At the top corner of the page in gold ink: Isn’t this pretty? We have been signing our Christmas cards in GOLD! HAPPY CHRISTMAS! xxx Love from us all – xxx Cec, Cyn, Linda, Charlie. and then holly leaves and a decorative border. Plus red dots all over the first page.
17th Dec. 1956.
These are not Christmas decorations – they are Measles! Hence this very late Christmas letter. I am afraid that it can’t possibly reach you in time, but I do hope it won’t be too very late as it brings all our good wishes for a lovely Christmas and lots of love.
Well – the Measles! Isn’t that horrid? But at least the worst is all over now & the children will be fine for Christmas which is wonderful. Also they didn’t get a very bad attack and both the little dears had it at the same time, so altogether they did as well as they could! It is ages since I wrote I know, but I really do seem to have been busy with one thing & another for weeks so I hope you’ll forgive me. Your nice Christmas letter came on Sat. & thank you so much for it – also Charlie’s parcel – I hope ours reach you in good time to make up for this late letter. I was most amused to hear of Uncle Fred & his excuses over not visiting us. I thought something like that had probably happened & believe me, I feel we would have been very quiet & dull after all the cocktail parties & gaieties! Do ask him sometime if by any chance he sent us a subscription to “Harper’s Magazine”. It has suddenly began arriving each month from the US & we can’t think who our benefactor may be! [Her Christmas Records show it was sent by their friend Lila, who must have told them eventually!] I was tickled about the panties for the girls & Aunt Mil’s glamorous négligée – I wonder if he has brought you something frivolous too. I’m glad that you were enjoying A. Mil’s visit & that she is feeling cheery.
I just made my Christmas cakes today – can you imagine! And I was really quite well on with my preparations a few weeks ago! However we have no plans for Christmas at all as the measles interrupted all plans – Lila is going home for the holiday & Santiago is going to the Moores’ so we will even be alone for Christmas dinner which I regret rather – I like to have a party! On the other hand I won’t have to bother whether I’m on time with the turkey or not! The last time I wrote to you was just after Bob Spellar’s visit & that weekend I had quite a sore throat & cold, so I managed to get someone else to take my S. Sch. class & had a nice peaceful time. The next week I was quite busy making my dress (the stripy grey) I’ll try to draw it!
You’ll be glad to hear I got a girdle to wear with it, but I was cunning – I got a nice big size, so it doesn’t slay me! The dress looked quite nice when it was finished & made me look taller as the stripes go up & down, but of course I had the usual trouble with the pattern not being an exact fit & having to make it shorter waisted etc. – such a pest! The Spectroscopy Party was on the Friday & it was very nice – quite talky- talky Cec said, but I never mind that! It was held in a house on the Driveway which is now an RCAF Mess & was very comfortable & pleasant & there was dancing, but most people just chatted – a very sober crowd! Linda was home 2 days that week with swollen glands under her chin! She had quite a puffy swelling & the Dr. said to put on hot fomentations which I did & they gradually disappeared. She was feeling fine & full of high spirits all the time, but it was amazing at the party, nearly everyone had sick children at home. It has been such a fall & early winter for colds & sickness.
The next week I was really busy. We had the Sunday School Christmas Party on the Saturday & Pat Tomlinson, Mrs. Dunn & I had the 5 & unders party on our own. We got $25 to spend & we got paper & made & mailed little invitations in the shape of bells to about 45 children. Then we made cookies for all, got ice cream & milk & I invited the mothers with my tiny ones & had tea for them.
Pat’s children got books as presents & I got jingle bells for mine & threaded them on red ribbons 2 lots for each child to tie on their wrists or shoes. They also got candy canes & we bought figures for a crèche, so altogether we spent our money quite freely! Actually there was quite a lot of work with all the shopping & making things & running around & preparations & so on, but all my children & mothers accepted ( 24 children) so we had a full house. I was glad when it was over though! And the next Sunday was the last S. Sch. before the holidays so I am having a breather now!
That week Lindy got her first report – it says she is “a quiet capable little girl & doing very well at school”! I also went down to school & met her teacher, Mrs. Albrant and had what they call a ”Parent Teacher” interview, which was nice, but Lindy is really doing so well we didn’t have any difficulties to discuss! I had a couple of dentist appointments that week – one to clean & one filling & we went to Joan & Boris’ one evening for dinner, so altogether we were on the go. The dinner at Joan & Boris’ was very nice & we saw pictures of Boris’ trip to Europe & a few more details which was interesting.
On the Sat. when the S. Sch. party was I had another wretched cold & both children looked a bit droopy. However, they didn’t seem to be ill, so we went anyway & then that night Linda was sick in the middle of the night! Next day I had to go & organize a few things as it was the last day of S. Sch. but I left them at home & again they seem not really ill, but not really well. [They’d probably infected the entire Sunday School by then anyway.] Mary & Jerry Swalen (Cec’s Fellow from Harvard) had invited us all to dinner that afternoon & we didn’t like to call it off at such short notice, so after much dithering we went & the children were o.k. though they didn’t eat much. However next day I kept Lindy home from school & during the morning phoned Fanni to tell her & she told me Janek was also sick & with a high fever. Then Pat Tomlinson phoned me to say Joanne was out in spots – measles! Janek came out the next day, Tuesday – Charlie on Thursday & Lindy on Friday! Apparently practically the whole kindergarten had it – anyway about 15 or 16 away at once, out of 30! Janek & Joanne & some of the others were very sick though with temps. of 104° etc. for 4 or 5 days, but we were lucky – Charlie had a slight temp. for 2 or 3 days then went to 104 the day his spots came out & then no more & Lindy was just high one day (won’t let me take her temp. the little so-and-so!) & hers was very quickly over. Charlie had 2 or 3 restless nights with me up & down all night & last night Lindy had a bit of earache, but all was calm today & they were up for a bit & are sleeping peacefully now. In the middle of all this – on Wed. morning actually – poor Cec got a bad attack of gastric flu which made him very miserable for a few days. He slept most of the time & went into work a bit on Friday but today was really the first day he felt back to normal. It was very odd cooking meals just for me though for a few days & feeding everyone else clear soup & warm milk! As you can imagine I had myself a busy little time!
The quarantine isn’t up until Friday so we are in the house all this week, but I hope we’ll get downtown on Friday to see Santa Claus. I feel so sorry that Linda is missing all the fun at school, but it isn’t so bad for her with all her friends missing it too! Charlie’s birthday is on Wed. of course & poor little fellow he was very set on having a party this year, but I have promised him we will have it sometime after Christmas instead – in some ways it will be better – for me particularly! I am still trying to write the last odd letter or so – which reminds me, I couldn’t send Jane & Bill a card as I forgot to get their address from you, but if you send it to me sometime, I’ll write to them. I wrote our last cards this evening & must turn my attention to cleaning the house. Then Christmas pudding & gingerbread men! I left Cec to cope on Sat. afternoon & went down town & finished off most of my shopping – things for Cec mostly. In my next I’ll tell you what I sent everyone – over 90 cards this year too – don’t know how it grows so!
Lots of love to Auntie Muriel and we all hope you have a very nice happy Christmas together. Love and hugs & kisses from Linda & Charlie and much love from us all.