Doll in each stocking

From our January 2014 issue

By Lorna (Rogers) Finstad – Armstrong, B.C.

I have fond memories of many Christmases but the one that stands out in a special way is 1931, the year I was five.

Two younger sisters and I slept in a little wooden bed that dad had made for us. Back then, the mattresses were often a cover of sturdy material filled with straw. In the fall, mother would empty the cover and fill it with fresh straw left after the threshing machine left a pile of fresh wheat straw.

We snuggled down in this cozy bed with three socks pinned to a string tied from one corner post to the other at the foot of our bed.

In the morning there was a doll in each of stockings. Oh, how thrilled we were! These dolls had bisque heads and hands. The cloth body was stuffed with fine shredded wood.

My doll wore a mauve dress and I called her Mabel. How I loved her. Rosella’s doll wore a yellow dress. Birdie’s doll in pin dress and bonnet was smaller to fit in her chubby little arms. Dorothy, the baby at that time, received a doll-face rattle.

We lived on a small Saskatchewan farm during the Depression. Dry hot summers and poor crops meant we had few luxuries and the dolls made us happy.

Winters were very cold so the front room door was kept closed. As we girls grew older, we’d wake up to a little decorated tree with red and green streamers in that room with warm air coming from the wood and coal heater.

Our parents provided what they could with love and security.