By Patti Franklin Carter
The Norman Transcript
NORMAN — Editor’s note: The following story was submitted to the Transcript’s annual Christmas story contest.
If you’re old enough to remember the 1930s you remember no jobs, very little food, little to wear and hardly any money. We struggled like most families, but mom was good at making do with the little we had to ensure our survival. My mom was especially good at needlework so she either occasionally made us a new feed sack dress or she refurbished my older sisters hand-me-downs for my younger sister, Nancy, and I.
When I was 6 years old, our older sister Maxime was taking home economics at the University of Oklahoma. Her sewing project was to make a winter garment for a child. She and a friend decided to make coats for Nancy and I. My very first coat all to myself. They finished the coats just in time for Christmas. We had one of those rare white Christmases. The snow was so deep it was above the bottom of my coat.
The first outing I went on in my new coat was walking over to the state hospital to view the live Nativity scene that was surrounded by beautiful Christmas lights. This was a tradition that they used to present every year in Norman. Our two older brothers, James and Kelly, shook the tree limbs so snow fell on us as we walked under the trees. I was not happy getting my new coat wet, but it was such a fun time for the whole family.
Though the family talked about the cold, I never felt warmer or more beautiful than when I wore my wonderful red princess-style coat. Many times I would go to sleep in it and mom would take it off once I fell asleep. It still gives me a warm feeling today just to think about it. In those days there was so little to feel good about, but I had a beautiful, warm, red coat that made me feel like a millionaire.
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