poetry and prose about place

from the pages of an old diary – holidays

with 7 comments

Among the events recorded in my great-aunt’s diaries were holidays. 

Here are some of the activities she recorded for those special days in 1957:

New Year’s Day (Jan. 1, 1957) – they had her brother’s family to dinner.

Valentine’s Day (Feb. 14, 1957) – she sent her grand-daughter in Saint John a Valentine.

Easter (April 21, 1957) – they went to the Presbyterian Church in New Glasgow to see the ‘3000 Easter lilies’ on display.  She also sent a box of gifts to her grand-daughter.

Canada Day (called Dominion Day before 1982) July 1, 1957 – not mentioned in her diaries.

Halloween (Oct. 31, 1957) – ‘seven children for Halloween’   Interesting … our modern conversations about Halloween are often to compare the numbers of children who came trick-or-treating!

Thanksgiving – the day before, she ‘did some cooking for Thanksgiving’ (Oct. 12, 1957) and on Sunday, she had her sister (my grandmother) and my uncle for a chicken dinner.

Christmas – my great-aunt belonged to an ‘Xmas Club’.  They had their Christmas Dinner together (Dec. 2 , 1957) and exchanged gifts.  My great-aunt’s gifts in 1957 were a pair of pillow cases and a pair of gloves.

Part of Christmas meant sending parcels to family and friends.  In 1957, my great-aunt mailed Christmas parcels to her son’s family in Saint John on December 14, 1957 and to others on December 11 and 16.

On Christmas Day, they went to her brother’s house for Christmas Dinner. 

On December 29, 1957, they went to see the Christmas pageant. There were also other community events, since on December 24, 1954, they went to see the community Christmas tree.

She makes no mention of Christmas decorations in her own home, but I still have a few of the ornaments from her tree.



New Year’s Day 1957

                -response to a diary entry for January 1, 1957


Tues nice day, quite cold.  C.

D. D. also K. J. here to

N. Years dinner.  had a chicken sponge

cake for dessert.  strawberry vanilla ice cream

we went for a drive after C.s left.   

–          A.M.W.


new year, basket in the hall closet

empty, mending and darning

done, seven to dinner, everyone

satisfied, sponge cake and ice-cream


no worries about tomorrow, predicted

storms, the need to stay well,

catches in clothing and worn

heels, arm sore from beating eggs


my New Year’s resolutions:

                a beater that runs on electricity

                no more blue socks darned with red

the chicken was tasty

colourful with carrots



©  Jane Tims 2012

Written by jane tims

February 27, 2012 at 6:40 am

7 Responses

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  1. I was going to ask about the chicken sponge cake, but I see Barbara beat me to it. I’m laughing at your response. lol!

    Wonderful poem and drawing, Jane. 🙂



    March 1, 2012 at 8:13 pm

    • Hi. I’m sure we could find the recipe for ‘chicken sponge cake’ on the internet if we look! Jane


      jane tims

      March 2, 2012 at 6:28 am

  2. What on earth is a chicken sponge cake?

    My sister has been looking for ornaments like the ones in your drawing, for her husband. He remembers them fondly from his mom’s Christmas trees when he was a child. Fortunately she’s located a few in some of the nostalgic Christmas shops popping up here and there these days…


    Barbara Rodgers

    February 28, 2012 at 1:27 pm

    • Hi Barbara. I am still laughing. My great-aunt was spare with her punctuation, so she meant she cooked a chicken, and baked a sponge cake. Actually, a ‘chicken sponge cake’ sounds like a sponge cake that was afraid, perhaps of being eaten!!! Jane


      jane tims

      February 28, 2012 at 6:13 pm

  3. Thanks for sharing! I love to read old diaries.



    February 28, 2012 at 12:56 am

    • Hi. Glad you liked the post. Some of the handwriting can be quite a challenge! Jane


      jane tims

      February 28, 2012 at 6:10 pm

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