My mom and I were poor when I was young. I remember once when my father gave her ten dollars(he owed thousands), she cried. She worked two jobs to support us and I sold donuts in the neighborhood (I made 25 cents for every box sold).
We didn’t have a car, but we had each other. The divorce was tough on mom and on me. The stigma of a divorced woman back in the early 50’s is so much different than today.
If I wanted to see a movie I would go downtown on Saturdays, catch a serial, a feature for free. I would walk home to save the 25 cents for the bus ride. The walk was about eight miles one way.
The point is, Christmas was an imposing time for us. How could we have money for Christmas. Well mom had an idea. She bought us a red plaster pig and we would put pennies into it. As Christmas would near, the pig would divulge its contents and that would be our Christmas. I know this pig holds about 30-35 dollars in pennies. I would get 1/2 of the money and mom would get 1/2 and off we would go to buy our presents. A person can get a lot for 15 dollars if they are careful, pencils, papers, some board games, a few books, some toys could all be purchased for less than 15 dollars. I would buy mom some costume jewelry, perfume and maybe a teddy bear.
No we didn’t have expensive gifts, but we had ourselves a wonderful Christmas each year thanks to our special pig (which I still have).
B. J. Cassady