This Christmas entry focuses on the presents that Cyn and her friends exchanged and certainly emphasizes what privileged and lucky children my brother and I were, with such a variety of gifts sent to us from so many people. But I want to point out that this practice forged connections, and by this age, Charlie and Linda were involved in some aspects of the gift selection, wrapping, parcels making, and, as Cyn’s letter just before measles confined them all to the house says, she and Charlie were successfully mailing the packages a week before the Post Office’s overseas deadline.
Because of their religion, the Russell Costains in Saskatoon did not celebrate Christmas, and presents were not exchanged, so growing up we did not have the same connection as we did to our other cousins- whom we may not have met but were asked to consider when asked what our little cousins in B.C. would like for Christmas. It wasn’t until we were teens that we met all our cousins, and our parents’ friends in England, but we had had years of sending parcels and receiving exciting and different presents that provided an introductory link. But our connection to those Saskatchewan cousins was never strong, which I’ve always regretted. (And Cyn may have acceded to the present ban, but she had included them among her 90 Christmas cards in 1956, and had enclosed the photo of the children that she sent to all the family as a Christmas gift!)
Carol was always interested in Church news and would have been very pleased to get this background information on Cyn’s minister whom she had met on both her Ottawa visits.