Friday, December 2, 2011

My Grandfather's Christmas

As I serve at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City each week, many patrons lament that their family never talked about those who came before them.

 Kendrick Harward on far right in chair
Edith Harward on back row second from right

This made me reflect on what my parents and grandparents told me about those who came before them. I do remember a few things. One Christmas eve my Grandpa Kendrick Harward had his grand children's undivided attention as we waited to open up Grandma's nightgown or pajama gift to us.

Thomas Franklin Harward Home 
Aurora, Utah 1918

Grandpa spoke of his Christmas' as a boy living in Aurora, Utah. Without any disappointment in his voice he told us that on Christmas morning each child in his family received an orange and a toothbrush from Santa Claus.

In his history Grandpa stated, "Our home was typical of the lifestyle of Aurora people during that time, quite different than the custom today. Money was scarce but food and clothing was adequate." 

Back row:  Vera, Pluma, Clyde, Opal, Kendrick
Middle row:  Drucilla, Beth, Ritch, Frank, Vermont, Katie, Royal
Front row: Sarah and Thomas Franklin Harward

Grandpa told us of his mother and her goodness, patience and kindness. If one was ever told they were like his mother, it was his highest compliment.

Removing some coinage from his trouser pocket, Grandpa portrayed an example of his father Thomas Franklin Harward. He said, "When we asked Dad for money, he would take out his change and pull back anything of size and offer us what was left."

The stories grandpa told us as we sat on the floor in his downstairs family room impacted me. Especially since I knew each one of us would be expecting much more from Santa Claus than an orange and a toothbrush. I do find it interesting that his family seemed happy with what they were given. And since most living in the vicinity would be receiving the same type of gift, all were content.

Maybe we should share with one another during this Christmas season what really is of value to us--whatever that might be. Merry Christmas!

1 comment:

  1. Nice post Cindy. Happiness is such a "relative" thing isn't it?