Mrs. Harold Carlson
c/o the Babcocks
432 So 4th West
Provo, Utah
                                                                                                      Dec. 27, 1965

P.S.  We got some letters off to you.  Will send more.
My Darling,
            Forgive us for not writing we spend all our time while at home listening for the phone and whenever it rings I say that’s Mother telling us about Jane and her new baby and so far it has always been someone else.  But maybe before I get this letter off or even written you will be on the phone telling us the good news.  We are all fine.  It’s now 10 to 10 pm the boys have crawled in bed.  Alice and Laurie are at a seminary party.  Blen and Betty just stopped by for Julie.  We tended her while they went to a reception for Bishop Horn’s daughter.  Also said we had a invitation but since I didn’t get it I said I wouldn’t go.  I’m a little like Mike, rather not meet people.  No that’s not true.  I appreciate the Horns.  Him as a good bishop and her as a lovely singer.  I would have wanted to go if you were here.  But alone I am nothing and so was satisfied to watch Julie.  Mike really likes his bike.  Kept it in the basement until last night when I let him take the tarp off the mower.  The others were all very pleased with Christmas.  I am sure everyone was thrilled.  We had a fine dinner at Betty’s.  Our girls have been good woks [workers?] also.  I spent Mon thru Thursday on the bldg. (Mike was with on Thursday But since then I have stayed close to home.
            I mentioned Mike and his thrill over the bike.  It was good we got him something real extra as he was quite low Christmas Eve.  I made a mistake and let him read a letter we had received on Friday from Phyllis.  In it she mentioned that she had been on the phone with Carroll who had been in touch with Gord.  Gord told Carroll he had received Mikes letter and would answer it But he just couldn’t take Mike back.  He and Vickie were still fighting and drinking.  He was out of work and broke and so couldn’t even send Mike a present but nonetheless he would answer his letter.  Since Mike had received packages from Phyllis and Carrol I thought perhaps he should know that his Dad was thinking of him and would have liked to send a present.  Mike however took it real hard.  He had dreamed that somehow Gord would come to his aid and invite him home.  In his imagination he could see himself and his dad together in happiness and to hear the truth was quite a let down.

                                                                                                      Dec. 30, 1965
Dear Mom,
            I hope you are feeling better.  How is your leg.
Have you been wearing your brace?
            What does the baby look like?  Is she cute?
What are they going to name her?
            We miss you very much.  When will you be home?
It wasn’t very Christmasy with you being gone.  Laurie &
Alice are having a time preparing dinners.
            The night before last Bart spent the night, and
Willy went over to David’s house.
            Christmas night we went out to see lights and found
that the best lights were in our neighborhood.

[Letter written on inside of a Christmas card before and after the printed verse.]
                                                                                                      Dec. 21, 1966

Dear Mother,
            We think of you constantly, and know we should write more often.  I’m sending some things for Christmas with Bob Donaldson.  He has been living with us since Sept. and is going home for Christmas.  We have been making all our Christmas Presents this year, because there is no money, and it has been taking all our time.  The children have done a wonderful job of making things for each other.  Louis is doing wonderfully well, but was moved just before Christmas.  He won’t get the pkg of candy we sent till long after.  Dad is still working hard on the chapel, and the Relief Society is keeping me more than busy.
This warm and friendly greeting
                        Now that Christmas-time is here
            Is but an echo of a wish         
                        That goes to you–all year!
Dad & I had to help with a Ward Dinner last week at the school, and it was almost too much for me.  I spent 3 days in bed after it–just tired.  We are all feeling well, & have had 2 snow storms
in the past week.
                                    Lovingly         Laura & Harold

Jan 2, 1967
Dear Mother,

Bob Donaldson arrived back here last night at midnight, but we didn’t know he was here till this morning.  He said he saw you on Christmas day soon after he arrived there from here.  It took him more than 24 hours to get to Salt Lake from here.

We hope you were able to use the fruit cake and candy.  I didn’t get the fruit cake made until a week before Christmas.  It will be much better in a few weeks.  If you have any left, put it in the frig.  Harold Danny and Willy made the chocolates.  Did you like the wall hanging?  Many people here leave them up all year round.  I hope it wasn’t broken by the time it got there.  I didn’t dare mail it.  Alice and Laurie helped make it for you.

