Depression Era: Mother Made Christmas Gifts From Used Coats

Nebraska woman recalls a depression era story about a woman who worked hard to make her family nice, new coats from used coats for Christmas.

| Good Old Days

I know a depression era Christmas story about a family with three children who bought a section of pasture land and started in the cattle business. The Mother got together a bunch of used coats from relatives and started on a big project to cut patterns and sew coats to warm the three children for going to church and school. It was a struggle using her old sewing machine to sew through heavy seams and really have the garments to look neat for special Christmas gifts for the boy and two girls. Then on Christmas Eve, the husband presented his wife with a brand new sewing machine, (he had sold a couple of cows) and his wife sat down and cried! How she would have really appreciated his gift a few weeks earlier!

Dorothy Carmann
Riverdale, Nebraska

Back in 1955 a call went out from the editors of the then Capper’s Weekly asking for readers to send in articles on true pioneers. Hundreds of letters came pouring in from early settlers and their children, many now in their 80s and 90s, and from grandchildren of settlers, all with tales to tell. So many articles were received that a decision was made to create a book, and in 1956, the first My Folks title – My Folks Came in a Covered Wagon – hit the shelves. Nine other books have since been published in the My Folks series, all filled to the brim with true tales from Capper’s readers, and we are proud to make those stories available to our growing online community. 


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