It’s the holiday season, and for this week’s column I spelunked through the archives to find some light-hearted fare from Christmas past:
In the Dec. 24, 1932 edition of the East Oregonian, students of Hawthorne School in Pendleton were cheering a local man who had been playing Santa for three years to children in his neighborhood. Charles M. Wright left an order at West End Grocery that every child calling at the store that day was to be given a bag of candy on his dime. Mr. Wright’s Christmas spirit was a bright spot for EO readers of all ages.
In 1967, Bernice Riley was the EO’s women’s news reporter. Riley passed along this gem of a helpful hint for the ladies in a Dec. 22 column:
“You simply can’t make Christmas cookies and candy ahead of time,” said a young mother the other day. “How do you keep them until Christmas when you have a bunch of boys who know all your hiding places?”
One local homemaker has come up with a brilliant solution to the problem, my friend continued. “She bought a brand new garbage can and put it out in the garage. Knowing full well that nobody would go near the garbage can unless she told them to, she has been using it to store all her holiday goodies.”
[Considering I still can’t seem to get my son to volunteer to take out the garbage in 2013, maybe I’ll start hiding things that way. Of course, underneath the pile of dirty laundry in his room would be an equally effective hiding spot.]
Hal McCune reported on the EO’s annual Christmas survey in the Dec. 24, 1991 paper. In addition to the usual questions about what people liked most and least about the holiday, queries included best and worst gifts ever received (ranging from “My husband coming home from World War II in one piece” on the plus side to “Table and chair set when I was 6” on the minus side); favorite Christmas traditions; holiday tree-topper preference (one respondent’s family favored a Winchester 12-gauge shotgun shell); and whether they buy gifts for their pets (“If they ask for one” was one answer). But my favorite answer was a response to when people stopped believing in Santa Claus. The person in question was seven years old when he found out, and said, “I had to pummel a fifth grade boy on the bus for destroying my myth — justified assault!”