December 1947

Presents I Brought from America

While Christmas 1947 approaches, I thought we could look at the very organized records Cyn kept of her purchases and gifts, which her letters from America showed were very important to her. I think some of the things listed above that Cyn brought for her friends from the States in August 1947 were scarcities in England such as the stockings, and had been arranged and paid for by the recipients, but she seems to have brought something for everyone mentioned in her letters, so perhaps not.

In her previous letter of December 6th, she is already telling her mother about her Christmas shopping. She listed (in an outdated diary from her father’s medical days, judging from the ads for tablets on every page) all Christmas cards sent and received, and all the presents she gave and received, from 1932 until 1965 when the book was full! This December, besides the cards and gifts exchanged with her family and friends in England, she sent cards to all her American friends, and presents to her relatives and closer friends there, mostly calendars for the adults and books for the children- things easy to post. And as my last post showed with the close-up of her Presents Received page, (repeated here, 2nd page) they responded with generosity! But her father does not feature in the lists this year, or any year after.

Presents Received 1947

November 17 1946

Christmas presents

Mummy Brown and white cotton dress. Pink slip. Pearls & earrings – lipstick & rouge.

Dad Tie-   Magazine “Holiday” for 1 year.

Nan Brown & white striped cotton dress trimmed with green. White necklace made of strands of tiny little white beads like those I made at home. I bought it & then discovered that it was threaded on the thinnest thread & it broke even when I was looking at it (5 & 10!) so I threaded it all over again.  White earrings to match of tiny white beads threaded, & put in the shape of a bow.

Dottie A chatelaine & earrings to match – pretty I thought- of silver with turquoise blue stones. The earrings are in the shape of a flower & the chatelaine is two bigger flower things, attached to each other with a chain, to wear on the lapel of a suit or on a dress like this

Also 1 tablet soap.

 Peter A toy called a “Quirrly “– it’s like a spring & does things like walking downstairs. Also two little cotton sweaters with round necks & short sleeves – one pale yellow and one pale blue.

Bar A pair of stockings (rayon)

Geraldine A set of plastic toy knives & forks.

Ruth A compact. Do you remember how thrilled she was with the lovely one Monie sent me last year? Well I tried to get her one like that, but they cost a dreadful price, so I got her this one – square, gold-coloured, with two flowers on the front. It was quite expensive, so I hope she likes it. I enclosed a cake of soap for Amy.

Peter & Christopher Allan A box of candy.

Irene An organdie apron- white with red spots – very “cute”! Also a piece of soap for Mrs. Scott.

Mary Egan A set of plastic measuring spoons – different colours – also a plastic dish for the baby.

Miss Lefroy A perfumed flower (paper) to put in her hankies.

Mrs Allan A box of toilet soap like red roses, & a coloured tea towel. 

Anne Chapman A pair of nylon stockings.

Jessie Fisher A pearl brooch – it was so pretty that I nearly sent it to you instead of her! It was shaped like a crescent with pearls and a little brilliant. 

Lillian A box of “pancake” make up that she wanted.

Pam Hapgood (she has written to me quite a bit) A pair of gold earrings (5 & 10!)

Ivy Pagecroft A “date kit”! A box of Pond’s cream, powder etc.

Jessie Hall & Zinnia – I have presents for them but I haven’t sent them as I still have had no word from Jessie since I left England. No thank you for Zinnia’s parcel – not even anything about the new baby & I don’t even know her address. I have a pair of stockings for her & a little handbag & some flower hairslides for Zinnia, but I’m not going to send them, although it’s a shame Zinnia should suffer for her mother’s shortcomings.

I just got my American presents yesterday, & this is what I got-

Aunt Muriel A white woolen cardigan. I thought she might like something warm, & white is worn over here a lot & would go with anything.

Aunt Ettie A pair of service weight silk stockings.

Mona A pair of pigskin gloves.

Margs A paisley-patterned wool square.

Mil A box of Elizabeth Arden talcum & toilet water.

Hugh & Mona A funny record of “Old Macdonald had a Farm” with all the animal noises- Mil won a “record player” when I was there in the summer.

Alan A cute little tiny drum with candy in & I’ll get him some other little toy.

Three white linen hankies for U. Artie, Bill & Ford.

Til A pair of black suede gloves & two pretty embroidered hankies

Lois A red lizard belt & two blue hankies

Ruth A white linen hankie

David & Mary L. A record like Hugh’s

Altogether I think I spent about as much on my few American presents as I did on all my English presents, but of course I knew that any little thing I sent home would be useful & a novelty, but over here, everyone seems to have everything & it’s much more difficult. Also everyone I’m giving presents to here is being very kind to me. I forgot to tell you, I got A. Phine two hankies too, but they’re cheap ones! 

    Love from 


P. S. I somehow don’t suppose any of my parcels will arrive for Christmas. I think the U.S. P.O. and the English Customs are two of the most disgusting institutions!