The other Christmas Eve tip-off is the still-wrapped presents under the tree. Because of Dad's need to focus on church activities from late afternoon on, we didn't open gifts until Christmas morning.
The woman turning the pages of a book, which appears to be of little interest to the Nelson children, is Dora Donald. An emigrant from England, Dora served as the church organist and choir director. She was single, and, as far as I recall, had an active social life, participating in a variety of community organizations and traveling, mostly to California, to visit family and friends. She lived in a neatly cluttered, 3-room apartment on the first floor of the Maryland Arms on 2nd Avenue North. I visited her once on my own on Sunday afternoon. I couldn't have been more than 6, but my parents will allowed me to walk the three blocks to her apartment on my own.
Before the tree was taken down and carried out of the house, the tinsel was carefully removed and replaced into its original packaging, to be used again the following year. It even traveled with us in 1957 from Great Falls, Montana, to Warren, Pennsylvania, and remained in use into the early 1960s.
Remember the toy gas station and light green model car, which will appear again in our next chapter.