Christmas 1956

This letter is missing its first (and thus last) page so dating it is not possible. It discusses their respective presents, however, so it is written in early in January, after the measles quarantine and the quiet Christmas is over. The existing letter opens on page 2 with Cyn’s appreciation of the gifts that Carol had arranged to be sent by friends in England to Cyn and Cec.

… more than seven years ago or rather sad looking now & this one is very nice – not too thick, which he likes. Last but not least my twin set which I love. It seems such a long time since I had a really nice jersey & cardigan – as I wear them mostly in the house they are usually chosen for their economy & not their beauty, so I do feel luxurious! I am going to buy a good skirt & keep them for best – I will also make up my brown material from the Mill & wear them with it, but they definitely deserve a good skirt! All the family join me and saying thank you, Mummy.
We also got your other parcel – you mentioned a book for Charlie’s birthday, but it hasn’t arrived yet, so I gave him one & two of the things out of the parcel then – the little dog for one. The others I put in their stockings – the fan & the kitty needle case in Linda’s & a little boat in Charlie’s (don’t know how to make it go, by the way!) & the white necklace in mine. How clever of Mrs. Y to knit it – it is very pretty. All the little things helped out the stockings a lot- we never seem to find a little things as easy as the big ones. We also got your cards & Charlie his B. card – thank you again.

We were so delighted to get your letter & know that you had got the photographs & liked them. Of course we had great fun keeping them a secret from you as we had them taken in August, so Lindy wasn’t yet five. I wanted to have them taken before she went to school, so that they would still be little children! Once they get to school & begin losing their front teeth they don’t look so sweet! Paul Horsdal, the photographer, is a wonderful man, & as you can see, the children really had a lovely time & enjoyed themselves. He took 12 poses & they were all so good it was really hard to choose. We decided on four we liked best finally & we got for ourselves a big one of the laughing picture we sent you & then the three others the same size as yours so we will have a group! For other people we mostly got the laughing one, & one or two of a more serious one of them together & then some small ones of a profile with Cec likes very much. I was sitting opposite to them & making faces to make them laugh & they looked sweet & I was making the funniest face so he cut me off! We sent to Cec’s family & all the godparents & small ones to Nan, Dottie, Anne etc. so we ran up quite a bill but we felt it was worth it! We are most glad that you got such a surprise & liked them so much – we had been just pining to hear how you liked them!
I’m so glad that you all liked the other parcel too – it wasn’t much for you but I’m glad the brunch coat is useful – I hoped it would be. I still mean to send you a scrapbook but haven’t got one yet. I’m glad Doris and Luenda liked their little things – I thought the snowy picture would amuse Doris! Please tell A. Moo that I will write to her but just to let her know that the Canadian money was quite safe. I didn’t give it to the children as they seem to have so much but will save it for their bank account!
Since I last wrote we have been entertaining nearly all our friends which was lovely but oh! – I did get tired of washing dishes! Charlie’s birthday, poor little fellow we could do nothing as they were still in quarantine, but I have promised him a party this month instead as he is quite taken with the idea of a party! We had his favourite dinner & a birthday cake & then on the Friday (when quarantine was over) we went down town & saw Santa Claus etc. I was so pleased as Lindy went up & spoke to him this year, for the first time & asked for a dolly. By next year I’m afraid she will know it’s pretend as she has heard a few things apparently from Jimmy & is quite full of questions now! Charlie asked for a doctor’s set & a new mouse for Pussy!! We put up the tree on the Sat. & then on Sunday we had an Open House from 3 – 6 for everyone at the Lab. It was quite fun & quite easy entertaining although hectic in spots! I thought they would be spread out but as Cec said there was a big overlap in the middle! I served tea & coffee & Christmas cake, shortbread, gingerbread men, cookies (Christmas trees, stars etc.) & hot cheese scones & then we had sherry & marsala & other drinks & snack things like potato chips, cheese, crackers etc. Altogether we had about 20 people I think – the Douglases & Ramsays couldn’t come which was a pity but as they have most children & the ones we had seemed to be all over perhaps it was just as well!! All together it was quite a success tho’ I think.

On Christmas Eve I went to Midnight Service & got there early for once & got a proper seat! It was crowded as usual & I didn’t get home till nearly 2 a.m. & what do you think? It was pouring with rain as I drove in & out! I was disgusted – rain in Canada on Christmas. By morning it was snow though & since then we have had it really cold 20° below zero at New Year & just 10° below zero in the middle of the day. We had a nice quiet Christmas day – looked at our presents all morning (will send a list) & in the afternoon the Indian couple, Dr & Mrs. Narasimham & their little boy Prussad dropped in for tea. They couldn’t come to the Open House as they were at a reception for Nehru that day. I got a small turkey (6 pounds) & we had it & a tiny plum pudding & hard sauce & all made pigs of ourselves!
Cec went back to work on Boxing Day so Christmas seemed to end quickly, but on the Thursday we had Lea & Wendell & Darryl & Patty Lu to dinner & had a very nice time. Lea seems so well & happy & just delighted with her baby. She is a sweet little thing – all smiles & coos & Lindy is very intrigued. Charlie & Darryl play very nicely together now. On Friday we had Santiago to dinner, then Sat. Ken & Dot Scott came up for coffee & dessert after dinner. On Sunday Lee & Jim & Barry & Dougie came over for dinner & that was very nice too. It was a dreadful cold day & they insisted on coming in the bus but Cec drove them home. Dougie is so cute now – very dimply & still plump & babyish. On Monday we had the Forsythes over. They have just got a car & we were so pleased as now we feel we will see more of them. We invited… [We’ll never know- page 8 would have been on the back of page 1.]

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