Heart of the Home
(Page 2 of 5)
During the Great Depression, a lot of families didn't have much. The Christmas I was 12 years old, I knew of a very poor family who wouldn't have a very good Christmas. The father was sick and out of a job. They had two children - an 8-year-old girl and a 10-year-old boy.
I asked my mother if I could have a quarter to buy them a Christmas present. That was lot of money then. You could get a dozen eggs for 10 cents, and a loaf of bread was a nickel. Wages were a dollar a day.
I bought a book of cut-out dolls for the girl and a book of cut-out soldiers for the boy. Each cost 10 cents.
We made fudge and popcorn balls, and Mom made a fresh loaf of bread. I went to the root cellar and got a jar of apple butter and peaches. We took the gifts to the family, and they were very happy and grateful.
It brightened our Christmas to know we had made a less fortunate family happy.
Unusual present keeps on shining
I was a stay-at-home mom with several children, so I didn't go out shopping often. Catalogs became my means of shopping.
Just before Christmas one year, I noticed my husband looking through a catalog and making some notes. I was curious, so I looked at the item number he had written down. It was for a double stainless steel kitchen sink. I didn't understand. We were always working on our house, but we already had a kitchen sink.
When Christmas came, there was a large box for me. When I opened it, I wasn't disappointed. My husband said a good kitchen sink would be a lasting gift, and he was right.
I'm still in the same house, and I still have the kitchen sink. It shines up as bright as ever with no dents or scratches, as can happens with old sinks. It was an unusual gift, but certainly a lasting one.
Growing up days
How was growing up different for you than it is for children today? Do you think you had more responsibilities than kids do now? Did you show your parents more respect than some children do today? How did the way you raised your kids differ from the way your folks raised you? Do you feel you did a good job raising your kids? Are your children doing a good job of raising their kids? If you could give your children one piece of parenting advice, what would it be?
Tell us what growing up was like for you. Send your letters by Jan. 9, 2008 to CAPPER'S, Kate Marchbanks, 1503 S.W. 42nd St., Topeka, KS 66609-1265.
Host a holiday COOKIE exchange
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