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Carol Perkins: Life's Chapters, Three - My Town at Christmas

Previous Chapter: Life's Chapters, Two - In Town

By Carol Perkins

I have never been to Disney World at Christmas, but I can't imagine having any more thrill than I did as a child when the Christmas lights went on in Edmonton. The first lights date back to the fifties and have been updated a few times, but the memory of the first ones lingers. Even now, I can't wait for the trucks to line the square and hoist the lights to the poles. They bring such joy to all of us.

Not only were the lights spectacular, so were the windows of the many businesses in town. The larger-than-life Santa in the Western Auto window (not the Herald office building) captivated the tiny ones who were positive he was waving at them. Ruth's Department store (home of Wall Works) displayed a beautifully decorated tree and other bright boxes of surprises (Judy Wilson Jolly and her mom), and later The Fashion Nook (Naomi Hayes and Ersie Emberton) put their classic touch on a window that made us drive by to see.


Even Wilson's Dry Goods finally decorated when his daughter, Connie declared his window was the ONLY one in town without a Christmas display. She climbed across mountains of material to make the window look festive. We certainly paid attention as one might do if Scrooge had decorated his shop! (Bill didn't see the need.)

Locals shopped locally. A bicycle from the Western Auto, a doll from the Dime Store, a sweater from the Fashion Nook, a watch from Nunn's Drugs, a necklace from Metcalfe Drugs, a pair of Red Wings from Allbights Shoe Store, a hat from Ruth's Dept. Store, overalls from Wilson's Dry Goods, a new washer from Metcalfe Furniture, a robe from Pauline Coleman's and Eugenia Higgason's shop, and maybe a new sleigh from Vanzant Hardware might appear under a tree Christmas morning. Allyne Miller (later Fashion Nook) knew who would shop Christmas Eve and had ready what they would buy! ONLY in a small town.

Business owners "carried" farmers until they sold their tobacco. They paid their "store accounts" in November and December and then turned around and bought Christmas presents from them. Locals worked together. My dad sold televisions (by the time I was a teen), and a new TV set out the door was a merry Christmas.

Older people sometimes remember the past more than the present. I remember every inch of the square at Christmas, and just like in the play, "Our Town," I wish I could return for an hour and see it again.

Next Week: Chapter Four-The parade and Santa.


You can contact Carol at carolperkins06@gmail.com.


This story was posted on 2021-12-02 13:26:27
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