December 24, 1938
Dear Mother. . .I am writing to you this CHRISTMAS EVE with a HAPPY HEART. . .I don't know what comes over me each year at HOLIDAY time. . .There is something MAGICAL that settles over our farms. . .Even the animals seem to sense it. . .You know how much I LOVE Christmas. . .My own daughters talk among themselves that if they can't get what they want out of me at Christmas, there sure isn't any need to ask the rest of the year. . .I suppose they are right. . .I can't be a Scrooge at this time of the year. . .
Crops are a bit better this year. . .Cotton prices are rising slowly. . .Maybe this Great Depression is about over. . .Once again I'll be able to pay my TENANTS for their year of hard work. . .and I will be able to add a little extra at each one's door. . .. .I just yesterday received the last of the crates of ORANGES and GRAPEFRUIT from Florida. . .A few days ago, the shipment of RUSSELL STOVER CANDY arrived by rail. . .I think I'll have enough to give to FAMILY and FRIENDS. . .as well as the FARM WORKERS. . .And as usual, I made arrangements with L. M. (Moody Grocery) to deliver Christmas boxes to every FAMILY on the farms. . . .Let's see. . .I think I have close to fifty families now. . .I don't want any child to be without a CHRISTMAS WISH coming true. . .and I certainly don't want them to be hungry on that important day. . .I began gathering sizes and wishes from each family back in October so L. M. would have plenty of time to get the GIFTS together. . .I had to take a little out of my savings to do this. . .but it's worth it. . .Wish you could see the SMILES on the children's faces when the gifts arrive. . .
No matter how humbly our farm workers and tenants live. . .they do their best to CELEBRATE the birth of OUR SAVIOR. . .Sometimes it's very make-do. . .but it does speak of the JOY that is in their HEARTS for this season of HOPE. . .Families together in LOVE. . .I think that's the true SPIRIT OF CHRISTMAS anyway. . .don't you? . .There were many Christmases growing up that all we had was a good meal and something you handmade for us. . .We didn't feel poor. . .We felt RICH. . .A chicken and your wonderful dressing. . .cranberry sauce. . .greens. . .and corn. . .and beans. . .and you never forgot my favorite. . .Mince Meat Pie.
Speaking of FAMILY, mine is doing well. . .Irene is 11 this Christmas. . .She is changing from a little girl to a very pretty young lady. . .I admit I spoil her, giving in to her wishes probably one too many times. . .Alice scolds me often about it. . .but she is SPECIAL. . .a God-send in our older ages. . .Mamie and Naoma spoil her as much as I. . .They are both teaching at Dell this year. . .They have been busy with Christmas programs at CHURCH and SCHOOL. . .I've noticed a lot of whispering and giggles going on, too. . .a sure sign of the SEASON. . .All three daughters will be CHRISTMAS CAROLING tonight while Alice and I finish the TREE. . .They'll come back a bit 'stuffed' after eating candy and cookies. . .and drinking hot chocolate. . .at just about every house in Dell.
Alice asks for very little this time of the year. . .except. . .that her family all be TOGETHER. . .You know what a good cook she is. . .She started baking and preparing for the big dinner right after Thanksgiving. . .Just this morning she shooed me out of the kitchen so she could make all ready for tomorrow. . .To Alice, as it was with you, feeding the family well is not a task she bears. . .it is her act of LOVE. . .Plenty of food and the Love that goes into it. . .She tries to make at least one of each girl's favorites. . .and of course she makes my favorite Mince Meat Pie from your recipe. . .LIFE IS GOOD. . .
All in all, it HAS been a good year. . .full of surprises. . .and a lot of hard work. . .but many BLESSINGS also. . .I hope this finds you well. . .I know you must be missing Papa but thankfully you have my brothers close-by and I'm sure you'll be celebrating the day with them. . .I'm sending you much LOVE from my family. . .and many BLESSINGS in the next year. . .I LOVE YOU. . .
YOUR SON . . .EARL
WHETHER CHRISTMAS PAST
CHRISTMAS FUTURE. . .