photo by nejron/depositphotos.com
Do you remember Christmas shopping before malls? If you do, you are probably a baby boomer like me. In the early 60s, my sisters and mom would dress up to go uptown to shop for Christmas. Before we entered the stores, we had our noses up to the display window at the big department stores, looking at a Christmas scene surrounded by toys or fancy party attire. I loved the smells and the sounds inside the stores. The aroma from the lunch counter at Belk Stores of burgers, fries, and grill cheese sandwiches. The constant ringing of the cash register bell. I liked being in the midst of the other shoppers in their winter coats, gloves, and hats, bustling about with their arms full of packages.
In those days, a person bought items only if able to pay for them with cash or check. There were NO credit cards. If one didn’t have the full payment, the item went in layaway and was picked up when paid in full. Like many folks, my mom had a Christmas savings fund at the bank. She would put money in throughout the year and then withdraw cash once Christmas rolled around. My sisters and I had a short wish list, usually inspired by thumbing through the Sears & Roebuck catalog. Although we didn’t get much, we were excited and grateful for what we did receive.
Christmases of my childhood were simpler than today’s hustle and bustle madness. There was no such thing as Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, or Cyber Monday. I don’t know exactly when the religious holiday became hijacked becoming a commercial frenzy of shopping for material things. This year all I want for Christmas is holiday music, some goodies to eat, church on Christmas Eve, and time with my family. To me, that is what Christmas is all about. May your Christmas season be filled with love, peace, joy, and wonder.