Sunday, December 11, 2011

Paper Soldiers

Soldiers 88_edited-1 

It was a rare treat to go to Grandma and Grandpa Smith’s house for Christmas that year…

Sweet brothers--Grant & Clayn Smith {my dear Dad—Clayn, on the left, his big brother, Grant, by his side}

But even though Grandma & Grandpa lived in Snowflake, Arizona, there was no snow that year…and no money, either.

Soldiers 33_edited-1

It was 1942.  The War was on, and money was tight for everyone.  Little boys aren’t always aware of those things, though…

Early on Christmas morning, 5-year old Clayn and his big brother Grant ran to the lovingly decorated Christmas tree—eager to find the treasures they just knew Santa Claus had brought in the night….

Soldiers 44_edited-1

They found only one gift each—cardboard soldiers.  Sheets of soldiers to punch out and play with…that was it…

And they were thrilled!

soldiers 22_edited-1 {I found these soldier images on line from someone’s collection.  While they may not be the same set Dad had that Christmas, they’re pretty close, he said!}

The two boys punched out, set up and played with their brand-new soldiers all that Christmas day.  All around the house, upstairs and down—finding new rooms to conquer, new strategies to try…

The forbidden-to-little-boys ladder in the kitchen up to the attic was much too tempting for those two that magical day…and up they went…

Soldiers 66_edited-1 {another wonderful find from the world of Tim Holtz.  I just bought these metal tags on Monday with no thought of what I would use them for…fate was kind!}

Battle was interrupted, however, when they were discovered & brought down with a softer-than-usual reprimand, I’m sure—it was Christmas Day, after all!

All the day long they played…the two brothers together…

Soldiers 55_edited-1 {Clayn & Grant standing at attention on their grandparents front porch steps—so glad they were thoughtful enough to pose so appropriately for me so long ago!}

“You know”, my Dad told me last night, “I think that was just about the greatest Christmas I can remember…”

A new page made today for my heritage scrapbook.  How wonderful it was to hear the joy in my Dad’s voice as he thought  back to that Christmas so long ago…

Soldiers 11_edited-1 {no fancy stuff this time—glitter, seam binding bows & such things have no place with boys and soldiers!}

Little boys and paper soldiers. The magic of Christmas, it would seem, doesn’t require too much after all, does it?

See you soon with something new…

Soldiers 77_edited-1 {a single, perfectly perfect & very old button from my stash}

Julie