Monday, December 5, 2016


I have dried rose petals two summers so had plenty for three rather small cushions, one each to Ethel, Myrtle, and Irl and Bernice. We sent Shirley Jean a cute little print apron and hankie in pocket, and Shirley put in a little cup and saucer from her old tin things. Shirley also put in a book cover for Myrtle as she had hinted at wanting another. Irl and Bernice get a jar of fancy strawberry preserves. They failed to get any put up last year and Irl was so disappointed. Well, you see, our Christmas has cost next to nothing for what we bought was necessary anyway, but we’ve had a big time this hard times Christmas. Everything looks different when you look at it from Robinson Crusoe’s standpoint, surrounded by a sea of depression, and things show up at a more real value. We appreciate the actual values of things. So we’re going to have a very merry Christmas. Ina Dobson, Christmas 1932

I’m touched every year when I read what Ina has to say about her gift list. Having few resources, she manages to come up with gifts for everyone on her list: “premiums” from the purchase of feed and seed, books they had read, used toys from her own children, items she and Shirley made (such as dress protectors, book covers, and aprons), etc. If she spent money for a gift, it was for something needed anyway, such as gloves, stockings, etc. It gave her joy to plan her Christmas giving. Family members might also include a package of beans or popcorn grown on the farm.
The small farmer had little money but plenty to eat. Ina and her sister Bertha both shared cream, eggs, and chickens with friends in need.

Ina gifts were simple but heartfelt – and there’s something to be said for that. KW

[What do you suppose was the purpose of the cushions stuffed with dried rose petals?] 



Hallie said...

Cushions: to keep in your clothes drawer for pretty scent.

Kathy said...

That would work for the women but I'm not sure Earle would enjoy it. You're probably right, though.

Hallie said...

Maybe they added some spices to Earle's so that his smelled more masculine.

Kathy said...

Ha! His wife Bernice probably took it and put it in her lingerie drawer.