Monday, December 8, 2008


[During this advent season, I will post excerpts from my mother's story, "Christmas as I Remember It." Mother prepared these notes for a presentation at the Clearwater Historical Society, c.1990. As she reminisces about Christmas, she gives us a brief chronological history of her life.]

We came to Orofino in 1910. [She was born in Troy, Idaho, December 27, 1909, and the family moved to Orofino when she was six months old.] We stayed with the Theodore Fohls at Kalaspo and D Streets. Then we moved to the second house in the 600 block on Kalaspo, then to the house next door, which was built for a barn but not used as such. After that we moved to Weippe, then back to the house on Kalaspo.

I do not remember our first Christmases but as I grew older I can remember what seems to be my first Christmas. Our tree was small, on the library table, and had few decorations. Candles were placed in little holders that clamped onto the branches. There were tinsel garlands and a few small balls. The tree was put in the house on Christmas Eve and taken out on New Year's Day. We each received one present. My first memory is a sled my brother and I shared. There was always snow at Christmas. Grandmother [Sanders] usually sent a box with handmade gifts. I remember mittens and was especially delighted when I received a dust cap like my mother's – a round piece of white material with elastic and lace around the edge.

There was always a program at the church on Christmas Eve. A big tree was decorated and the Sunday School presented a play, recitations, and songs. My special memory was when I pantomimed Silent Night while one of the ladies sang.

[The kids in the photo are: Francis (Uncle Porkie) Portfors; Harold Willis; Dona McRoberts; Volney McRoberts; Dorothy Portfors (my mother); Clarence Willis; c.1914.]


Chuck said...

This is wonderful picture. Could you send me the photo in an e-mail? I copied the text for my family history album. We should get back to this kind of gift-giving. It seems much less complicated, except for the candles. I wonder how many trees burned down.

debdog42 said...

You can right click on the photo and save it to your computer.

I love the pic and it seems familiar? Did it use to hang upstairs in the house?

Kathy said...

How many trees burned down? -- not to mention how many houses. I have no idea. I still have the Dobson candle holders. I wonder how dangerous it would be to light candles on an artificial tree.

When I have finished the advent project, I will forward the whole article to you -- to anyone who would like to have it.

Mother never framed the photo. A few years ago she had copies made for her children. You may have seen it amongst the family photos. KW

Hallie said...

For me, it is so strange to imagine that the little girl is my grandmother. She is so very cute, though. All of the kids are cute--so little has changed in that respect!