Reflections: June Kelly

Kenji Hobbs

15 December 2021

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Reflections: June Kelly

Chateau Retirement’s “Reflections” series highlights the rich life experiences of our residents. This month, June Kelly tells a real life story about Santa!


June Kelly


Yes, There Really Is a Santa!

My brother, Bill and I were young during The Great Depression. The one Christmas present we knew we would get was a Christmas tree. It was put up and decorated by mom and dad on Christmas Eve while we slept.


We could hardly wait to go to bed in anticipation of what the next morning would bring. When the clock said 6:00 p.m., we scampered off to bed hoping there would be a present or two under the tree for us as well.


One year my mother scrimped and saved till she had .50 to spend on Christmas for my brother Bill and me, .25 for each of us. She bought a ball for Bill and for me, she found a baby doll that was dirty and had lost one of its shoes.


The saleslady was kind enough to go in the back of the store in search of a pair of shoes that would fit the doll and she was successful. My mother sewed a new outfit for her, and she was my favorite doll. All these years later, my daughter still has her.


On the 23rd of December, some Girl Scouts who were in high school knocked on our door and asked my mom if she would accept gifts from them for Bill and me, to which my mother said yes.


They wanted to make a merry occasion out of Christmas despite the dire conditions in the country. I had seen a baby bed in the Dorrence Furniture Store that I wanted for my existing doll and Bill wanted a new sled to replace his sled that had a broken glider.


The Girl Scouts had spent hours fixing up and restoring donations they had gathered, knowing one of these gifts would probably be the only gift a child would find under the tree that year. Christmas morning Bill and I indeed found a decorated tree plus a baby bed for my doll and a sled for Bill, fixed up and freshly painted. My mom always said, “there really is a Santa”.



Chateau Retirement Communities are based in the Seattle, WA area. Chateau Retirement offers Independent Living, Assisted Living and Memory Care living options. Contact us today to learn more about our family owned and operated communities, or schedule a tour.