Tuesday, December 20, 2011

A Christmas Party in 1957

On the evening of December 21, 1957, the Primary children presented a play at the Aurora Branch Christmas party.Back row: Erek Erekson, Cathy Sullivan, [unidentified], [unidentified], John Ottinger, [unidentified], Julia Woolcott, Rose Marie Resch (behind curtain). Front row: [unidenified, possibly Tommy Spahr, [unidentified], Bucky Spahr (Earl Spahr Jr.), Billy Spahr, John Swords, Sandy Hill. Front right: Cris Erekson.

As recorded in the Primary History scrapbook, the skit depicted "sharing with those less fortunate" and was followed by the younger classes who "sang songs and said poems."
New in this photo are: Paul Doty, [unidentified], Cris Erekson, [unidentified, possibly Margie Reynolds], Margaret Sullivan. David Swords in standing in the center. The backdrop had been painted on the basement wall by Mary Jane Greer.

To the delight of all the children, Santa Claus visited the party later and distributed gifts and stockings. Jim Greer may have been the one to play Santa that evening because playing Santa was one of his favorite holiday activities. (For more about this go to the posts for December 2009.) But by this time most people expected him to be the one in costume, so as a joke he sometimes asked other men play the part. One of the funniest Santas was the very tall, very thin Bill Kettley.

The M.I.A. served refreshments that evening and the adults exchanged grab bag gifts. (That means they brought small gifts in decorated paper bags, put the bags in a pile and grabbed.)

Two other Christmas parties are also recorded in the Aurora Branch Primary History scrapbook. They seem to follow a pattern:

December 17, 1955:
"The Primary, along with other groups of the Church held a Christmas party on this date. Games were played which everyone enjoyed. Christmas tree ornaments made by the group that attended were hung on the tree. Santa Claus made his appearance with gifts for all the children and parents. Refreshments were served later in the evening."

December 4, 1956:
"The Primary held a Bake Sale on this day. The money was used to buy Christmas gifts and candy for the Christmas party. The Christmas party was held at the Greer home. All groups of the Church held a combined party."

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