Feisty Side of Fifty/Baby Boomer Women

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Women Over Fifty—Your Holiday Spirit

Remember the joy of anticipation on Christmas Eve—being so excited you could hardly fall asleep? Remember waking your parents early on Christmas morning because you weren’t allowed to see what Santa brought until they shared in your wide-eyed excitement of that special day? Remember the flurry of tearing wrapping paper and ripping off bows to get at those treasured presents?

We children of the fifties were fortunate indeed. Many of our parents suffered untold hardships and deprivation; their formative years had been marred by the Great Depression and, later, by the harsh realities of World War II. But most of our moms and dads did all they could to make our childhoods better than their own. They gifted us with Besty Wetsy, Tiny Tears, and Ballerina dolls. They raised our competitive spirits with board games like Monopoly, Concentration, and Operation. Our stockings bulged with holiday edibles: chocolate Santas, candy canes, nuts, and oranges. For many young families, the fifties were a time of relative prosperity and parents wanted to shower their children with goodies they’d never known.

It is with these sentiments that I think of the young parents of today who want to give their own children a “Christmas to remember.” How difficult it must be in this economy to celebrate the season of giving when you’re worried about making the rent. How many chocolate Santas can you buy when you’re scrimping to purchase basic necessities? How jolly can you be when you’re unemployed and fearful that your next job might be months away?

So, as a reminder to myself and others of my generation, let’s make the time to run by the toy store and grab an extra gift. Let’s drop a box of candy canes into our shopping basket. If we have a few extra dollars, let’s consider donating them to a cause we feel deeply about. There are plenty of bins and baskets and other opportunities to share.

After all, our generation has been blessed in many ways. And one of the hallmarks of the boomer mindset was to make the world a better place. (Yes, we are the peace and love generation.) So, let’s spread that love around. It ‘tis the season and we are the just the ones to help those less fortunate than ourselves enjoy a few small luxuries in celebration of the holidays. Together we will ring in a another and, hopefully, much better New Year. 

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10 Responses to “Women Over Fifty—Your Holiday Spirit”

  1. 1
    Pattie Heisser:

    We have indeed been raised in a golden age of prosperity. But, as young people, when we moved out into our own apartments and away from the security of home, we too had to learn to live on what we made and in many cases that was a low wage indeed. I was recently thinking, what better holiday gift from a grandmother/great grandmother today that to give us all tips on what they did during the depression to make ends meet!

    Unfortunately, with the cost of health care and accommodations for the elderly skyrocketing, many are struggling as if they were living through the Depression all over again! Don’t forget to support your local senior center, meals on wheels or other senior services in your community.

    Happy Holidays to you and keep up the great work.
    Pattie Heisser

  2. 2

    It really is in giving that we receive. I was very touched this Sunday at my church as we all brought food items, toys and gifts to fill the Christmas Baskets that we give out each year to those in need. My tears were streaming as I joined hundreds of men, women and children brining their gifts to the alter during the offering part of our service. We have put together hundreds of baskets that will be distributed this weekend and you are so right, that’s what Christmas is all about.

    I too want to thank you for the walk down Christmas pasts, as we all loved our bikes, board games and baby dolls that cried real tears. Life was so simple in the 50′s, my Dad was making $800 a month with 6 kids and we were all so happy without video games, color tv, or any technology.

    I am grateful for where we came from and pray we all capture the meaning of Christmas as we share with our families next weeek.

    Merry Christmas my dear friend.

  3. 3
    Pat Montgomery:

    Eileen, you have nailed it. It seems to me that we children of the 50′s grew up in a perfect time. It was a time of growth and prosperity. But no so much prosperity that we did not appreciate what we had. I feel so blessed.

  4. 4
    Pam Archer:

    It’s all the little things that make a difference. And, while a donation of toys or food might seem to be a small thing to do, it is a huge deal to the rececipient. Now, if we could keep that spirit of thoughtfulness going throughout the year. Great post, Eileen!

  5. 5

    Though my family was lower middle class when I was growing up, your post did point out that my siblings and I were fortunate indeed. My parents, Mom in particular, loved Christmas and did her very best to make our holiday the best she could. I have many fond memories of the tradition of Christmas in our house and still equate a happy holiday with those times. I never felt the pinch of bad economic times when I was growing up – at the holidays or the rest of the year.

    I will be donating some food and toys the next time I go to town, thanks to your post.

    Happy Holidays, my dear Boomer Buddy!

  6. 6
    Joyce Mason:

    What a wonderful reminder, Eileen. I have made charitable giving part of my last several holiday seasons, in addition to those I support ongoing like my church’s homeless breakfast ministry. A friend of mine has an incredible family tradition. Her family has given up gifts; instead, they donate to charities in each other’s names. This year I lost my sister. To honor her–she has the Mason Family mush heart for pets–I donated a brick for Sacramento’s new SPCA building in her honor. I tingle thinking of how my brother-in-law will feel when he gets that announcement. I know on the first Christmas Eve we’ll miss her at the table, she’ll be looking down on us, giving me a big thumbs up–especially when her hubby opens my usual basket of goodies for their pets, too.

    Last year I did Christmas stockings for the local homeless shelter–two for adults. I found that pretty tedious to assemble with all the other holiday happenings, so this year, I’m “checking” them out!

    Watch my next blog post for a ’50s kid holiday memory …

  7. 7
    Heidi Caswell:

    The spirit of giving, not what will I get. I remember one time my dad tried to trick us. We’d moved to Pa. and there was a fireplace (fake one I think) in the basement. Christmas morning and there seemed to be presents missing under the tree. I remember mentioning something about Santa coming down into the fireplace and mentioned maybe Santa left gifts there. Talk about a mad rush for the stairs. And there were the gifts from Santa.

    Christmas seems so commercialized now. Rush, rush. Sometimes the best gift is the gift of time.

  8. 8
    WendyY Bailey:

    Have a holly, jolly holiday to one and all! I haven’t hit the half century mark yet and feel very fortunate to have the benefit of wonderfully precious Christmas memories. My mom and dad made it great for me. In turn, I made it big fun for my son, too. We still make it fun today!

  9. 9
    Beverly Mahone:

    One of the things I want my grandson to learn to appreciate as he grows up is that it isn’t about the presents you receive–it’s about the gifts you give to others through your love, honesty, integrity, etc and the true meaning–which is the birth of Jesus.

  10. 10
    cindy luck:

    Oh Eileen, what a great blog ….the food banks are in dire need of food. With money tight, people aren’t making their usual generous donations. Thank you for the reminder. It’s also such a wonderful time to be grateful for what we have, isn’t it?

    Thanks also for the memory lane walk. Tiny Tears, oh! She was my very favorite! Perhaps it’s the sadist in me, but it was so much fun to make her cry…

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