Monday, November 30, 2015
Christmas shopping, my recollection from a way back when
I am really telling my age because I remember when Christmas shopping looked like this. Working in at the "5 and 10" was especially hectic at that time of year. But it was also fun. No one seemed to mind the snow or the cold, though the truly bad weather usually hadn't begun yet. and if the snowplows weren't out yet, well that was OK too, for things were surely different then. One dressed up to go shopping in those days even if one was shopping at the 5 and Dime". If there were any "Friday Doorbusters" I don't remember them, don't even remember hearing the phrase.
Shortly before Thanksgiving we were kept busy, stocking the shelves with Christmas cards , ornaments, and candles. Much of the paint was put into the storage room, in those days of strong smelling oil based paints those who made the decisions must have thought people wouldn't do as much painting in winter. One long gondola was put in it's place and filled with all of the figures one could image would go into a Nativity scene. While others lingered over the bright glass ornaments, and colorful lights, I found these tiny figures to be little sculptures, and enjoyed putting them out on display, and keeping the tiny statues in order.
The Saturday after Thanksgiving, the day of the Santa Claus parade, nothing so grand as in the movies, but it was pretty exciting, just the same. The towns Christmas lighting was lit by none other that Santa himself, where upon he came into the store with his entourage of elves, parents and over excited kids, and took his place on a huge golden chair /throne, He would nod at me, because in his day job world he worked with my Father, how did I discovered his identity, Santa once called me by the nickname my Dad called me by, something that has until now remained a secret. Happy children, frightened children, greedy children, confused children, all lined up to sit on his lap, and get their photos made with Santa, usually accomplished by Mom and her new Kodak Brownie camera. A hushed and expectant atmosphere fell over the store, and the clerks had a few brief moments to enjoy the beautiful decorations and the neat and tidy displays before we were hurled into a sea of shoppers.
People you hadn't seen since last year began showing up with their Christmas shopping lists. and there was always a few minutes to get caught up on the latest news. The store got busier and busier as it neared the big day, or if there was a snowfall. Snow didn't bother people as much a way back then, I can remember walking home after the store closed at 7:00, the huge snowflakes drifting down and frosting the colorful lights that bedeck out almost every house, I felt like I was walking through a peaceful Christmas village.