31 Acacia Avenue. Ottawa. Ont.
16th December. 1953.
This is to be my Christmas letter & I do hope that it isn’t going to be late – I know that I have left it much longer than I intended, but the days seem to have just flown & on Mon. what should I do but get what I presume is this “24 hr. flu”. Anyway I was quite sick & upset tummy all day & departed to bed the minute Cec came home & slept till next morning – felt much better & gradually recovered until today I feel fine again. It was so sudden as I was as perky as could be over the weekend & Monday morning & then at about 11 o’clock I wilted! Linda had a little bit of diarrhoea yesterday & isn’t too interested in food, but I hope that otherwise the rest of the family haven’t been infected.
What a way to begin my Christmas letter though! But it is to explain the lateness if it is late, & anyway it brings all our dearest love & best wishes to you & A. Muriel & all the family. I heard from Ruth today (written on the 11th) that they already have my parcel so I hope they will be as prompt with yours. Since I last wrote we got 2 nice air letters from you – one dated 1st & one 5th – and thank you so much for them. I was so glad to hear that Uncle Fred was having such a good time in N.Y. – by now he will be back home again I expect – or at least on the way – & you will all be looking forward to hearing all the news. Both Charlie’s birthday parcel & your big parcel via A. Ettie have arrived safely with no duty. I haven’t opened them yet as I just rush them down to the basement as quickly as I can past Lindy! As most of my shopping has been done through the catalogues all sorts of parcels have been arriving & she can’t really understand why we don’t open them! She is getting quite thrilled about Christmas though, even though she doesn’t understand quite when it is to be or what is to happen. She loves to find pictures of Santa Claus in the mags etc. & quite of her own accord, when we told her about Santa Claus bringing presents & asked what she would like she said, “Santa Claus is going to bring me a little carriage like Richard’s to push my dolly in”! Richard (has a baby sister by the way) has a little “push chair” actually – very small & rickety & we have got Linda a darling little pale blue wicker work pram made by the Blindcraft School, so I hope she is pleased with the exchange!! I am going to make a little mattress & pillow & cover for it & we have got her a new baby doll with a little suitcase with its clothes in it! She is getting much fonder of her dolls now & is beginning to quite enjoy playing with them, but of course she can’t really dress & undress them properly yet. We have also got her a little tea set (she is still a regular little tea-pot & loves her tea) & a doll’s house! The latter is a tin one with plastic furniture – complete for $3.00!! It is so cute tho’ & when we were up at the cottage she saw a sort of cowboy ranch house one of the boys had & was entranced with a little beds etc. so we thought she would love it. Of course we are having the greatest fun of all!
I got Lindy a “Christmas Book” a little while ago to help her understand a little bit about Christmas & she loves it. It has in a very simple little Christmas story with a picture of Mary & the Baby in the stable & as she loves babies she is very pleased with Baby Jesus! There is a carol too about all the animals – the cow gives his hay for a pillow& the sheep wool for a blanket & doves cooing him to sleep etc. & she likes this & talks about Baby Jesus in quite a familiar way – in fact one day she got so familiar she was just calling Him “Jeez”!! I have been singing her “Away in a Manger “& this is her favourite song at the moment & she asks for “Little lord baby Jesus”. She is trying to sing all the time now everything and of course it is the funniest sweetest thing as she has no idea of tunes & just sings the words she likes or remembers, but up in bed you can hear her singing away. Also in the book is the poem “The Night Before Christmas” & amongst other things “Jingle Bells” which also made a great hit – unfortunately she can’t say the word “bell” very well – she says “bewel” & when she sings it sounds just like “Jingle Bowels, Jingle Bowels”!!
Charlie has just lately began to “talk” such a lot. He says “Ma-ma” & “Dada” & “Dinda” quite clearly & gobbles all sorts of complicated sentences! He says “There!” & will shake his head very definitely for “No” if you ask him a question or if he wants it he will give his head a little nod & say “Da”! He understands a lot that you say to him now & he & Linda have a great game of giving things to each other – Charlie will get a little toy & crawl over & give it to Lindy – she says “For Lindy” & then gives it back to him “For Charlie” & this goes on & on! Usually until Linda decides to keep it or gets fed up & then Charlie gets mad & yells! But she is really so good with him on the whole & will run & kiss him & he will pat her & just beams when she plays with him. He is getting very interested in books now – not the contents as far as we can make out! – but he loves to sit & turn the pages & is very careful really. Linda will usually let him look at her books now & although he sometimes will crumple a page he doesn’t tear them, so he will be so glad to get a book of his own from Grannie for his birthday. Lindy has it all decided that Mummy will make a “little party cake” for Charlie’s birthday, so I must get busy & she & I are going to Mr. Dube’s to buy him a birthday card & a present! Actually I am going to dash down town tomorrow afternoon while Claire is here & want to get him a little dish like Lindy’s & some mittens & a little T-shirt. We have got him a little wooden “push roller” with bells in, so think that will do for Saturday!
Since I last wrote I don’t think that we have done anything very much. My Christmas cakes look very nice & as they are mostly cherries I thought that I might put a little one in a small tin & send it to my Father with some mints etc. just at Christmas, so that he won’t get it till after he’s finished the things in the other one. I made my mincemeat last weekend & it looks nice too – I made the full quantity as I thought I might give Claire a jar in a Christmas “bag”. I couldn’t get the green seedless grapes but had to get red ones & seed them – so annoying!
I had Boris & Chris to dinner about a week ago & they brought me a lovely big bunch of daisy chrysanthemums. Wasn’t that lovely? I was so delighted because I really never even think about having flowers in the house now & your gorgeous descriptions of all the lovely flowers you & A. Moo have sound so lovely but so completely “other-worldly” that I don’t even compare them with here! But it was so nice to have them even if they did die in a week with the old heating. We were over at Jim & Lee’s for bridge on the Sat. evening (5th) & last Sat. evening we were invited over by Pete & Lu & they had Jim & Lee there. The latter party was a little bit awkward – at least we felt it so – it was the first time Lu had had Jim & Lee over & we just sat & chatted mostly about people, but the trouble was none of us all knew the same people! The Ganders & Forsyth’s knew people in their apartment blocks; the Forsyth’s & Costain’s knew Saskatoon people etc.; the Costain’s & Ganders knew Cambridge people! So one couple was always left out!! Cec is more convinced than ever that it is better to do something when people come in – preferably bridge! Chris & I played Boris & Cec the other evening and did quite well! Did I tell you that we have invited Jim & Lee & Barry over for Christmas dinner with us? We also asked Chris (he is the Danish fellow) & he may come depending on the Swiss Rudolph who had made some sort of tentative arrangements with him. What Dan is doing I don’t know – we were hoping he would go down to his girl’s but he said nothing so far, so we are beginning to be afraid he’ll be here & we don’t want to have to ask him to spend the day with us! Last year you may remember we invited Chris & Boris to our New Year dinner & at the last moment Dan announced his date had been broken & we had to include him & he quite spoiled the party-monopolized the conversation & brought out silly puzzles till I was fed up with him.
I must finish on this page or the letter will be too heavy as I want to include 2 pictures with our love. They are Lindy’s 2nd birthday colour pictures – with the indoor colour film you got us by mistake, remember? They were disappointing as these two are the only good ones (we used Carman’s flash lamp) & even in these Lindy doesn’t really look like herself. Charlie was in some of them, but has moved each time.
Lindy & Charlie send big big hugs & kisses – Lots & lots of love from us all &
Merry, Merry Christmas, Grannie
Cec & Cyn, Lindy & Charlie.