L-R: Maud Hart Lovelace, Merian Lovelace and Stella Hart, ca. 1933. (Courtesy of the Estate of Merian Kirchner)

L-R: Maud Hart Lovelace, Merian Lovelace and Stella Hart, ca. 1933. (Photo courtesy of the Estate of Merian Kirchner)

The following was written by Merian Kirchner (daughter of Maud & Delos Lovelace) for the 1992 Betsy-Tacy Society newsletter.

I can tell you about our Lovelace family Christmas tree. It was always beautiful and I imagine some of the ornaments came from Minneapolis and before that, Mankato. They were mostly the classic blown glass kind, red and green and blue and white and silver and gold. Balls of all sizes, of course, and all kinds of other shapes and designs…Santa and bells and pinecones and houses and lanterns and musical instruments and birds, and, and, and!

When Bert and I got married, we started our own collection, all gold and silver and white, because that was what his family had in Germany and I wanted to keep the Kirchner traditions as well as Lovelace ones. Along the way, we acquired just two Lovelace ornaments, I can’t remember how. A little silver house with colored windows, and a beautiful red and blue bird with a horsehair tail. The bird is our tree top ornament, because we never found an angel or a star that seemed quite right for the top.

Betsy-Tacy people may be pleased to know that our Lovelace Christmases were very Hart/Rayish. We read about the Cratchits’ Christmas dinner, and The Night Before Christmas, and the birth of Jesus from the book of Luke, and Grandma Stella (who came to live with us when I was about four) played the piano for carols.

We had oyster stew for supper on Christmas Eve, and sausages for breakfast on Christmas morning, and turkey with all the trimmings for Christmas dinner, followed in the evening by turkey sandwiches with cold stuffing on them.

Just like the Rays on High Street, we split up for church after we opened our presents on Christmas morning – Baptist for Stella, Episcopal for Maud and Delos and Merian.

Our tree never went up until the 24th. When I was very small, Maud and Delos trimmed it after I went to bed and I didn’t see it until Christmas morning. But even after I was old enough to help, and knew for sure that there really was a tree waiting in the living room, coming downstairs in the morning was magic. The colored lights were reflected on the ceiling, mingled and softened to near pastel, and that pool of blue and green and rose was the first thing I saw.

In this Christmastide, I’m wishing with Tiny Tim: God bless us every one!

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