Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories – Christmas Shopping

Today Geneabloggers asks: How did your family handle Christmas Shopping? Did anyone finish early or did anyone start on Christmas Eve? Be sure to read all the posts about Christmas shopping

In our family we were all pretty good about planning ahead with our shopping. Our small town had no gift shops so we had to drive to the City of Hudson, NY. We bundled up, walked along Warren Street and looked at the pretty window displays. We shopped in Woolworths and Newberry’s Five and Ten Cent Stores. There was a two story clothing store that had an elevator and a gentleman who operated the elevator. I remember buying embroidered cotton handkerchiefs there for my Nana. There was a drug store that also sold boxes of chocolates. I remember buying a small box of Russell Stover chocolates for my grand aunt. It had just four pieces of chocolate and cost me 25 cents. 

About 1965 the first shopping mall in our area opened. It was a special occasion when our mother would drive us there. We’d drive for over an hour and be amazed at all the stores there.

My oldest brother has never been a ‘plan ahead’ shopper. When he was old enough to drive himself he would begin his shopping on Christmas Eve. On Christmas morning, when we were all gathered around the tree, my mother would hand around beautifully wrapped and beribboned boxes. Sometimes I hated to ruin the wrapping by opening a gift. Then my brother would hand out his gifts. Because he did his shopping at the last minute, his gifts were often still in paper bags! We learned to look forward to those paper bag gifts. Occasionally he still gives one of us a paper bag gift and we all laugh. 


Wendy said...

This really brings back memories. I remember elevator operators and can't imagine a more boring job. I remember the arrival of the mall and how glorious it was to shop in comfort, not bothered by wind and rain and cold. Now I miss the old mom-n-pop shops of a walkable downtown.

Debi Austen said...

Funny, I remember only one particular Christmas shopping excursion as a child. My mother dropped us off in the little local shopping area and my sister and I set off to the 'department' store, which was really just a one floor store with clothes and maybe some housewares. The only gift I remember buying was a box of cloth handkerchiefs for my great grandfather. My great grandmother had just died a year or so before and I remember my great grandfather crying all the time so handkerchiefs seemed like the perfect gift!

Colleen G. Brown Pasquale said...

When I was little I thought it would be fun to wear a uniform & push the elevator buttons. ha.

Colleen G. Brown Pasquale said...

Cotton handkerchiefs were not an unusual gift then. I have inherited a bunch of them & want to make them into a quilt.