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Christmas on Mile Lane
Christmas on Mile Lane
Mile Lane Memory ©
The winters on Mile Lane were not that bad. It was usually cold, but not extremely cold. We had to burn more wood in the winter time. The stove usually kept the whole house warm. I wasn’t really particular about a wood burning stove. I have a very sensitive nose and I could always smell the wood on my clothes. As soon as I got on the bus, everyone would tell me that they smell the wood on my clothes.
Mom always prepared for Christmas early. It was not easy playing Santa for five children. The house was decorated with our silver tree sitting in the front window. She collected S & H green stamps and Quality stamps. She received these from the grocery store. They were placed in the booklets and she saved them to redeem them at the outlet store. Those stamps were the roots of many of our Christmases. I remember getting a Snow White watch with the statue of Snow White in the box. One year I received a Cinderella watch.
Mom worked at Ridgely Manufacturing. I remember she used to sew and make clothes there. Mrs. Erma used to pick her up for work. She would always come home with bits of threads on her clothes. The threads came on the spools that were made like cones. She brought home the empty cones and we used them to make various things including a homemade telephone with a string and two cones. Mom would always get a snack out of the vending machine on her break. She would always save some. When she came home she would let us go in her purse and eat the remainder of the snack. She especially liked the Tom’s cheese crackers. This was something that we always looked forward to doing when Mom came home from work.
Ridgely Manufacturing had an outlet store. Mom would go there to purchase us clothes for Christmas. Being an employee at Ridgely Manufacturing allowed Mom to shop at their outlet stores. My favorite gifts from the outlet store were my rose colored coat and my Indian styled draw string purse. Receiving an apple and orange was also a part of our Christmas gifts. Mom always made a German chocolate cake. We also received some hard candy and some mixed nuts. My favorite was the Brazil nuts.
Most of the years I got dolls for Christmas, but I wasn’t that keen about baby dolls. I played with them a little bit, but they mostly just lay on the bed nice and neat. One year I got a “Close and Play” record player. It was red and I loved to play the 45 record, “Jingle Bells” that was sung by the barking dogs. I also got a copy of “Sugar Pie Honey Bunch” that I played over and over.
One of my favorite memories on Christmas morning was my stepdad getting us up after Santa had left. He would wake us up and take us all to the window. He would tell us that Santa had just left and if we looked hard enough we could see him leaving in his sleigh. I guess we must have all looked hard enough or had very big imaginations, because we always saw Santa dashing away in his sleigh leaving Mile Lane to go make deliveries to other parts of Ridgely and surrounding areas.
Regina Burch Spencer