My Christmases Past


It was an annual event in our home. It happened every summer, but it’s focus was Christmas.

My Dad was a pharmacist and owned his own drug store with everything imaginable for our seasoned shoppers.

There was a jewelry department—with costume jewelry, 14k gold options and sterling silver. They were displayed neatly on velvet lined trays that rotated around the glass case much like a Ferris wheel. Push one button to rotate forward, another to rotate backward. I loved looking at every shiny piece.

We also sold perfume, sunglasses, greeting cards, toys and of course drugs for anything that ailed you.

My favorite was the toy aisle, which is why I had a significant role in our annual summer event.

My parents purchased merchandise for our shelves from The Allen Drug Company. An independently owned drugstore distributor.

Every summer they put on a “wholesale only” trade show for retailers to select what they wanted to make available to their customers for the upcoming holiday shopping season.

My Dad invited me to come and help them purchase toys that kids my age would want. As payment for my expert opinion I was allowed to choose one toy for me.

It was a child’s dream come true.

Some now nostalgic toys that were new to me then:

  • Slinky
  • Gyro wheel
  • Clackers
  • Silly Putty
  • Weaving loom
  • Etch-A-Sketch
  • Lite Brite
  • Easy Bake Oven
  • And so.much.more

My dad also raffled off a giant toy and candy-filled stocking every year to one lucky child.

As a pre-teen I enjoyed gift-wrapping the items our customers purchased, a free service. We had a giant roll of red striped paper on a steel cutting wheel that worked much like a roll of aluminum foil does today.

We had a new contraption that made bows in no time. With lots of ribbon choices, each gift was a unique work of art. I loved creasing the corners and taping the gift perfectly. I still enjoy wrapping gifts today as much as I did then.

Remembering my Christmases past has been a delight to behold. What memories do you have of Christmases past?

6 thoughts on “My Christmases Past

  1. When we were little my dad wouldn’t get the Christmas tree until Christmas Eve. We were sent to bed early and he would pull an all-nighter setting it up for our delight when we walked down the stairs in the morning. When we got older, we had to beg him to get the tree earlier so we could help decorate it. He obliged. We didn’t know what we were getting ourselves into. In a word – tinsel. Tinsel had to be placed one strand at a time on the tree. It was the worst job for impatient children. I learned that that was the way to do it, though. So when I married Bob and his version of tinsel placement involved putting handfuls of it on the tree, I didn’t even know how to act! Tinsel is banned from our house! It keeps things peaceful.

  2. Lots of memories! Each Christmas with my cousins — waking up early and racing downstairs to see our presents and wanting to get outside to tour the neighborhood to see what everyone else got. Working at Sears as a gift wrapper (the things I was asked to wrap!) while my parents worked stealthily to purchase my first car without me knowing! Hanging out with my kids as they opened their presents, Every year, there are new memories!

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