#50 in 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks is “naughty.” Naughty would ordinarily signal black sheep in the family and I’ve already written about several of those so I’ve decided to floow a different – holiday – path.
At Christmas time, “naughty” is paired with “nice” and it is probably a parent’s most often-used set of words to keep little kids in line as Christmas draws near, followed by “lump of coal.”
Most kids today wouldn’t have any idea what a lump of coal looks like. I guess I’m showing my age, but I’m not THAT old. Even when I was little, nobody in my neighborhood used coal to heat their houses. However, it was a serious threat at Christmas time!
Since “naughty and nice” applied to young children and I haven’t written any posts strictly on the topic of children, I’m going to share photos of generations of babies and young children, who like me, grew up knowing that Santa would know!
The first photo is of my brother, Mike, and me, and it looks like we even got gifts on the spot. I guess we were both in the “nice” group.
I have no photos of either of my parents as children at Christmas time, but I do have some when they were little. They were both definitely at the age where they would be told to not be so naughty!
Dad George, aged about 2 and Mom Doris (left), aged about 4
I have no photos whatsoever of my paternal grandparents when they were small children or of their parents. My grandfather’s family didn’t have the money for children’s photos and I doubt there was any photographer near the village where my grandmother grew up in Slovakia.
I also don’t have any of my maternal grandmother, Hazel, which I think is strange, because her father’s family definitely had pictures taken of themselves.
First, here is my grandfather, Vernon Adams, with a friend, probably in Calais, Maine in the summertime:
Grandfather Vernon, left, with friend, c1910
Vernon’s father was Charles Adams. Charles had only one sibling, sister Pearl, and there was a ten year gap between them. Here is Charles with his baby sister:
Charles and Pearl Adams, c1890
The oldest childhood photo I own is one taken of Hazel’s father, my great grandfather Hartwell Thomas Coleman. I have several other photos of the Coleman family in the 1800’s, but none of his siblings. I wonder if this baby picture was taken because he was the baby of the family:
All these other generations before me did live in homes heated with coal and I’m sure they all heard the Santa threat. I’d love to step back in time to find out if any of them actually ever received a lump of coal in their stockings!