Thank you very much for the $5.00.  We bought nuts with it for Christmas.  The children bought us a new chandelier for the livingroom for Christmas.  Harold made me a round table for the livingroom, and I made a footstool for him.  I made a coat for Laurie, and a dress for Alice, and stocking caps for Harold and Willy.  We had a different kind of christmas, but we all had fun, and everyone enjoyed themselves.

Betty and Blen got a Steinway Grand Piano for Christmas, and Blen plays it so beautifully.  That is all they got, but it was more than the could afford, but they are happy with it

Dec 21 - 1967
 Dear Mother,
            The ice storms we have here look like the glitter on this card.  We have only had 1 snow storm this year.  It lasted about 3 days, then we had rain that washed the foot of snow we had away.  It seems that it takes me all my time to fix meals and wash clothes.  Laurie arrived home last Sunday evening.  She was on the bus 2 days and 2 nights.  Louis will arrive home this Sunday evening at 7:P.M.  He will be 24 hours in London and 24 hours in Glasgow and fly from Glasgow to New York.  I guess it was hard for him to get a flight at this time of year.
            [These CHRISTMAS wishes come to you
            To say, “Be happy all year through!”]
We hope you have a very happy Christmas.  We are enclosing $5.00.  Will you get Mary or Pat or someone to help you get a bath mat or towels or something you need.  We wish we could have been in Salt Lake this week for Dianes & Mary Jane’s (over) weddings.  We have had lovely letters from Alvin and Beverly.  Alvin is Secretary in the M.I.A.  Lou’s letters too have been wonderful.  We will let you know what he is planning to do when he get home.
            Harold gets tired easily.  He is going to take the week of Christmas off, so he will get a little rest.  Thank you so much for your letters and card.            Lovingly

January 1, 1968

Dear Mother,

Today we put Laurie on the bus to go back to Provo.  She has been home just 2 weeks, and we enjoyed having her home.  Louis arrived home from his mission a week ago yesterday, and he is a fine young man.  Today he started working for McDonald’s again, but is planning on going to Provo to start school the 26th of January.

It has been a wonderful busy holiday time for us this year.  This year for Christmas we had all of the family here except Alvin and his family.  I guess if we had the money we would have sent for him too.  It is too bad we couldn’t.  Alvin is doing fine.  Beverly and the baby has been sick with the flu, but were better by Christmas.  They sent all of us some home made candy and cakes.  It seemed that everything I made disappeared so fast I couldn’t keep up with feeding all of them.

                                                                                                      Dec. 13, 1968

Dear Mother,
            Christmas will be here before we know it. The time just seems to whiz by.  I guess with me working it seems to go much faster, yet we are not concious of it passing until it is gone.
            Lst Sat. we all went over to Maryland to the temple ground-breaking ceremony.  Pres. Brown was there, also Ezra Taft Benson.  But it was a bitter cold day.  It started out fairly warm, but by the time the ceremony was over we were all cold as ice.  The temple site is in a beautiful place on a hill overlooking Rock Creek Park and the Beltway. ..

Laurie and Louis are staying out there for Christmas, but I don’t know where Laurie will be staying.  She said something once about going to Tabiona, but we haven’t heard from her for about two weeks.  We haven’t sent any Christmas presents this year, and I don’t seem to have the energy to worry about it, but we do hope you have a very lovely Christmas, and that you are warm and happy.  It has been terribly cold here for the past week.  Do take care of yourself.
                                    With all our love,

Dec 8, 1970

Dear Mother,
            It was good to hear you on the phone even if you couldn’t hear us.  Christmas is almost here.  United Air Lines work is very busy now.  I have been working 10 hours a day most days for the past month.  And it will keep up till after Christmas.  I’ve also been getting my teeth fixed, so I’ve had no time for anything….

Laurie is coming home for Christmas.  She is leaving Provo Dec. 20.  Nothing open the 18 or 19th.  Alice and Sam are going to spend the Holidays with Grandma Davidson and Toronto while Mont and Helen go to Syracuse N.Y. to be with Wendy.  Her baby is due the 23rd of Dec.  ….

