“Dear Grace, –
I will write you a few lines and tell you what I got Christmas. I got a lovely doll, a pair of kid gloves, a new dress, a paper knife, two St. Nicholas, a little wine glass, a book with scenes in it, a cup and saucer, some candy, some money, three handkerchief, a pretty card, a little writing desk to hold in my lap, a bureau sachet, a nice collar, some tooth powder, a little fancy basket, a red plush work box a box of stationary and in my work box there was a little New Year Card and in the inside there was a very pretty little calender and it folded up, it was real pretty. Inez has got well of diphtheria and now I have been sick, when are you coming to see us again, you and all the rest of the folks? We are going to have a musical here Friday night and have singing and playing we have a boarder and there is going to be others. Excuse this very poor writing if you can read some of it you will do well. Answer this letter as soon as you can.
“The boarder” was distant cousin Willis Ross who lived with Edith’s family several years until he married Anne Goulding in 1894 and set up a household of his own. Willis and Annie Ross had two sons and Willis had a career as a lawyer and judge in Rutland County. Willis Ross and Edward V. Ross were both members of the Mason Society and assisted with the construction financing of the Mason building in downtown Rutland. Their names can be found in several stain glass window arrangements still in the Mason building.
“Inez” was Edith’s younger red haired sister who was seven years old at this Christmas Edith writes of. Inez died at the age of eight of complications from diabetes. Edith and her mother made a habit to visit her gravesite in Poultney, Vermont every July 29th on what would have been her birthday.
“The Paper Knife” may or not be this particular paper knife a.k.a letter opener that I received years ago.
The “two St. Nicholas” may be these magazine/bound volumes. I don’t have these unfortunately.
In the Spirit of Christmases past, watch Georges Méliès short film from 1900 “Rêve De Noel” [The Christmas Dream]. AND if you haven’t seen the movie “Hugo” released in 2011, do yourself a Christmas favor and see it!