• 64°
Hartselle Enquirer
Clif Knight

A glimpse of Christmas 

By Clif Knight 

Have you noticed it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas in Hartselle? 

Driving through downtown on Main Street late Saturday night was a pre-holiday eye-opener for me. Everywhere I looked, holiday trappings looked back. Lampposts were decorated in their lighted Christmas characters; storefronts were decked out in colorful lighted Christmas trees; and picture windows were populated with wrapped gift boxes.  

No doubt, shopkeepers stayed busy throughout the day displaying merchandise for early holiday shoppers, and families were making plans to decorate their homes and grounds in keeping with the festive holiday season. 

Looking back on Christmases past, I was reminded of how much the Christmas season has changed since I was a boy in the 1930s and 1940s. 

The lifestyle of our growing farm family was about the same in January as it was in December. Since we were sharecroppers, money was always scarce. Most of the family’s income came from a two-thirds share of our cotton crop.  

During the Great Depression, my father supplemented our income in the winter months by chopping wood for $1 a day. 

The Christmas season was downplayed as far as gifts for me, an older sister and two younger brothers were concerned. However, we wore out the pages of a Sears & Roebuck Christmas catalog looking at pictures of the toys and making our own gift wish lists.  

The gifts we had under the Christmas tree seldom lived up to our highest expectations; however, we were always thankful for the small, inexpensive presents we received, along with a handful of fruit, nuts and candy. 

Christmas during the World War II years was even more disappointing for most families and their children. Many staple consumer products, including sugar, leather, metal and gasoline, were rationed in support of the war effort. Wood replaced metal in the manufacture of toys, and sorghum syrup or honey replaced sugar in the making of candy. 

The stores in my hometown didn’t put up Christmas trees or display toys and other gift items until after Thanksgiving Day. Most families waited until the weekend before Christmas to put up and decorate a tree. 

The main focus of the holiday was on the birth of Jesus Christ. Most rural families were involved in regular worship at a community church and gave strong support to activities related to the birth of the Christ child.   

  

  

  

News

Christmas in the Park enjoyed in Falkville despite rain

News

Somerville woman arrested after threat made in Priceville

News

Officials: Escaped Morgan inmate apparently caused his own death

News

Majority leader Stadthagen sees strength in election of 26 republican legislators

News

Lacey’s Spring community fighting proposed rock quarry

News

Hartselle students participate in character expo

News

Authorities: Gifts in unlocked cars a tempting target so take preventive measures

At a Glance

Three arrested for theft of vehicle in Hartselle

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Annual Christmas parade to be held Thursday  

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Some concerned over new Hartselle superintendent hire  

At a Glance

Town of Falkville to hold Christmas in the Park Sunday

At a Glance

Hartselle Holiday Market returns Saturday

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Old Hartselle post office to become event center, new home for chamber  

At a Glance

‘Have a Hart’ information session to be held Dec. 2

Morgan County

Future leader

News

Alabama DHR accepting applications for next round of child care bonuses 

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Spirit of Thanksgiving: Volunteers deliver 266 food bags on holiday for Meals on Wheels  

At a Glance

Morgan County Sheriff’s Office to let citizens behind the scenes with academy  

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Winter window wonderland  

At a Glance

Council to interview candidates for Parks and Rec director job  

Hartselle

Live nativity scene returns to First Christian Dec. 7-10

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Local church prepares 400 Thanksgiving meals

News

HIS students help clean up effort at Mt. Tabor Cemetery 

News

Lovely landscape

x