Jan 1, 1971
The Stokers came Christmas day, and left today on the 12:10- flight that finally left at 3:25 P.M. I thin.  At least that was the last reading I took.  In a way I’ll be happy to see the holidays come to a close, but then there are other and new problems.  United Air Lines is cutting down in every way imaginable.  They have fired several lately, and I expect will let other[s] go.  They have advised us that they are about 15 over staffed.  So, I guess I had better be on my best behavior.  I can’t afford to lose my job….

Dad recieved the nuts you sent for his Birthday.  It cost you almost as much as they were worth for the postage.  He surely appreciated them tho.  He ate too many the first night, then was a little more careful after that.  Please and write and tell us about your christmas.  We talked to everyone on Christmas except you.  Thanks for the game.  Willy says it is hard, yet claims to have beaten Harold.  They also got a game of Risk, which we scoured the country side for.  Then the day before both Dad and Harold found one.

I’m so tired my writing is very bad.  Besides, I can’t think.  Karen and Lou sent some lovely candles, and a bulliten board.  Deborah and Jennilyn sent us some lovely bells that we hung on our Christmas tree.  Alvin and Beverly we got the cheese 3 days ago, and have been enjoying it immensely.

We enjoyed having Laurie home for the holidays, and she was content to stay with us as long as Craig was around, but after he left she was ready to go too.  It is a good thing she went too. …
Dad and I had the biggest Christmas we have ever had.  We got our carpeting in Monday before Christmas, and we thought we would have the sofa done too, but it wasn’t finished till yesterday.  We had it in the living room, and it was finished except for the cousions. cusions cushions.  I guess if I try enough I will get it spelled correctly.  I’ll send you a sample of the carpet and the sofa.  Right now I’m going to head for bed.

Dec. 18, 1971

We bought an artificial tree this year.  It looks very nice, then last night Lou brought us one.  He also brought one for himself, Laurie and Alice.  All the students that went home for Christmas had to discard their tree before they left, and Lou went around to the trash areas and picked up 4 for nothing.  We have the real one downstairs, and yet have to decorate it.

Dec. 2, 1972
… We arrived at Sam and Alice’s by 3:30 P.M. and the weather is so warm and pleasant it is unbelievable.  It reminds us of San Antonio in the winter.  The poinsettas are in bloom, and azalias are in bloom, also cursanthumums, geraniums, and many many other flowers.  It has been 75 or 80 degrees every afternoon.  ….
The Christmas decorations on the main street are fantastic.  We still have to take dad by the temple.  He goes to bed at night by 6:30, and sleeps 12 or 13 hours, but is awake often during the night.  He has been a little discouraged that he hasn’t gained strength fast enough, altho he has taken Alice’s stairs once a day up and down, and there is a flight of 20 steps….
Today Jane and Ken are driving down from San Jose with David.  They are leaving the other 3 children home, and are going to spend the night here, and go back tomorrow.  They wanted to see Dad on his birthday tomorrow….
Alice and Sam are doing fine, and Rose is learning to walk.  She takes half a dozen steps and then falls down.  She just loves the pups, and walks round and round their box.
Laurie and Marlin and Will were going down to Aurora today and cut some Christmas trees.  By the way, Laurie and Marlin gave Dad a Bityhfsy ptrdrny Birthday present the night before we left.  It was a copy of the inclosed certificate.  That is, it is inclosed in all letters except Harold’s and his can’t take an inclosure, so I’ll have to copy it for Harold.  “Certificate”: GOOD FOR 1 GRANDCHILD–REEDEMABLE MAY 8th (Plus or minus a day or two) The Palmers.”  Then I guess Betty and Blen made sufficient copies of this letter, so you will have to send your copy on to Lou along with our love.  Betty if you have an easy Donught recipe Doughnut recipe, please send it on to Harold.  Mine is too complicated.  As easy drop by the spoonful cake recipe should do.  Also if any of you plan on sending Harold anything for Christmas perhaps it could be in the form of a little green stuff so he can get a tape recorder one of these months.  We sent a package soon after Karen came to stay with us in Sept. and he hasn’t received it yet, so I am not going to send another package.  It will be much better for him to buy his own Christmas over there.  I’m coming to the end of the paper.  Alvin and Bev let us know when you are coming.  Lovingly, Mother.
                                                                                                      Dec. 17, 1972

Dear Family,

I don’t suppose Harold will get this letter before Christmas, but the rest of you may.  This is the first week since Harold went to France that we haven’t received a letter from him on either Friday or Sat.  I guess the Christmas mail has slowed down.

