All my life Christmas was my favorite holiday. I loved the music, and the happiness that was in the air. I loved the decorations. I loved Christmas Eve when the family came together and opened their gifts. I loved giving as well as receiving. Seeing the faces of those I loved when they opened my gifts was special. Then on Christmas day, the whole family came together again for Christmas dinner.
New Year’s Eve I usually babysat until I was in college and dated. But one year on New Year’s Day, Nan and Bryant Cothron, and daughter Susan whom I baby sat a lot, invited us over. They had a couple of relatives and families over, and the Pastor and us. They had one of the first television sets in the neighborhood, and some of the guests watched the Rose Bowl game. Some of us sat in the kitchen nook and played Canasta which was new and popular at the time. They served sandwiches made with left over turkey and they put dressing and cranberry sauce in it. I thought they were the best I had ever tasted. That was such a happy day.
When I was a sophomore in high school, I wanted to earn money and still enjoy my summer. I devised a plan to have a play group in our yard mornings and then I had my afternoons and evenings free. I was licensed by the State of California as a foster parent as they had no other category for this. Dad and I made a swing and a slide. We already had a picnic table for crafts. I had ten preschool children at $3 a week which gave me $30 a wee which was more than I could have made at an all day job. The mothers loved having three hours to them selves. The children loved to play, have a story read, sing some songs, a juice and cookie break, and play. Then I still did baby sitting. And had time to read or go to the beach or try to get a sun tan. (We didn’t know that was bad for you. The next summer I had to close my little group before the summer was over because of a Polio (Infantile Paralysis) epidemic. Swimming pools and all public gatherings except church were shut down.
After my senior year in High School, I was a counselor at a Brownie Camp in the San Diego mountains (Cuyamaca, Camp Oyaniyanka) That was fun.