What was under the Christmas tree for a good little girl back in the 1950s?
I believe I can answer that. I still have some of my old toys that I received as Christmas presents over 55 years ago. Yesterday I gathered them together and arranged them around the Christmas trees in our basement.
The whistling top is one of the first toys I can remember. It is a little rusty now but it still works fine. A chalkboard with the alphabet and numbers was also a gift years ago.
The clucking chicken was a pull toy. I showed it to Chloe a few weeks ago and she didn’t quite know what to make of it. One year I received a set of small metal luggage, shown to the left of the chicken.
I received the little metal stove for Christmas when we lived in the house across the road from where I grew up. That would have been before 1959. The stove has an electrical cord and the little oven really worked. It came with tiny cake pans and tiny packages of cake mix. What fun! The little iron sitting on the stove is also electric. I have a little ironing board, too, somewhere… I don’t remember using the iron so I don’t remember if it got very hot.
Can you imagine a small electric stove or an electric iron for a child today? Electricity with sharp metal corners to boot! We have rules and regulations against that sort of thing today. Somehow we survived those dangerous toys of the 50s. I received some other domestic toys, too–a small mop and broom.
In the back of the top photo, standing in my old doll buggy, is Betty the Beautiful Bride. One year I wanted a bride doll more than anything and I received Betty for Christmas. She was truly beautiful in her satin and lace gown. Her box describes the doll as Betty—the Beautiful Bride with the most exquisite bridal gown ever made! Soft all-rubber body; Washable rooted hair. Comb it! Brush it! Curl it! Complete with bridal bouquet, colorful wall plaque, Bing Crosby’s recording “Because.” Unbreakable from head to toe.2 ½ feet tall.
Except for her yellowed gown, Betty looks just like new because I was not allowed to play with her. She was always stored high in my closet, safe in her box.
I did play with my Saucy Walker doll, however. She was a walking doll who turned her head as she walked. She still looks good and is dressed in her original dress. I believe she may have had braids at one time–before I decided she would look better in a ponytail.
One of my very favorite toys was Matt Dillon on his horse. I loved horses when I was a child and I unsaddled and re-saddled that horse over and over. The pair is in good condition and Matt still has his hat and gun, like a good lawman should.
Over the years I received several other boy-type toys, which I no longer have. I remember getting a cap gun and holster and a remote control police car.
I received the pink doll cradle from my great-aunt Clara (Miller) Reef. Clara was my grandpa Miller’s sister and she lived down the road from us.
Grandma Schumm gave me the Monopoly game one year and the Bird Fun game was a gift from my parents. Bird Fun was a game I could play by myself. The idea was to put the correct bird head on the correct bird body. The names of all the birds were included, too. I enjoyed the simple game and I learned my birds from it. Perhaps that game sparked my interest in birds, which I still have today.
I ventured up to the attic to get a photo of my old doll house and barn. I still have most of the plastic furniture that came with the doll house. At one time I had a lot of animals and fencing to go with the barn, but those are long gone.
I probably have a few more old toys stashed around here. I know my old Viewmaster-type stereo viewer is still around here. Maybe it is stored away with my little ironing board.
Those were the good old days, with classic toys, where you could use your imagination.
After Christmas I’ll put my toys away again.