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Holiday Stories from the 30s & 40s ~ Marie’s Story

Christmas in Ashern, Manitoba

Christmas in our home growing up was a very exciting time for us kids for many reasons, not the least of which was that there was baking in the house! This was rare because Mom had very little time to bake and there were sugar rations because we were in a time of war.
Dad would cut down an evergreen and often it went right to the ceiling. Then we kids would make paper decorations and strings of popcorn for the tree and for the whole house – though it was only maybe a few hundred square feet.
On our dinner table, there would be a perfectly formed wheat sheaf – hand picked by Dad in the fall, to represent ‘Father Time’. Under our dinner table Dad scattered fresh straw, to represent the manger, and buried under the straw there would be hard, wrapped candy that we could go searching for later.
After supper, we played all kinds of games. One game I remember, Dad would fasten this rope to a hook on the ceiling and he’d tie a loop at the end of the rope. Us kids would then take turns putting our feet in the loop and walking slowly backward using our hands – feet going further and further into the air until we reached a candle on the floor, which we had to blow out. As you tried to inch your way back, you would lose your balance and come swinging around – then you were out and the next person would try. We played games like this all evening long and by the time we went to bed we were happy and exhausted.
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