The sisters first Christmas, 50 years ago.
Patty and Debbie became sisters on Nov 6, 1966 but they did not meet until Dec 21, 1966.
Patty was almost 2 1/2 when Debbie was born. Deb, who was due the end of December arrived 7 weeks early and didn’t come home from the hospital until Dec 21, the first day of winter, 1966.
As you can see from the picture Patty was delighted and happy to be a big sister. Debbie, I’m sure was happy to finally be home.
Patty was a terrific big sister right from the beginning. She helped me take care of Debbie and when I would give Deb her bottle Patty and her new dolly would join us. Her doll was almost the same size as Deb, Debbie had been only 3 lbs when she was born and had to be 5 lbs before she could come home… so yes, she and the doll were almost the same size.
Since it was so close to Christmas when Deb came home I wanted her to be a surprise to her grandparents when they arrived on Christmas morning. Patty was under instructions from Santa Claus not to tell anyone that her new sister was home, and since the request was coming from the big guy himself she didn’t utter a word to anyone.
However… my mother called one evening and just at that moment Debbie, who was in the same room with me, began to cry. Oh oh. My mother asked if that was a baby and I said no. She said she didn’t believe me. She asked again… ‘is that baby home from the hospital?’ I said yes but that I had wanted to keep her a surprise until Christmas. My mother kept her composure but I could hear the crack in her voice when said how happy she was but that we shouldn’t tell my father… let him be surprised on Christmas morning.
So Christmas morning arrived, along with a 24 hour stomach bug which hit me pretty hard. I managed to get out of bed long enough to greet my parents at the door. Patty was all bubbly and happy to see her grandparents and they were showering her with plenty of attention.
Then my dad glanced at the tree. He looked closer. I could see his eyes moisten when he realized that the baby in the baby carrier under the tree was NOT a doll but his new granddaughter Debbie. My dad wasn’t one to let his emotions out or show on his face… but he did that morning.
It was definitely a very merry, happy and blessed Christmas that year.
Christmas morning 6 years later in 1972, my favorite Christmas picture of Patty and Debbie…
Christmas over the years…