Remember when the Christmas season began the day AFTER Thanksgiving?

Do you remember when you didn’t start thinking or planning for Christmas, until after Thanksgiving?

Thanksgiving was a special day for all to remember what they were thankful
for- God, family, and country. Families that were spread out all over the country could
rarely all get together but they made a big effort to come back for Thanksgiving— for good food, catching up, sharing memories, making new memories with lots of laughter and remembering how much they had to be grateful for.

Thanksgiving was about Thanksgiving and part of that excitement was knowing that everything was going to change overnight as the Christmas season began the day after Thanksgiving.

Stores were open only until 6pm on weekdays and closed on Sundays.

Mom would take us downtown to see the department store window displays, which would then be up. Stores went all out with displays. Each window was staged as a Christmas wonderland with decorated trees, with colorful packages below. The fake fireplace with stockings glowed warm. We stood outside oblivious to the cold as we excitedly watched through the “sprayed-on-snow” that framed the scene as mechanical snowmen waved and turned, trains raced around their track and beautifully dressed baby dolls, with frilly blankets  slept peacefully in wooden cribs.

We were allowed to ask Santa for one present.

Christmas music and the Salvation Army bell ringer outside were wonderful sounds that added to the incredible feeling as we walked wide-eyed down all of the aisles looking at all the Christmas decorations. (No decorations had been available for purchase, until then.) The town’s decorations were also not  turned on until that night at a special “Lights On”event that had people oohing and ahhing as the entire square went from dark to light in one thrilling moment.

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