Millet's Christmas Tales: Christmas Presents

Toys and Christmas tree in the 2020 Museum Christmas display

Toys and Christmas tree in the 2020 Museum Christmas display

One story tells of a local man, Swede John (Johnson) going to people’s houses on Christmas Eve and throwing in flour sacks with apples, candy, and mittens knitted by Mrs. Johnson for the children. This came from an old Swedish custom where Yuletide dwarfs brought gifts for children.

Like today, toys, like dolls and rocking horses, where common gifts for children at Christmas. Books were also a common gift; books were hard and sometimes expensive to get, but they were a way to pass the time.

Parcels were often sent from family members living far away, and giving out Christmas cards was common.

In the 1930’s, many families didn’t have very much money for Christmas presents. Some families gave homemade gifts, some only gave stockings with gifts like oranges, candy, and handkerchiefs, and some had to buy household necessities instead of presents. One family remembers agreeing as a family to buy a horse-drawn sleigh instead of Christmas gifts. It was also common to get new clothes for Christmas.

Despite these financial difficulties, gifts for school teachers were common in the 1930s. 

Tales & Trails of Millet pg. 135, 189, 217, 388, 445, 519, 559, 574 595, 643, 675