The year was 1934.
The place ~ Detroit, Michigan.
A little boy named Emil picked up his pencil and carefully wrote down his Christmas wishes to a little girl he knew in school. After putting his 1 cent stamp on the card he dropped it in the mailbox and off it went.
79 years later it now belongs to that little girl's daughter... me :).
As a child I often asked my mom if she had anything from her childhood. Growing up in a single parent home during the depression her Christmas gifts were provided by the Salvation Army. An organization that she had a soft spot for always.
Consequently, she had no toys or books or anything leftover from her childhood to show me. She did, however, have this Christmas card. It didn't do much to impress me as a young girl.
My best friend's mom still had an old set of Little Women dolls. I thought that was much more impressive than an old Christmas card.
Fast forward to 2009.
My mom was in the later stages of her journey through Alzheimer's disease.
One day I was talking with the Hospice social worker and she shared with me that she saw Alzheimer's as being born in reverse. At the time I was so overwhelmed with all that was going on that I didn't really appreciate what she was telling me.
But, as my mom's short term memory disappeared and she clearly was living once again in her younger life I began to understand a bit better.
A few months before she passed away, Brett and I were visiting one day and mom very excitedly told us that she had a new boyfriend. She sounded for all the world like a young girl telling us about her first boyfriend. By this time her memories of being married to my dad for 56 years had all but disappeared.
When I asked her what her new boyfriend's name was she replied "Emil".
Brett looked at me in confusion and I whispered, I'll explain that one later.
I now knew why she kept that Christmas card from Emil all those years. I think he must have been her first crush and now he was going to be her last. My dad always had a wonderful sense of humor and I knew that even he would be laughing in heaven over this.
It seems as the years go by there are fewer and fewer Christmas cards in the mailbox. I know with all the forms of social media now, it may be a dying art.
I sure hope not.
I love to send and receive them.
My mom was the youngest of 7 children.
Therefore, most of my aunts and uncles on her side are now gone.
One aunt remains and she was the wife of mom's oldest brother.
She is still sending Christmas cards. This note was enclosed in her card this year:
I'll be counting on it, Aunt Georgia.
Isn't her handwriting beautiful?
Perhaps that explains why this vintage ad hangs in my family room ;-).