Minnie featured on the cover of the second edition

All the characters that appear in Kathryn Lasky's Christmas After All.

Main characters

Minnie Swift

Main article: Minerva Swift

Minerva[1] "Minnie" Swift (born c. 1921)[2] was the youngest daughter of Belle and Sam Swift. She had three older sisters, Gwen, Clem, and Lady, and one younger brother, Ozzie. Minnie attended Public School 70 in Indianapolis, Indiana. In December 1932, Willie Faye Darling, a distant relative, came to live with the Swift. Minnie grew close to Willie Faye, who taught her a new way of looking at the world.

Supporting characters

Belle Swift

Belle[3] Swift was the wife of Sam Swift and the mother of their six children: Gwen, Clem, Lady, Minnie, and Ozzie. She belonged to two "ladies' clubs", the Indianapolis Woman's Club and the Fortnightly Club. Belle constantly worried about her husband during the early years of the Great Depression. By 1993, she had lived to be over the age of one-hundred and one.

Clem Swift

Clementine "Clem" Swift (born c. 1915)[4] was the older sister of Lady, Minnie and Ozzie, and the younger sister of Gwen. She attended the public high school, Shortridge. Clem spent much of her time studying with her best friends, Olive and Opal. They all belonged to a social service club at school. Clem began dating Marlon in December 1932. They eventually married. She became an orphanage directer, after receiving a masters in social work.

Gwen Swift

Gwendolyn "Gwen" Swift (born c. 1912)[4] was the oldest child of Belle and Sam Swift. She studied at Wellesley College near Boston, until her family could not afford the tuition. Gwen moved back and got a job at Bobbs-Merrill. After the success of Ozzy, the Boy Wonder, Gwen was able to complete college. She returned to Bobbs-Merrill and became a editor for children's books. Gwen married Harry Knox and had three children.

Ozzie Swift

Francis Osgood[5] "Ozzie" Swift (born c. 1923)[6] was the youngest child of Belle and Sam Swift. He was incredibly smart and knowledgeable about many sciences, including physics and astronomy. Ozzie also had his own "lab", where he created inventions. He was a huge fan science fiction, especially Buck Rogers. Ozzie completed his degree in physics at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He worked on the atom bomb, but spent the rest of his life working on disarmament. Ozzie married a concert violinist, who survived the concentration camp, Auschwitz.

Lady Swift

Adelaide "Lady" Swift (born c. 1916)[4] was the elder sister of Minnie, whom she shared a room with. Lady went to an all-girls school, Tudor Hall. She was knowledgeable about fashion trends and Hollywood stars. Lady graduated from Parsons School of Design. She was a costume designer for Broadway, before moving to Hollywood. Lady received an Academy Award in 1950 for her designs in Some Gal. She never married.

Sam Swift

Sam[7] Swift was . He worked as a chief accountant at Greenhandle Scrap Iron. Sam lost his job at Greenhandle a few days before Christmas. He went to Chicago and sold three scripts of a radio program, titled Ozzie, the Boy Wonder to the National Broadcasting Company. Sam left a note at the time, but had not said exactly what he was doing, leaving his family extremely worried. The program became a huge success, spawning comic books and a movie.

Willie Faye Darling

Willie Faye Darling (born c. 1921)[2] was a distant cousin of the Swift family. She lived in Heart's Bend, Texas with her father and mother. Willie was inventive, curious, and extremely talented with art. In 1932, Willie Faye was orphaned and sent to live with her distant relatives, the Swifts. She became particularly close to Minnie and Ozzie. In later life, Willie Faye graduated from John Herron Art School and became an art director at Bobbs-Merrill. She collaborated in a few children's books with Minnie. Willie Faye had twin girls with her husband, Homer Peet.

Minor characters

  • Amelia Earhart, the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean. Minnie admired her and collected newspaper clippings about her.
  • Bernadette Otis was a student in Minnie's class. Her father shot himself on the day of her birthday party.
  • Betty Hodges and Lucy Meyers were Minnie's best friends at school.
  • Booth Tarkington, a famous author, who lived near the Swifts. He was married to Susanah.
  • Chester Peet was Homer's younger brother. He was friends with Ozzie Swift.
  • Miss Cuddy and Loritz were teachers at Public School 70 in Indianapolis, where Minnie went to school.
  • Delbert Frink was Gwen's boyfriend. His family was well-off and he had studied at Harvard. He was very rude to Marlon, which led Gwen to break up with him.
  • Edwina Darling (died November 1932) was Willie Faye's mother. Her husband passed away a year before her. Willie Faye had to spend two days with her body until someone came by.
  • Franklin D. Roosevelt, the president elect. He beat Hoover in the 1932 election.
  • Mr. Fromeyer was the detective Belle Swift hired to look for Sam.
  • Miss Gordon was the principal of Public School 70, where Minnie attended school.
  • Harry Knox[8] was Opal's cousin. He lost his hand, while fighting in World War I. Harry married after the war, but his wife died sometime before 1932. He later married Gwen and began his own law firm.
  • Herbert Hoover, often referred to as "That Fool Hoover", was the president, who many blame for the Great Depression. He lost the 1932 election to Franklin D. Roosevelt.
  • Homer Peet, a boy that Clem went on a few dates with. He had a younger brother named Chester.
  • Jackie was the Swifts maid. The Swifts could only afford to pay her with food and old clothes. Despite this, she continued working for the family.
  • Jasper, Jackie's friend. He owned a barbecue restaurant, which Minnie described as the "best."
  • John Jay Curtis was a company officer at Bobbs-Merrill.
  • Letty Cohen was Lady's friend. Lady impulsively bleached her hair at Letty's house.
  • Luther was the foreman at Greenhandle Scrap Iron, where Sam worked.
  • Marlon was Clementine's "beau". He was from Minnesota and had multiple part-time jobs. Marlon was well liked by the Swift family. After several years of dating, he and Clem married.
  • Martine Vontill was Minnie's classmate and Bernadette's best friend. Minnie described her as "stuck-up".
  • Olive Winslow[9] and Opal were the best friends of Clementine. Olive's father lost his job and left his family without saying a word. They got along well with all of the Swifts.
  • One "Onesy" was a hobo that would go to the Swifts home to eat.
  • Mr. Otis (died December 3, 1932),[10] the father of Bernadette. He had recently fallen on hard times and decided to end his life.
  • Susanah Tarkington, the wife of Booth. She belonged to the Fortnightly Club with Belle.
  • Tumbleweed was Willie Faye's cat, whom she brought from Texas. Willie Faye said he was the last cat left in the Panhandle.

Epilogue characters

  • Ashton Brannock was the first husband of Minnie Swift. He was a captain in the air force and had flown over five hundred missions in World War II. Ashton was killed in action during the Korean War.
  • Bill Clinton, President at the time of 1993. He awarded Minnie and several other women a Distinguished Service Medal.


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