Excerpts from Hattie’s Christmas Diary Entries

I am re-blogging today’s post from Aunt Hattie’s Diaries. Have a dandy Christmas, everyone!

“A Dandy Christmas Day”

Louise (Hattie's youngest sister), age 13, Christmas Day, near Spencer, NE
Louise (Hattie’s youngest sister), age 13, Christmas Day, 1915

1920-1922: Harriet and Will still lived on a farm outside Spencer, Nebraska, and for Christmas of those years they visited Harriet’s parents in Spencer. In 1920 they traveled in a “double-box wagon.” In 1922, Harriet and Louise saw a movie at the “Movie house” and returned home at midnight.

1923: For Will and Hattie’s first Christmas in Hidden Timber, Jake’s family visited and brought “pie, cake, candy, mixed nuts, apples, cranberries & fudge, so with our chickens & gravy & potatoes, bread, butter, coffee & cream, we had some fill, but still able to eat supper.”

1925: “Louise & I dressed chickens and had a late dinner. I washed my hair in p.m. because I couldn’t find the fine comb.”

1926: “Our meals to-day were a fake for Christmas, but I lives in hopes of better meals next Christmas, so that will be fine.”

1927: “Will went to bed and was so funny in actions that it made me half sick because I cooked all day for our dinner on the morrow and was so all in, needed a little encouragement instead of discouragement, but I finished and Nellie washed dishes all day. Louise cleaned upstairs and she and Nellie decorated tree and all the necessaries.” [They hosted a large Christmas meal the next day, when “All the neighbors came in and surprised Will.”]

1929: “Roy went on horseback and Will and I in wagon to Harry Furrey’s, and Louise had a delicious Christmas dinner of chicken, gravy, dressing, potatoes, cranberries, squash pie, chocolate-nut cake, fruit salad, bread, butter, cream & coffee & pepper & salt and water. It was their first big dinner in new house and since marriage, and we enjoyed it and the Evers table looked nice, and Roy started back to look for horses and we ate candy and nuts, then came home just at dark. Ate more candy, nuts and apples, and Will drank coffee and retired. Christmas spent pleasantly in a lumber-wagon and one bronco, Dick, & Ginger to pull.”

1930: “We went through pasture and got stuck in old road and snow drift [on the way to Furreys], and Noble Moore came just as the Men got chains on and out we went.”

1933: “We went to Harry & Louise’s, back at dark, had a beautiful meal.”

1935: “Christmas ground was lightly covered with snow. Will and Fritz had to hook team to our car, got it started.”

1936: “We got presents from Furreys, Will a pipe and I a dish, and we took them presents, Louise a Vegetable dish, Harry socks, Harley a book, Dorothy a wrist-watch.”

1939: “We went to Furreys. Dell and Gerald Furrey, Mr. & Mrs. Bert Roundy were there. We had Turkey, gravy, dressing, potatoes, Bread, Butter, cranberries, Jello of bananas and grapes, Pickles, Minced and Pumpkin pies, Chocolate Nut cake, cream and coffee, so this with all the presents was a Dandy Christmas Day.”

1940: “We got [to Bert Roundy’s] between 12 and 1 p.m. They had dinner ready, for Harry, Louise, Harley, Dorothy and Billie there. Mrs. Roundy has a built-up shoe, so she goes quite well on crutches, but wounds where bone shivered above Knee isn’t healing none too well, but she thinks it is. Dell Furrey, Gerald and wife Anthia Kingsley live there.”

1941: “I wrapped Gifts, got breakfast, but had a headache and sore throat last night and still ached this morning, but after I ate Turkey, Dressing, Gravy, Potatoes, Sweet Potatoes, Bread, Butter, Celery, Cranberries, Cake–Mrs. Roundy’s kind and Louise’s–Cream & Coffee, Mince and pumpkin pies, Grape Jelly, no ache.”

1942: “Will took me to 10 a.m. Mass, Mountain Time, so 11 o’clock our time.” [Note: In February of this year, Daylight Savings Time was instituted year-round for the duration of the war, which may be why Harriet makes a point of noting the time zones when she hadn’t previously.]

1943: “Will was sore because we weren’t at Furreys’ earlier in day, so I got all roused up also, but got there and had a dinner of Roast Turkey, Gravy, Mashed Potatoes, Bread, butter, cranberries, Jello, Dressing, Cream, Coffee, pie and cake.”

1944: “Hank helped Tom and Stanley Whiting load 5 of our bulls to take to Lew McKee’s for them to winter, for we haven’t any Shed for them when the cows are brought in, in bad weather. Wm Abbott helped him load last load for he, Mrs. Delores, Billie and Cora Ann came with gifts for us, 10 lbs. sugar, a dressed turkey, a pair of socks, shaving lotion, soap and wooden bowl, 2 guest towels, a casserole.”

1946: At Roundys’, “We had Turkey, Duck, dressing, gravy, mashed Potatoes, Beet and watermelon pickles and olives, scalloped corn, Salad of Jello, oranges and Bananas. It in was glass Salad dish with foot that stood up about 10 inches, was over 100 years old, belonged to Mrs. Roundy’s Grandmother, so will soon be eligible to be 5th Generation when come to Loretta. We got hot pads, both cloth and redwood, tobacco, tie, Towel, Scarf, hot pads, box of home-made candy. Levi gave us chore girl, plastic Apron, pipe, and Pailings’ box candy and Carton of Tobacco.”

1952: “Dan, Betty and Calvin came with a Push with Bells on it, just like a lawn mower. A Big ball and Musical Top for Calvin to play with, but he went to Sleep on Davenport. We played Samba, Canasta, 3 decks, and 500. Ate Duck Sandwiches and ice-cream with Furreys’ Strawberry Preserves.”

1953: “Billie Furrey played a lot of Pitch before dinner, and in p.m. Billie and W J. against Harry and Wm Joseph.”

1954: “Furreys had dinner of Roast Turkey, dressing (oyster), Cranberries, Sweet Potatoes, Gravy, Rolls, Strawberry preserves, Celery and Sweet Pickles. Water in new assorted glasses with their colored vegetable dishes, glass clear plates, Sauce dishes and Cups and Saucers and White Linen Table cloth.”

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