fifties Christmas was a very important event in our
lives. Christmas was the holiday that
kids looked forward to all year long. Back then,
most kids believed Santa did check his list to see if they
had been naughty or nice! Of course, our behavior
was beyond reproach as Christmas drew nearer.
your moms bake Christmas cookies? As we
listened to Christmas songs on the radio, we spent
hours decorating those cookies. When we were
finished, we just knew they were the most beautiful
masterpieces ever created! Many can
still have memories of our moms in the kitchen with their Christmas
How many of you remember going
with your parents to pick out the Christmas tree?
We spent a long time picking out the perfect tree and
then drove home with the tree on top of our parents'
cars. With many families, singing Christmas carols at the top of
their lungs as they drove home with the tree became an annual
our Christmas tree was a family tradition back in the
50's. Most of our Christmas Trees were decorated with
Shiny Brite glass ornaments. They were relatively
inexpensive ornaments and affordable for most families.
Plastic ornaments became very popular during the 50s.
Many families preferred plastic ornaments as they were
very cheap and of course more durable than the glass
ornaments. And don't forget the tinsel we
so carefully placed on our trees. However, the star was the
all important ornament on our trees! Once the star was
placed on the top of the tree and the lights were turned
on, many familes gathered around the tree and sang
Christmas carols together. In 1946, Noma began
selling bubble lights which became the most popular
lights Noma had ever sold. As kids, many of us
would sit for hours and admire those bubble lights on our
trees. And how could we forget when the aluminum
Christmas trees with rotating color wheels became the
rage in 1959? And, remember using flashlights to
find our way to the fuse box to replace yet another
families decorated their trees with homemade ornaments.
Kids would string popcorn or cranberries on long strings
to drape around the trees. At school we made
homemade decorations to take home and put on our trees.
How many of you remember making paper snow flakes that
we thought were absolutely beautiful? And of
course, there were the garlands we made
out of colored construction paper and placed on our
trees. But, the most
remembered gifts are the ones we made for our parents at
school! We worked really hard on those presents
and could hardly wait for them to be opened.
we would sit down on the floor with our Christmas
stockings that Santa had filled? Our stockings
were generally filled with an apple, an orange, a
banana and various kinds of nuts. Sometimes
our stockings even contained a candy cane and other small
treasures. And yes, believe it or not, some kids
really were worried their stocking may have nothing but
a lump of coal in it.
back to Christmas time in the 50s. Do you remember
participating in church and school plays? It was
with great expectations we hoped to be chosen as Mary or
Joseph in our church's Christmas Pagent. But even
if we were
chosen to be Wisemen or Shepherds, we remained
enthusiastic. Our parents proudly set in the audience
with their Brownie Hawkeye cameras snapping pictures
of us. Those school and church
plays were a family event that the entire family looked forward to.
How many of you remember going from house to house
singing Christmas carols outside on the porches? Often times, our
church and school music directors would take us to homes
of elderly shut-ins. We brought smiles to their
withered faces as we sang the carols together.
They didn't care if we were off tune or forgot the
lyrics because we had brought some much needed Christmas
cheer into their lives!
The Night Before
Christmas was written by Clement Moore on Christmas Eve
in 1822. It was first published in 1823 and
continues to remain an all time favorite Christmas poem. In many families it was a tradition for
our dads or grandfathers to read that book to all the kids
in the family before they went to bed. Before most us went to
bed, we left cookies and milk for Santa to enjoy
before he went up the chimney to take off for the next
house. Some kids left Santa letters telling him
how good they had been and what they wanted for
When our parents finally were able to get us off to
bed, we often tried to stay awake to hear Santa and his reindeer on our roofs. From pure
exhaustion, we fell fast asleep dreaming of all
the things on our Christmas lists. How we hoped
Santa would bring us just one of our most wanted toys.
And for those of us
kids who lived in Nebraska there was only one thing
left that made our Christmas absolutely perfect
- snow! If only it would snow, we could build
snowmen and snow forts, have snow ball fights with
our friends and even go sledding! How many of you remember going to bed
on Christmas Eve and praying for snow? Was
there anything more beautiful than fresh fallen snow
on our trees and houses?
Oh, the Christmas memories we
carry in our hearts! They are cherished
memories that can never be taken away from us!
Weren't the fifties a fabulous time to celebrate