This picture contains two of our long standing Christmas traditions; a box of Whitman's Sampler chocolates and four little candle holders spelling out NOEL. I'm quite sure that I gave Elaine a box of Whitman's for Christmas in 1947. By the next Christmas, I gave her an engagement ring. It is in that empty box that Elaine kept the letters that I wrote to her during our courtship. There has probably been a box of Whitman's candy in our house every Christmas since. For years it was a 1-pound box or even a 5-pound box when the kids were all home. This year the contents weighed 12-oz. but the size of the box nor the love it expresses never changed.
The little candle holders came into our collection along with our four children. I don't know when it started or who the culprit may have been, but invariably, the letters would be switched around to spell LEON. I'm sure all 4 of them were guilty of making the switch sometime while they were at home. If any of he boys were here this year, the switch would probably occur. In fact, I'm a little surprised it didn't happen this afternoon when Carolyn and Julie were over for a short visit.