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The stove in Betsy’s back parlor awaits the hanging of the Christmas stockings on Christmas Eve. A view of the front parlor can be seen on the right and a portion of the dining room is seen on the left.

The stockings were hung around the hard-coal heater. Mr. and Mrs. Ray and Rena all hung stockings too. In some families, Betsy had heard, only children hung stockings. But it was not so in the Ray house. Mr. Ray complained about the smallness of his sock.

The lamps were turned low and they scurried around in the dimness putting presents into one another’s stockings. One could not avoid seeing knobby bundles being stuffed into one’s own stocking. (Quote from Betsy and Tacy Go Downtown by Maud Hart Lovelace)

There were always joke presents in the Rays’ Christmas stockings. Every year Mrs. Ray received an onion, tastefully wrapped, with a card from one Henry Tucker, who had once been her beau. The writing always looked like Mr. Ray’s. Julia’s old beaus sent onions, too, and Mr. Ray was often presented with a worn-out boot or shoe from Helmus Hanson, who ran the rival shoe store. Anna got chunks of coal from Charlie. Empty salmon cans from Washington, old bones from Abie bulged in Margaret’s black-ribbed stockings. This gave flavor to Christmas morning quite different from Christmas Eve which was solemn and beautiful. (Quote from Betsy Was a Junior by Maud Hart Lovelace)

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