Old Photos: Old-Timey Christmas

Christmas is a very nostalgic holiday, probably more so than any other. It’s the time when people realize that another year is left behind, kids have grown older and now want an iPhone instead of a barbie, and everyone else is sporting more and more gray hairs. People remember their own childhoods, old presents, relatives who are now gone, and the time when Christmas dinner meant killing your own goose.

These photos were taken in Neosho Rapids,KS in 1945.

Son watching James F. Irwin (R) selecting a goose for an early Christmas dinner to celebrate safe return of sons and sons-in-law from WW II. © Time Inc. Myron Davis

Son watching James F. Irwin (R) selecting a goose for an early Christmas dinner to celebrate safe return of sons and sons-in-law from WW II. © Time Inc. Myron Davis

Family members watching James F. Irwin (C) killing a goose for an early Christmas dinner to celebrate safe return of sons and sons-in-law from WW II.© Time Inc. Myron Davis

Family members watching James F. Irwin (C) killing a goose for an early Christmas dinner to celebrate safe return of sons and sons-in-law from WW II.© Time Inc. Myron Davis

James F. Irwin (R), his wife and son preparing a goose for an early Christmas dinner to celebrate safe return of sons and sons-in-law from WW II.© Time Inc. Myron Davis

James F. Irwin (R), his wife and son preparing a goose for an early Christmas dinner to celebrate safe return of sons and sons-in-law from WW II.© Time Inc. Myron Davis

Mrs. James Ferdinand Irwin (2L) standing on porch watching the men in her family, most recently returned fr. service in WWII, carrying home freshly shot rabbits and a cedar tree for Christmas family reunion.© Time Inc. Myron Davis

Mrs. James Ferdinand Irwin (2L) standing on porch watching the men in her family, most recently returned fr. service in WWII, carrying home freshly shot rabbits and a cedar tree for Christmas family reunion.© Time Inc. Myron Davis

Mrs. James Ferdinand Irwin in kitchen preparing stuffed goose for Christmas dinner that marks the first family reunion in years w. her sons safely returned fr. WWII.© Time Inc. Myron Davis

Mrs. James Ferdinand Irwin in kitchen preparing stuffed goose for Christmas dinner that marks the first family reunion in years with her sons safely returned from WWII.© Time Inc. Myron Davis

Members of farmer James Ferdinand Irwins family trimming native cedar Christmas tree in living room during family reunion and early Christmas celebration marking the return of Irwins sons and sons-in-law fr. service in WWII.© Time Inc. Myron Davis

Members of farmer James Ferdinand Irwin’s family trimming native cedar Christmas tree in living room during family reunion and early Christmas celebration marking the return of Irwin’s sons and sons-in-law from service in WWII.© Time Inc. Myron Davis

Daughters of James Ferdinand Irwin bottle-feeding their babies at Christmas family reunion celebration marking the return of Irwins sons from service in WWII, L-R: Jeanne Haney & son Joe, Myra Lee Love & son John, Betty Roush and her daughters Julia Ann.© Time Inc. Myron Davis

Daughters of James Ferdinand Irwin bottle-feeding their babies at Christmas family reunion celebration marking the return of Irwin’s sons fr. service in WWII, L-R: Jeanne Haney & son Joe, Myra Lee Love & son John, Betty Roush and her daughter Julia Ann.© Time Inc. Myron Davis

James Ferdinand Irwin family sitting around table having Christmas dinner, their young men safely returned fr. WWII, (clockwise fr. L) Fred Andrews, Mr. Irwin, Jim, unident., Jeanne, Joe, Levern Love, Myra Lee, Jack, unident., Mrs. Irwin Scotty, and 2 un.ident.© Time Inc. Myron Davis

James Ferdinand Irwin family sitting around table having Christmas dinner, their young men safely returned fr. WWII, (clockwise fr. L) Fred Andrews, Mr. Irwin, Jim, Jeanne, Joe, Levern Love, Myra Lee, Jack, Mrs. Irwin.© Time Inc. Myron Davis

James Ferdinand Irwins family singing carols at early family reunion Christmas celebration marking safe return of sons fr. WWII (L-R) Mr. Irwin, Scotty, Carolyn, Betty Roush, Jim, Myra Lee Love, Jack, Jeanne Haney, Mrs. Irwin, Jeff Haney, Levern Love, I.I. ris Beth Love.© Time Inc. Myron Davis

James Ferdinand Irwin’s family singing carols at early family reunion Christmas celebration marking safe return of sons fr. WWII (L-R) Mr. Irwin, Scotty, Carolyn, Betty Roush, Jim, Myra Lee Love, Jack, Jeanne Haney, Mrs. Irwin, Jeff Haney, Levern Love, Beth Love.© Time Inc. Myron Davis

Adult members of farmer James Ferdinand Irwins family gathered nr. tree watching his brother-in-law Fred Andrews (in Santa Claus costume) give presents to young family members at early Christmas family reunion marking safe return of sons fr. service in .WWII.© Time Inc. Myron Davis

Adult members of farmer James Ferdinand Irwin’s family gathered near tree watching his brother-in-law Fred Andrews (in Santa Claus costume) give presents to young family members at early Christmas family reunion marking safe return of sons from service in WWII.© Time Inc. Myron Davis

Read the original Life Magazine article with more photos.

This story had a surprise ending.

  • http://donna-justme.blogspot.com/ Donna W

    Those are great, and could have been right out of my childhood (around 1950) except for killing the goose. We didn’t even have turkey back then, that I recall. Sometimes a beef roast, always chicken and noodles.

  • I travel for JOOLS

    Very nostalgic. I liked the pic of the women lined up on the couch with their babies. Lotsa lovin going on back then.

  • http://averagejane.blogs.com Average Jane

    My stepmother just asked last night how we’d feel about having a goose for Christmas Eve dinner. I’m excited at the prospect because I realized I’ve never had goose before. Obviously nobody we know will have to kill it – it’ll come from McGonigle’s, I’m sure.

  • http://kcmeesha.com m.v.

    I had duck many times not sure how it’s different from goose. I am not a fan of turkey so any substitution is good.

  • John

    I’m John, the center baby in the 7th photo. Everyone in the photo is still living. Betty, the lady on the right, turned 90 this year.