Tuesday, December 13, 2011


Cater your decorations to the younger set because Christmas is really for children. . . . Christmas began with a family; that's why it has such a hold on the heart, why it's important to endow children with memories of family and home they will treasure. Better Homes and Garden Christmas Ideas, 1957

Rudolph, the red-nosed reindeer,
Had a very shiny nose.
And if you ever saw it
You would even say it glows.

I thought that readers were imagining that they saw Rudolph in the picture of Mike and Nellie on the previous post. Turns out I'm the one with the fertile imagination. However, now that the correct photo has been pointed out, yes, that's Rudolph peeking over the counter at the Christmas cookies. And here I thought he was just placidly awaiting his bath and a press job on his red velvet ribbon. Instead he was participating. Here's that picture again in case you missed Rudolph, too. 

So, it's time to talk about Rudolph.
Mike and I attend several parties during the holiday season, mostly related to organizations and commercial interests. It seems like this is the way of Christmas parties these days – at least, it is for us.

A few years ago, we attended a party given by a member of the bicycle club. The house looked great. The tree cast subdued lighting in the living room, and the whole effect with other decorations was one of a Christmas fairyland. I remarked to the host that his wife had done an excellent job with the decorating. “It must have taken a lot of time,” I observed.

“What! This?” he replied. “It doesn’t take time. Everything comes out of storage bins from the garage. And when it’s over, it all goes back in the storage bins.”

Instant decorating! I had never thought of it that way. While I was laboring long with ‘50s ceramics, others were tossing stuffed animals and bigger, non-breakable items around the room to make it merry in a hurry.

Yes, and I can hear you saying, “But that’s just not your style,” and you’re right. Nevertheless, when I see a stuffed animal / character that strikes my fancy, I buy it. And I have a storage bin for them, and maybe I should think about getting another. And they do make a room look festive in a hurry.

Another thing – it awakened me to what holiday stuffed animals I (and Hallie) already had. Hallie had one of those dogs that barks Christmas songs. She also had a holiday “Puff-a-Lump.” Remember “Puff-a-Lumps”?

And I – well, I had Rudolph. He’s old and tired – and I remember him as always old and tired. When I was growing up, many of my toys actually belonged to my older sisters, so one day (when I was an adult) I asked Mother where Rudolph had come from. “Rudolph is yours,” she said in some surprise, as if I should have known. He had been given to me, she said. She didn’t remember the details.

A couple of years ago, the Lewiston Tribune published this old picture of a shelf-ful of “Rudolphs” at Montgomery Ward in Lewiston, 1949. Of course, “Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer” was a Montgomery Ward promotion. Well, the timing was right for that Rudolph to be mine. KW

[The postcard is from Vance's postcard album and was his gift from his grandmother, Lucy Dickson, Christmas 1910. He was five years old.]


Chris said...

Oh ho!! The mystery is solved. The Rudolph I saw was on the kitchen chair in the picture of the cookies. I'll bet that's what Hallie saw, too, and then just wrote the next sentence about Nellie.

Kathy said...

You're right, Chris. I just assumed it was the same picture with Mike and Nellie. And Rudolph isn't readily apparent unless you enlarge the picture and then you sorta have to look closely. You guys are good!!!

So, I decided it was appropriate to update the post with corrected info rather than leave a misconception for posterity. Rudolph is kinda cute back there.


Hallie said...

Ha ha! Serves me right for being so disjointed with my comments. I'm still laughing about how Chris called it the "Rudolph Controversy".

That's pretty neat about the Rudolphs in the newspaper. Maybe YOUR Rudolph is in that very photo!

Kathy said...

There's a good chance my Rudolph came from that very display. Someone, probably a family member, saw the display and thought Rudolph would be a good present for the new baby.

He's getting more respect this year than he's ever had. He's so thrilled!