As to the year I cannot recall exactly, but I would guess it was 1952. As usual I was up at the crack of dawn. That was the year the my curiosity got the better of me and I was unable to resist trying to have a peek at the stack of presents in the dining room. Of course I was sure my mother wouldn't realize that I had been trying to see by lifting the paper around the tape -- which of course ripped! And my grubby sweaty little fingers would have been another dead give-away.
When she discovered my attempts at discovery she was quite 'annoyed' to say the least! "Well, all right! If you are going to be like that come here -- we are just going to open them now"! And she grabbed the present wrapped in shredded red tissue paper and it looked for all the world as if she would indeed open it...
"No! no! no!" I wept. I really didn't want to open them. My desire to have presents on Christmas with everybody else outweighed my intrepid curiosity. Great relief -- Mom relented! Never again would I try to open a Christmas present before its time -- to this day!
Christmas morning finally came and Santa Claus, with the help of Gram Claus had one of my all time favorite presents. It was of course a doll. But with the doll came a wardrobe/trunk. And it was filled with beautiful hand made doll clothes! It's funny but the only thing I can remember of the clothes was a white furry coat and hat -- I can even remember the buttons, but I cannot recall any of the dresses.
I waited and waited for my little sister to join me and finally went up and woke her up and made her come down stairs to see the wonderful goodies on display for us. Mom and Dad joined us and presents were finally opened. It turned out that the present in the red tissue paper was a cowgirl outfit complete with holster and hat -- it was black with white fringe -- and there was one for me and one for my sister. We both put them on immediately.
It soon became obvious that little sister was not quite herself -- she was so quiet and just wanted to lie down. Dad took her temperature -- 104F. What a thing to happen on Christmas Day. I can still see her lying there on the couch, in her cowgirl outfit -- guns in holster -- on her tummy fast asleep. Then Dr. Farmer came -- yes, once upon a time doctors made house calls even on Christmas Day!!!! In America!!! The diagnosis was almost instant: Measles.
From my point of view though, wicked child that I was, it meant that I had several days of my doll with clothes -- as well as hers to play with to my hearts content.