Christmas in the 1950s

Miracle on 34th Street.jpg

Original poster for the 1947 Christmas comedy-drama film written and directed by George Seaton and based on a story by Valentine Davies

Seaton, George American screenwriter and director original name George Stenius April 17, 1911 South Bend, Indiana, U.S. July 28, 1979 Beverly Hills, California American screenwriter and film director who was perhaps best known for his work on Miracle on 34th Street (1947) and The Country Girl (1954), both of which earned him Academy Awards for best screenplay. The son of Swedish immigrants, raised in Detroit, got his breakthrough with the holiday classic about a young girl (Natalie Wood) who begins to believe that the elderly man (Edmund Gwenn in an Oscar-winning performance) hired to play Santa Claus at Macy’s department store might actually be St. Nick. After a jealous fellow employee frames him for an assault, Kringle is placed in a mental hospital. At the ensuing sanity hearing, Kringle and his attorney attempt to prove that he is indeed Santa Claus.

“Miracle On 34th Street” has always found a place of warmth in my soul. {121714 – Christmas In The 50s}

writes

As I see the downtown store scenes of Christmas shoppers in the movie, my mind drifts back to the days of my childhood. {121714 – Christmas In The 50s}

The actor John Johnson who played the official Santa Claus for St. Albans finds that Gwenn who starred in the 1947 holiday film classic, helped set the standard for what a movie Santa Claus is supposed to be. When we were children looking forward for the many presents we could find under the Christmas tree we nearly every year got to see a performance of a homespun Christmas Street with a group of neighbours smitten by sugar-plum dreams and equipped with lots of extension cords, Santas, Snoopys, and inflatable snowmen, nativity scenes and teddy bears, model trains and flashing rooftop sleighs. In several stage versions we got to see as a child the scoundrels were mad more obvious and there were more of them. Also according to the times and popularity of names, the names of some of the characters were adapted to be more contemporary and to find more recognisable characters.

Some of our friends had lost their dad in the war and others had their parents working so hard that they had not so much time for their kids. also the writer of 121714 – Christmas In The 50s

Here in Belgium in front of nearly every big store there were Christmas singers for a good cause and the Salvation Army was unmistakably part of the Christmas Season picture.  In town you could not pass one shopping street without finding a Salvation Army band singing carols, around their little ‘fire’.

At that time the shops were still so incredibly decorated we just went to gaze in front of the shopwindows for all the magic bringing us into many special Christmas dreams. Everywhere you could feel the special spirit and people seemed much more friendly than the rest of the year.

Global warming had not reached us and we still could find real Winters with freezing cold days, having people to warm themselves very warm.

We at home having one of the first television had that extra dimension in the holiday period able to see the Christmas specials in the salon, after we had spend hours of reading in the library of the house and having had nice Christmas sweets in the lounge and some interesting chats in the parlour.

The writer of

The Christmas window displays seen in the film were originally made by Steiff for Macy’s. Macy’s later sold the window displays to FAO Schwarz in New York. FAO Schwarz then sold the windows to the Marshall & Ilsley Bank of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where they are on display every December in the bank’s lobby on North Water Street. {Miracle on 34th Street (in the United Kingdom first released as The Big Heart}

On the stage as well on the screen many versions saw the light and tried to bring some nice atmosphere in the Winter Holiday season. today there doe snot seem such a search for family warmth and ‘togetherness’ any more and the shops do not make so much work for decorating their shop-windows. In the shops and at the Christmas markets everything focusses on material gadgets and on alcoholic drinks, whilst non-peaceful music is yelling out of the loudspeakers. Though I must agree it sometimes was too much of having for weeks all those Christmas songs and jingle bells coming out our ears.😉

thinks rightly that many of our age have those “Miracle on 34th” times of Thanksgiving and Christmas memories neatly and protectively stored in the wonderful areas of our minds. He  writes

I can vividly remember how J.C. Penny looked on Broughton Street; Sears & Roebuck was actually located about a mile away. Lerner’s was a dress store, kind of high-end, that made me really think that I was in New York… I trust that you will always cherish those memories, just as I do.

Dotta Raphels remarks

America in her generous bid to be tolerant and welcoming, has completely lost the essence of benevolence. She has allowed tolerance not only consume and blind her, but now, the many she welcomed with open arms are threatening to usurp her original self and traits. I know this country has seen many ugly sides such as slavery and denigration of fellow man, I do not speak of these times or traits, but rather of true fellowship of his ways and words, and the freedom to practice so, without being labeled one ridiculous thing or the other.

What about these generosities be reverted and extended to the people of America who still have traditional values and beliefs, regardless of how politically incorrect some may view their take?
I have a different sort of memory myself growing up in Christmas times back in Nigeria. It was a period of joy and celebration for us. A time when parents travelled back with families from cities to small hometown and villages, so the extended kin can all gather to celebrate our Lord and gift.

Many kids got their very own new cloths or shoes for the first time that period because parents saw it as a good time to reach deep into very thin pockets to give as Christ gave to their kids.
Total strangers would give kids money or sweets, and families would invite strangers off the streets to sup or dine with them. It depicted true brotherhood and such were glory days.

Today, it’s completely different. There are rapes, murders, crime of all imaginable sorts, and small hometowns and villages now overrun with thuggery, kidnapping ,rage and you name it.
The utopia Christmas no longer exits, and kids are no longer happy with sweets, new clothes and shoes or a simple supper. Everyone wants a mac, kindle, I Phone 6 or tablet, …

People of faith and followers of Christ are made to feel inferior for having an opinion and the very government that should protect everyone’s right to free worship, is now the same stifling some who want to celebrate our Lord.
We don’t all have to believe in the same thing, but the founding fathers of these united states as many mistakes as they made, in my humble opinion got one thing right… That is stating firmly that In God We trust. America is not and will never be anything other than In God We trust. If only present people will allow us follow our oath.

 

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A fragment of the 1947 film with the little Dutch Girl and Mary Field as her Mother, where the child shows the true spirit of Christmas, to be with some one loved. After she tells the Santa she does not need anything else than to say with the nice lady she sings the Dutch Saint Nicholas song in Dutch “Sinterklaas kapoentje”

Miracle On 34th Street with Mary Field – 1947

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Miracle On 34th Street (1955 version)


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Preceding articles

The Proper Place of Excess

Looking for the consummation of presents

One can buy a lot in the supermarket, but not hope

Solstice, Saturnalia and Christmas-stress

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Additional reading

Change

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Further reading

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5 Comments

Filed under Fiction, History, Lifestyle, Social affairs, Video, Welfare matters

5 responses to “Christmas in the 1950s

  1. The way that you highlighted certain parts of my post, “Christmas In The 1950s,” was very warm and touching to my heart. As I read your post, of my post, emotions were about to draw tears; thoughts of my boyhood emerged again; an appreciation for the more important times of my life was high-lighted; my soul was flooded with thoughts of the love that my mother had for my brother, sister and me. Thank you for the blessing that you provided for me, and for others too.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Thank you for your like of my comment. Please have a blessed day in Jesus.

    Like

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