Visits to Santa Claus – 1956 to 1972

Throughout the years while I was raising my four kids (beginning in 1954), I kept a journal where I periodically made notes about holidays, school, vacations, etc.  As an occasion arises where I think one of my journal entries would be pertinent, I’m going to post it just as I wrote or typed it back in the day (except for an explanatory note or correction of a typo).  

The children will be known here by the nicknames their grandfather used when they were toddlers:  The oldest daughter will be Newsie (because she was as good as a newspaper for finding out the latest happenings), the oldest son is Bar (because he called Grandpa’s truck Bar and Grandpa called him Bar), the youngest son is Jackson, and the youngest daughter is Shanty (as in Shanty-Boat).


Soon after Thanksgiving, we got on a bus to downtown Cincinnati and the big Shillito’s department store to visit Santa Claus.   This one was taken of Newsy in 1956.  Newsy took one look at it and told everyone, “It is the most amazing picture I ever saw.”

Newsy, 2 years of age – 1956

Bar was shy around strangers and refused to have his picture taken with Santa.  Instead we have a snapshot of him where he was happiest – straddling his mama’s hip.

Bar, 2 years of age, 1958

By the time Jackson was visiting Santa, we found him in a mall and the pictures were in color.

Jackson, 2 years of age, 1962

“Newsy and I took Shanty to town on 12/20 to see the decorations and to visit Santa Claus.  She ate the two little candy canes almost immediately and pestered me to carry her the entire way through town.  12/20/72”

And now the great-grandchildren are having pictures taken with Santa.

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Lillian Applegate Westfelt was a mother of 4, grandmother of 6, and great-grandmother of 3. She was an 86-year-old widow living in a nice little bungalow with her oldest daughter and a beagle-dachsund named Addie. She passed away in November, 2018.

5 thoughts on “Visits to Santa Claus – 1956 to 1972”

  1. My photos are marginally later, in the 60s and 70s, but very similar. For many years, that was the photo and then school pictures. Thanks for sharing your memories. It prompted some of my own.

  2. Such sweet memories of when they were little. We just returned from California visiting our two oldest “boys” ages 54 and 52. They will always be our boys.

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