December 24, 1960, Christmas Eve - "We won the electric train at McClelland's! Leslie is so happy."
If I hadn't recorded that in my diary fifty years ago, I would have said Santa Claus brought Leslie's train, pictured above. I had forgotten we won it.
Some of the businesses in Corning had special drawings at different times of the year. In addition to McClelland Drugs, I remember registering at Dunham's Drug Store for prizes - the top being a girl's and a boy's bicycle. (Oh, how I wanted to win a bike!)
Perhaps it was because of winning the train that we all opened our Christmas presents Christmas Eve that year. It was unusual for us to do so - we had always opened gifts on Christmas morning before.
I believe my little brother still has this train. He probably even remembers winning it fifty years ago. Perhaps someday he will pass it on to a grandchild, telling him/her of that exciting Christmas Eve when he was six years old.
This photo is from Leslie's first Christmas in 1954. You can see in the bottom left corner where I cut myself out of this picture with Betty and Ron and Les. I don't remember why - whether it was to put into a locket? or just because I didn't like how I looked?
Our Christmas trees were always ones we cut along the road or out in the pasture. They were never 'green' even when we kept them watered and once tried putting green food coloring in the water. They were scratchy and stuck you when tried reaching behind to get gifts out.
Merry Christmas everyone. I wish for you the same joy my little brother experienced on Christmas Eve fifty years ago today.