Baby's first Christmas
Written by Catherine E. Park in Robert Park's baby book

Robert enjoyed his first Christmas very much in spite of a slight cold. He took delight in gazing at the brightly decorated tree and showed an eager desire to seize any ornament within reach - or almost within reach.

Grandfather, Grandmother, Aunt Evelyn, and Aunt Alice, and Uncle Wesley were all here at the Brownsville home for part of Christmas Day. What lusty carol singing we had at prayer time that morning. Singing praises to the new-born King seemed to have a new and beautiful significance to Mother as she held her first "Christmas baby" in her arms.* After Grandfather read the lovely Christmas story and led us in prayer, Daddy unloaded the tree. Robert had already received nuts, an orange, and (for a joke) a pair of rubbers that once belonged to Betty or Douglas, or both, also a big green balloon. These gifts had been in or about his little lustrous white stocking that morning, as it hung from the mantel between Betty's and Douglas's. From the tree the young man received a nice blue wool suit from his Leonard grandparents, a little teddy bear from Douglas, a green trimmed oiled silk bib from Betty, a yellow-trimmed roaster bib from Bonnie, a tiny bugle whistle from Aunt Leta, a pink squeaking rattle doll from Ethel Armstrong, and an Air Force Dolly from Muriel Hansberger. A pair of brown stockings from Gordon arrived the next Sunday and a bonnet and ball came from Uncle Etheridge in Winnipeg.

Robert looked up in such a shy, pleased way when he found he could squeak his pink squeaky doll by squeezing it.

* (Catherine's first child, Winnifred, born April 6, 1938, died on Dec. 3 of that year.)

Dec. 25, 1940
(Rear, left to rt.) Wilford, Evelyn Leonard, Grandfather Leonard, Alice Leonard, Grandmother Leonard, Wesley Leonard; (middle) Betty and Douglas; (front) Robert and Catherine
Dec 25/40