At any rate, we wish all of you a very merry Christmas.  Today Will is 17 years old.  Laurie and Marlin came over for dinner.  Will got 2 knit shirts and a pair of slacks. And he had to go to meetings all day long.  He was home for 45 minutes so we could have dinner.  He is going to be a shepherd in the Sunday school play next week.  It is going to be held in the high school auditorium.  Dad went to Priesthood meeting and Sunday school this morning.  He wouldn’t go to Sacrament meeting tho, and he didn’t want me to go.  He wants me by him almost constantly.  I find little time to do even the necessary work.  Will has put up the Christmas lights, and decorated the tree…

As if my typing isn’t bad enough, Will is playing around with the typewriter.  He is the biggest tease of the whole family.  But he got a beautiful haircut yesterday for his birthday.  He was beginning to look pretty shaggy.  Like a dog.  He wants some skis for Christmas, but he is going to have to earn his own.  I haven’t done one bit of Christmas shopping, and unless I get some done on Tuesday while we are in Salt Lake, I won’t get any done.  Sam took me to a discount store in Los Angeles one evening, and it was so crowded it frightened me, and I came away without buying anything.

It is 10:30, and I am getting incoherent.  Laurie and Marlin are having their family home evening here tomorrow evening, and they are having a turkey dinner with all the trimmings.  Each couple is bringing something.  Laurie is cooking the turkey over here.  We may be gone to Salt Lake, however Dad was wondering before he went to bed if he could take the trip.
            “Thou that hast given so much to us, give one thing more...a grateful heart.”
                                                                                                                        George Herbert

Hope David is all well again.  Reminds me when Harold D. had pneumonia when he was 9 months.                       Mother

                                                                                                            Dec. 26, 1972

Dear Family,
Christmas is over for another year.  Harold your letter came this morning with your change of address.  And that was a nice Christmas present to be made a senior comp. Before Christmas.  The new address is:
            65 rue Chateauvert F-26000
            Valence, France
Lou and Karen are leaving tomorrow morning for Lawton, Oklahoma.  Perhaps I had better give his new address while I’m at it.  This is where Karen and children will live.:
            4751 Motif Manor Blvd.
            Fontaine Bleau Apt. D-8
            Lawton, Okla. 73501
                                                                                                            Dec. 27,
We got up about 7:A.M. Got Dad dressed, and Will and I and Dad went to Tabiona for the day.  Parley knew we were coming so went out and caught 2 large German Brown trout for Dad.  We took them home, and Helen, Joe and Sally came for dinner.

Dec 3, 1973

Betty I hope Tippy is getting better.  It is too bad you have had so much trouble with him.  Will said he wanted a Mina bird for Christmas, and I said, No More Animals.  Bengy goes out and runs up and down the fence on the West side, and gets in mud up to is haunches, and has to be bathed before you can even let him down on the floor.  It isn’t bad when there is snow on the ground, but every other day the snow is melted.

Harold we were happy to hear that you had a nice Thanksgiving with the missionaries.  Did you ever find out about the man who fainted in your door-way.  It is good to know that you are going to get a new suit.  Hope you have it by Christmas time.  I even got some fruit leather started while Aunt Jennette was here. ..

Dec 10, 1973

The dentist says I have to have a crown on the two teeth next to the minus one, and a new tooth installed.  That is going to be my Christmas present, if I can get it by then.  My mouth is covered with cold sores, and I was to go to the dentist again tomorrow to have it all done, but it will have to wait at least another week.  Will is up, and sounds like he is going to school today.

