On December 25, 1952, Frank and I had been married for 7 months.  We were settled in a three-room apartment on the second floor of my parents’ two-family house (rent was the grand sum of $12.00/month).  We were making payments on a living room suite and appliances purchased from Jake Tennenbaum Furniture in downtown Cincinnati and the rest of the furnishings consisted of family hand-me-downs.

I was secretary to an executive in the TV-Radio Advertising Department of Procter & Gamble and Frank was beginning a long career with the Cincinnati Water Works.  This was ….


It wasn’t a very big tree – just over four feet tall – but it was broad and bushy at the bottom and tapered to a graceful, willowy top.  And the ornaments were all brand new and shiny – little glistening balls of shimmering beauty that hung so proudly on this, our very first tree.  There were tiny red balls with white sleighs gliding across them, and large pagoda-like wonders of yellow and purple; and the new, freshly-hung icicles were like glimmering trickles of a cold mountain stream that wound its way over each small green limb and hung precariously in places over the tiny pine needles.  Each light was a star within itself, twinkling with friendly cheer and winking at the few people whose eyes chanced to look up at the second floor window and see the little tree.

This was our first Christmas as man and wife and we had planned and prepared as was fitting for a first Christmas in our own apartment.  At each window a red, snow-bedecked wreath hung grandly and on a sheet-covered cedar chest were two elaborate silver candlesticks (wedding gifts) containing bright red candles, which glittered and shone in desperate competition with the tree lights.

In the clean whiteness of the new refrigerator a cool, pink turkey was awaiting his chance to be the center of attraction at the Christmas dinner.  Plans were being made for pies and cake and fresh rolls – eye-tempting and tummy-filling produce for the visiting relatives. 

This was our first Christmas – the decorations. the dinner, the squat little tree – all  of these traditional and beautiful things made us feel like a family at last.

From my journal – December, 1952

Hope you all have a memorable Christmas.