2015:Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories: Christmas Shopping ~ # 8

Advent Calendar – December 8, 2015

Christmas Shopping: Post # 8

From now until Christmas Eve, I will be participating in the 2015 Edition of the Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories by Thomas MacEntee and the Geneabloggers. If you would like to know more or even join in, please see This Link. I’d like to personally thank Dawn Williams-Kogutkiewicz of Dawning Genealogy for sharing this idea on Genealogy Bloggers.

Xmas Shopping 2

December 8 – Christmas Shopping

For many of us, the focus of the Christmas season isn’t on “things” but on family and friends. Still, we like to give presents – large and small – to those we love. Do you shop during Christmastime or do you shop much earlier in the year to get it out of the way? Have you seen a change in your shopping habits as you’ve gotten older? Do you shop online? Do you participate in Black Friday or Cyber Monday activities? What was Christmas shopping like for your family and ancestors? Tell us about how you do Christmas shopping and your memories of Christmases past.

My Memories: Long before the Internet, where did we shop? First it was the Five and Dime and the local mom and pop stores, then we moved up to Woolworths, Grants, – next was the large box stores, Sears and K-Mart – then we moved to the shopping malls – and now we sit in front of our computer and visit shopping sites all over the world with a click of the mouse. What would our ancestors think of our shopping habits? They probably would think we were possessed for sure. And they would be right – we are possessed in “needing” the Internet.

The best shopping trips were when I belonged to the Sunshine Girls and we went on a yearly shopping trip by train to Atlanta – our destination was Rich’s Department Store. I saved all year for that trip!  I don’t remember what I bought for anyone else, but I do remember what I  bought for me every  year – a new John Romaine purse. The ride home was spent admiring my new bag and deciding what to put in it. Oh what fun that was!

When my kids were small, and I was “Santa”, I spent many afternoons running from store to store looking for that special toy asked for. And who didn’t stand in line for a Cabbage Patch doll? I think I sent my husband on that shopping trip.

The scary part of shopping was saying “charge”, and when those Christmas bills arrived in January, well it wasn’t fun opening them. It took me a few years to learn how to turn my charge around to cash, and those dreaded charge bills soon disappeared.

Very seldom do I participate in the Black Friday shopping online or the Cyber Monday specials. And as to heading out at midnight or 5 a.m. to fight the crowds or stand in long lines – well that’s not going to happen!

My husband and I seem to buy all year ’round for ourselves, so at Christmas we only concentrate on buying for the granddaughters. They believe, so they receive! Buying for five girls is enough to keep me busy.

My Husband’s Memories:  I don’t remember much Christmas shopping – boys don’t care about shopping in the same way girls do. We only had one car so if we wanted to go Christmas shopping in the city, we had to take the bus. and it wasn’t a short walk to catch it.

My mother never took me downtown New Haven to shop, but I went a few times with my godmother, Aunt Catherine, and one of those times was at Christmas. I remember going to S.S. Kresges, Grants and Woolworths – they were all on the same block. Woolworth’s always meant a seat at the counter for a sandwich; that’s where I had my first triple decker sandwich! One gift I remember she bought me on one of those trips was a new pair of shoes.

About Jeanne Bryan Insalaco

My blog is at: https://everyonehasafamilystorytotell.wordpress.com/
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