Christmas seems like it should be a year away.  There are very few lights this year.  No town Christmas lights have been turned on, and if there are, it will be just for a few days before and after Christmas.  I have only seen 3 Christmas trees in homes.  People just aren’t putting them up this year like they have in the past.  We won’t put up any either outside or in this year.  And yet, I guess we should put up a tree if just for Grandma to let her know it is Christmas.  I just don’t seem to have the energy to do it tho.  We have the artificial tree, and I guess we should get it up.

… I haven’t done anything for Christmas yet.  Will and I went out Sat. night for a couple of hours, and spent $1.00 We couldn’t find anything we could afford that we wanted to get.  We did buy Grandma two pair of support hose, that originally sold for $5.95, and we paid 49¢ each for them, and they fit her wonderfully well.  I am going back this morning and get 2 more pair.  She wore them all day yesterday, and wanted to wear them at night too.  Vickie Christensen is coming over this morning to take care of Grandma while I go out.

Dec 17, 1973

I haven’t sent out a christmas card.  It seems that I have no time for anything except the necessary things.  I have been contemplating getting a job after the first of the year, and hiring someone to come in and take care of Grandma while I am gone….

Will and Laurie and I made some pecan logs for the first time.  First time for me that is.  The first batch the carmel was hard, and Harold that is what you got.  Opps.  You weren’t to open them till Christmas, but the last batch was perfect.  With trying to get ready to go to California by Sat. I have just set that date when everything must be done for Christmas, and it isn’t getting done.  We have 4 passengers to take with us, and they are going to pay all the gas, so Will and I will just have to pay maintenance.  We just couldn’t afford to go otherwise.

It is after 10 A.M. and Mother isn’t up yet.  I must get her up and see if she will eat.  She hasn’t eaten enough in 3 days to keep alive.  I broke an arm off my glasses yesterday, and am using an old pair that I can’t see out of, and this letter is probably a mess.  We wish all of you a Merry Christmas, and hope that you will all be happy with your families.  Harold we didn’t get your letter last week.  It was probably held up with the Christmas rush, and will probably come today.  Hope you have a good Christmas with all the missionaries, both Sisters and Elders.


[PS to Jane and Ken] Are you planning on going to L.A. the day after Christmas?  Alice said you were.  Let us know.  Mother.

Jan 7, 1973 [1974]

Dear Family,
It has been a long time since I wrote a family letter.  I took Grandma Davidson up to Uncle Willard’s on the 19th, of Dec.  Made a quilt for Will for Christmas on the 20th.  Shampooed the carpets in the apartment on the 21st, and packed for the trip to California about 8:30 that evening.  We left for Los Angeles at 6:A.M. on the 22nd, and it was just starting to rain, but wasn’t bad.  We encountered a little snow falling between Beaver and Cedar City, and the rest of the trip was clear.  We arrived in L.A. and the sun was shining, and the air was clear.  It was beautiful.  Alice and Sam had the most beautiful poinsettia’s in their yard, but you couldn’t pick them.  They wilted within an hour.  I would like to have taken some home with us.  Two of their neighbors had orchids growing.  There were chrysanthemums, carnations, even iris in bloom.  They had a row of small azalias in front of their house and they were in bloom, and the red bottle brush tree was in bloom everywhere.  Alice and Sam were Joseph and Mary in the Christmas Sunday School program, and baby Jim was baby Jesus, and he slept thru the whole thing.  It was a beautiful scene.  Monday morning, on Rose’s birthday we took off early and went to Disney Land.  We thought since it was the day before Christmas there wouldn’t be any crowds, but we were wrong.  We had a wonderful day there, and the weather was still clear and sun shinny.  We got home around 5:30 and Jane and Ken and family arrived about 6:P.M.  It was wonderful to see all of them and to have them spend Christmas with us.  They had their Christmas the morning of the 24th, and then came to L.A.  It was a hard trip for all of them, but we surely enjoyed every minute of it.  We took the children to the beach, and ran barefoot up and down the beach, and built sand castles, and John had a small plane that he and Will and Ken tried to get to fly.  Young David isn’t afraid of anything, and we had to watch him, or he would wander off by himself.  The ocean was so clear and beautiful.  Every morning I got up early and went for a walk, and several times we went to the beach just to run.  It was the first exercise I had had in months, and it almost made me feel alive again. 


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