Good Christmas memories from lean times

Reflections - By Evelyn Long - for the Morrow County Sentinel

We’re in the midst of the holiday season and I’ve always been one who gets swept up in the emotions of the season. People seem so much friendlier and pleasant during the weeks leading up to Christmas and New Year’s and I find myself wondering why those emotions can’t carry over.

Again, I have the vantage point and can look back to my youthful years, growing up in the Depression when a sack with an orange and some hard candy in it was distributed to us in Sunday School and sometimes there would be a chocolate Santa Claus filled with cream – hmmmm good!

I am one of four girls and although I don’t recall it clearly I was told that my folks found themselves hard pressed during the Depression to provide a Christmas for us one year when hospital and medical bills were over powering to them. The Christmas spirit took charge of the men who worked with my dad at the State Highway Department facility in Marion where he was the timekeeper. All of those men had families and all were probably in the same financial hardships as we but those men took up a collection and bought dolls for my sisters and I. We learned of this many years later.

To me, the Christmas spirit begins with my faith – that faith is then displayed by the one thing I love most at Christmas and that is, send cards. I still exchange cards with friends I had in the fourth grade and in addition to relatives and friends my goal is to remember as many shut ins- be it in their homes, assisted living, or nursing homes, as I can. I would like to see them receive an envelope and open it to learn that they are remembered.

I remember the Christmases while raising our sons, attending their school and Sunday School program, church candlelight services, visiting the Lazarus Store and Santa in Columbus. Then I relish the memory of seeing them race down the stairs at 5 AM!!!! to see what Santa left under the tree.

To me, Christmas is defined, from one of my favorite hymns – “O Holy Night”- to one of my favorite secular pieces, “I’ll be Home for Christmas,” so popular during World War II, and the many hymns and songs in between.

If only this spirit of happiness and benevolence could lap over into the next 11 months- what a blessed time it would be. I will try to do my part.

100 years ago, December 1915: In the orchards of M M Gardner, south of Cardington, were grown this year, 4,500 bushels of apples or thereabouts.

Fred Ruehrmund threshed for Asher Mann near Ashley, the past week the work being done in the snow.

90 years ago, December, 1925: L. S. Russell who is reaping the reward of years of work to make his coon venture a success, shipped eight black coons to Burlington, Vermont and one to Mt Vernon, NY. receiving $1,025 for them.

A recent spelling contest among pupils of the Cardington eighth grade resulted in a victory by the group led by James Rhineberger

60 years ago, December, 1955: Pictured was baseball great Bob Feller, Ohio Chairman of the 1956 March of Dimes, with Donald Brody, 2 1/2 year old son of Dr.and Mrs. Stanley Brody. Donald had been a patient at Children’s Hospital where he was diagnosed with polio.

30 years ago, December, 1985: The Cardington-Lincoln High School Choir under the direction of Elizabeth Keller, was to sing in the rotunda of the Ohio State House.

Evelyn Long is a correspondent with the Morrow County Sentinel and can be reached at


By Evelyn Long

for the Morrow County Sentinel