That year was doubly important to those servicemen, for the story of Christmas would hold a truer meaning because they had lived through a nightmare.
The kindergarten class of Thelma Price at our grammar school went on a field trip to the store of M.A. Turner and McElfresh Mercantile to inspect the stock of new toys.
Needless to say, the 32 little ones thoroughly enjoyed the trip.
At the intersection of Main Street and Walnut Avenue, the municipal Christmas tree stood proud and erect.
W.R. Anderson strung its color lights around the mighty pine, and Mildred Mitchell and J.B. French carefully hung beautiful ornaments on it.
A platform was erected nearby for the presentation of the Christmas program.
On this stage Rev. F.J. Seaman of the Methodist Church told the Christmas story in an interesting manner and the junior band supplied music.
A combined choir of members from the Christian, Baptist and Methodist churches performed traditional Christmas carols.
The Rev. J. Scott Willmarth, pastor of the Wintersburg Methodist Church, delivered the closing prayer.
But what came next was the important part of the ceremony for the children of the community: Former Huntington Beach Mayor Ed Manning donned the red suit of Santa Claus and passed out presents to the children.
Malcolm Keith and R.J. Prescott assisted him.
The Rev. L.P. Tirre and the members of the Spanish Mission on Ward Street presented their Christmas program before handing out gifts to the children.
On the evening of Dec. 23, the Methodist church attempted something different in their annual Christmas program -- a playlet entitled "Little Tim's Christmas Party," which featured Maxine Farrar as Little Tim, Margaret Lavering as Little Nell, George DeLapp as Sam Weller and Edna Hearn as Jenny Wren.
Before the program ended, the big man in red made an appearance for the kids.
Adair's Grocery on Main Street was selling residents Christmas trees at 25 cents and up. How prices have changed.
The First Baptist Church's program featured Mr. McLaughlin as Santa Claus, assisted by Gordon DeLapp and Dwight Merwin dressed as Brownies.