[Friday, December 29, 1961]
I am sitting in our living room by a crackling wood fire,
Our mantel still gay with red candles
And about fifty Christmas cards; our fat little tree
With its silver birds and tinsel
And spice-cake hearts still up, and the new, red corduroy
Curtains I have just finished drawn,
Making the room bright and cheerful, like the inside
Of a Valentine…
The midwife suggested I get a thermometer
To see the temperature of the new baby’s room. I was amazed.
The general level of the house——
In halls and unheated rooms——is about 40° (38° in our bedroom
In the morning!). An electric heater gets it feeling very hot
At 50°-55°…It all depends on what one
Gets used to.
Our Christmas was the happiest and fullest I have ever known…
We trimmed the tree and set out our amazing
Stacks of gifts on Christmas Eve. Then Christmas Day we started
The three of us off with our daily ration
Of soup plates of hot oatmeal (something you and grammy taught me),
Then led Frieda into the living room, which she had not seen in its decorated state.
I wish you could have seen her face!
…I spent the rest of Christmas making my first simply beautiful
Golden-brown turkey with your bread dressing,
Creamed brussels sprouts and chestnuts, swede (like squash,
Orange), giblet gravy and apple pies with our last
And saved own apples. We all three had a fine feast in the midafternoon,
With little Frieda spooning up everything.
Then a quiet evening by the fire…
Quoted from: Sylvia Plath, Aurelia Schober Plath, ed., Letters Home: Correspondence 1950-1963 (New York: HarperPerennial, 1992), p.440.