This is an excerpt of a letter from Esther Lee Richardson Talbott of Halifax Co, VA to her mother Hattie Richardson of Pittsylvania Co, Va dated "Xmas 1923". Esther Lee was a prolific writer and I have tried to stay as true to her actual writing as possible. Some words were difficult to decipher and punctuation was virtually non-existent. I have added the punctuation in the transcript below to aid the reader.
Dear Mama and all
I will write you a few lines while everything is quiet and Garnett [her youngest son] is working on a bottle of milk. As usual as mean as ever.
This house is making it very well lots better than expected at Xmas time, but it has been so pretty and warm the children stay out of doors in the warm sun and play a lot. Charlie [Talbott] and family came Sun and [are] here now. The[Their] children and mine play together real good. I don't do much cooking and that ain't but twice a day so I ain't hurting myself at work.
You aught to have been here Xmas morning to seen the kids. Santa Claus brought Elma and R [Ruth] a doll with hair on its head and C [Crafton--my grandfather] a cap pistol, candy, nuts, apples, sugar plums, oranges, bananas, chewing gum. They got up at 3 o'clock. They had some time. E and R [Elma and Ruth] have done pulled their dolls to pieces. First thing they wanted to do was to comb there hair. Boss carried them up to the school house last night to the Sun school Xmas tree. Each scholar got 2 presents. E and R got a little suit case, a picture book , a sack full of sugar plums and candy and a large apple a piece. C [Crafton] got 2 sacks of candy suit case and drawing book and large apple. They are some proud kids. I wish you could have been here and seen Elma tell how Santa Claus looked. She would make a monkey laugh. M got a picture in a little frame and sack of candy and apple.....
Love to all. Hope you all will have a nice Xmas
I remember my grandfather telling me about getting the candy and fruits for Christmas. He told me he was always so excited to get an orange at Christmas since that's the only time of year he got one.