An Ontario Christmas in 1910

From Stephanie Soto-Gordon:

Muriel Kathleen Galbraith Allin (1904-1997) was the daughter of an Irish immigrant from Kilkeel, County Down, Northern Ireland and grew up in Toronto.  She wrote of her life in 'From Clarence Square to Don Hollow Farm' and in later life helped her daughter and son-in-law restore the Gordon family home on Bear Creek Road in Storrington Township.

“…I distinctly remember when I first learned who Santa was. We were at Eglinton Ave. and I’d be between 6 and 7 years old or younger. Christmas Eve I hung my stocking at the foot of my cot. Needless to say I was very excited and couldn’t get to sleep. I saw my mother tip toe in in the dark and peer down at me. She said, ‘Not asleep yet?’ After awhile I must have been half asleep when I heard rustling at the foot of my bed. In the dark I couldn’t be sure. I thought it was either my mother or Santa… …I crept down. The stocking was full and something fell out. My mother heard it… I kept as quiet as a mouse so she wouldn’t know what I had done.

On the farm at Christmas time we went out into the woods and chopped down our tree. I think usually my brothers and myself… We lugged it into the house, put it into a pail filled with coal for support. My mother placed small candles on it and just once for a short time she lit them…

Once we heard Santa’s bells chiming in the morning. We rushed to the front door to catch our father with sleigh bells. We always had a goose for dinner with homemade mince pie and Christmas cake. We got candy and oranges and a Santa Claus stocking as well as gifts of clothing. One of the nicest gifts I received was an Eaton Beauty Doll and a go-cart for it. It had a sad and tragic ending. I forgot and left it in our lane and the horses wrecked them. My mother was provoked with me and I can remember her saying, ‘You’ll never get another’ and I didn’t…”

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