BY-WAYS - 12/18/39 - Christmas Eavesdropping

Oh, to go out into the by ways this Sunday afternoon, and see if the Christmas Spirit is getting to his good work! You can't help but have the Christmas spirit when you have your family about you; healthy, happy, with plenty of food, warm clothing, and the ordinary luxuries of life. But what of the under-privileged - the hungry - the desolate. This big city has, unhappily, so many of the latter. At Christmas time the love of one's fellow man does find its way into human hearts; Cleveland is resolved that on Christmas Day no one goes hungry or forsaken... and that every child shall receive a gift, as a token of God's supreme gift to us on Christmas Day. Virgil Jr. is all a glow because, as treasurer of his Sunday School class, he is chosen to go shopping with his teacher next Saturday. Their class is taking care of a colored family for Christmas - a mother and eight children, whose father has deserted them. The experience of brightening their Christmas will be worth relating, I believe.***

Here is a typical pre-Christmas scene, in the average American home, as overheard by your reporter yesterday afternoon:

Estelle: "Mother, can I take some of your Christmas cards?" (The chiseler! She has her own Christmas money).
Virgil Jr.: "How do you like these garters for Dad?"
M.: "Just fine."
Charlie: "The 5 & 10 had ten-cent ones; but phooey on them! We paid a quarter for these."

Virgil smuggles in a package - a gift to Charlie - which, as usual, is a dandy game for both boys. Boys debate about whether to spend all their money on relatives, or hold out on them a little, and take in a basket ball game. Estelle, writing notices for the S.S. Christmas party, calls out: "Mother-er-r,' How do you spell dessert? The kind you eat? Charlie gets out clarinet, "Come on, Son, let's work up a duet for Christmas Eve." Older brother condescends; gets out flute with the air of a virtuoso. They try, "O, Come, All Ye Faithful." It's lovely - until Virgil forgets to flat his B. Then Charlie, newcomer to the clarinet, gets carried away with the wonder of it all, blows too hard, and ends with a squeak.

Estelle: Mother-er-r! I can't concentrate with that noise. (Musicians pay no attention).
Virgil: "Let's try "Silent Night.'"
Charlie: "Let's try silent flute."
Virgil: (With rightuous indignation). "You're not so hot yourself."

And now it's mail time. The typewriter went on a strike - objected to such foolishness - and now I must stop. Let's hope next Friday is not too cold - for I'll have to sit out on the porch and watch for the postman, so that the children don't get hold of the Saltsburg Press. With heartiest wishes to you all for a lovely Christmas, I am,

Joyfully yours,
Florence B. Taylor
4501 Lilac Road, South Euclid, O.

Next -Aunt Daisy and the Christmas Chicken