Saturday, December 20, 2014
I like Christmas, but when I was a kid, I looooved Christmas. I guess it was just that thing, your kid brain amps everything up and makes it more exciting and magical. My dad would dust off his favorite LP's of holiday music (Nat King Cole, "The Nutcracker Suite" by the Boston Pops, Bing Crosby), we'd salivate over the new Sears "Wish Book", and we would enjoy a variety of Christmas-themed arts and crafts in school (glitter, pipe cleaners, macaroni, and glue were key ingredients).
Speaking of school, here's a photo from a classroom from sometime in the 1950's. They've got their tree all decorated; I wonder if the kids dressed up for this photo, or if this is just their regular school clothes? The kid with the bow tie (lower left) is my hero. It sure looks like nighttime, so maybe this was some sort of Christmas party.
Meanwhile, in another classroom, children wear traditional diapers on their heads (now that's a party!) as Santa Claus and the Monsignor (Catholic school!) make surprise appearances. The Monsignor is there to make sure that things don't get too secular.
Santa looks like he is wearing a blond wig as a beard. There's no way that bag holds enough presents for every child in the classroom. Unless they are tiny presents. 1961, they can't be "Hot Wheels". And all I want is Hot Wheels! Notice that there is snow outside - the only time I really miss snow is during Christmas.
Here's one from Balboa Park in San Diego, circa 1964. I like the brightly-lit Santa with his sleigh and eight reindeer - if that's Rudolph at the end (see his bright red nose?), shouldn't there be nine reindeer? The amazing thing is that I believe that this very same tableau can still be seen in Balboa Park today, a full 50 years later. Ho, ho, ho!