Part of the USA Today Network

Memories of Christmas 1955

From Left to Right, the brothers Stanley, Stephen and Luther Smith playing with Toys during Christmas Morning 1955 at 2150 South Queen Street in York Township (Photo Collection of Stephen H. Smith)

This photo is from Christmas morning during 1955 at the Harold & Esther Smith home at 2150 South Queen Street in York Township.  During that Christmas, I (Stephen, in the center) was 6-years-old; my brothers Stanley (at left) was 4-years-old and Luther (at right) was 3-years-old.  We also had a sister Deb, who was 1-year-old at the time.

I selected memories of Christmas 1955 for this post, since my memory is reasonable from about the age of five or six-years-old and onward.  Prior to five, I generally need a photo or a memory by someone else to bring forth something from my own memory.  There is also something in this 1955 photo that holds a special memory for me.


Up until 1955, our primary Christmas tree at our home along South Queen Street in York Township had always been located in our Living Room Bay Window.  During 1955 the Bay Window was filled with a cotton wrapped tree branch to create the type of enchanting Christmas display traditionally done by my Grandparents.

The primary Christmas tree was moved downstairs into a corner of the basement recreation room on a plywood platform.  Someone gave Dad an old Lionel Train set, which we set up to run around the tree; we even made a box tunnel for the train to run through.  We were instructed to get into the habit of parking the locomotive in the tunnel.

Christmas morning, the photo shows us in our white pajamas playing with the fire truck that was for all the boys.  We also got a surprise when we got around to running the train that morning; out from the tunnel emerged a brand new Lionel locomotive that had an operating headlight and puffed smoke.

Nevertheless when I look at this photo, my most precious memory concerns the picket fence around the train layout.  Dad had me help in building three of the sections of the fence along the one side.  After he cut the wood pieces for the three sections along the other side, Dad told me that it was mine to finish.

Dad told me to ask him if I had any questions.  I’m proud to say that I assembled, painted and installed the remaining three sections of the picket fence by myself; Dad was a good teacher.

Posts of other Christmas memories include:

Reading the Headlines: A Quick Index to All YorksPast Posts