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Readers' Letters: Relishing Christmas memories

The memories of special holidays of the past often fill the minds of many this time of the year. In a recent letter, Antique Trader subscriber Sandy Erdman shared one of her favorite stories of holiday memories, involving her husband and sister-in-law.

Editor's Note: This charming story, submitted by an Antique Trader, is a perfect blog post for this time of the year. Enjoy!

Christmas Eve and just returning home from church, the little girl went with her big brother to look for reindeer tracks in the freshly fallen snow. The only tracks they found were their own tire tracks. It was very easy to convince this little 2-year-old girl that Santa must have used an airplane this year.

Photo of Erdman siblings

Dale Erdman and his sister June (Erdman) Eggers, circa 1950, five years after the memorable Christmas. (Submitted photo)

As they came in from the cold the rest of the family were singing Christmas carols next to Grandma’s old piano. The smell of steaming hot chocolate and popcorn being popped in the fireplace filled the air. The Christmas tree from the farm field was glowing. With lean time in the family and money scarce, everything was mostly handmade that year.

As the night was long for the little girl, she finally went off to dreamland with hopes that Santa would fly in the airplane and drop off Christmas gifts. Anxiously awaiting for the little girl to fall to sleep, her big brother went to the wood shop and brought out the gift he had been secretly working on. From a peach crate that his father had brought home and leftover paint, a little doll bed was put together. His mother had made the mattress and feather pillow along with a sheet and embroidered pillowcase, and took the time to piece together a handmade doll quilt.

The first to wake up that Christmas morning, the little girl ran down the stairs with hope that Santa had left something for her. Under the Christmas tree was something. Was it for her? Well, she thought, “I am the only little girl in this house!” Under the tree was a beautiful blue doll bed, complete with a mattress, feather pillow and even a patchwork quilt.

This article originally appeared in Antique Trader magazine
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Not much money, but a lot of Christmas love. Remembering all the family love and joy of that Christmas, and working closely together to bring joy to his little sister, the big brother still remembers that joyful Christmas in year of 1950. (Today the little girl is 68 and the big brother is 76 years old and my husband.)

— Sandy Erdman
Winona, Minn.

(Ms. Erdman is also a columnist for the Post-Bulletin, in Rochester, Minn.)

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