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Remembering Christmases from the 1940s

['<p>Heritage Corner with Pat Crowe</p>']
['<p>Heritage Corner with Pat Crowe</p>']

Heritage Corner with Pat Crowe

This week I want to take you back to December, late 1940s and the time leading up to Christmas.

You have your shopping lists done – one for presents, one for groceries and it’s time to head for Main St., Springhill where you can do everything in one day and not have to head to Amherst, Truro or Moncton.

If you are looking for clothes for the lady in your life then the places to shop are Bernick’s, Audrey’s Best Clothing, Louis Saffron’s Women’s Wear and Fred Fisher Clothing. If she is asking for a new hat, then go to Osmond’s Hat Shop or Terris’s Hat Shop. Need a new pair of shoes or winter boots for members of the family then the place to go is Agnew Surpass or John Wilson’s.

John Wilson’s and Charles R. Murray are the places to shop for the men in the family or if you want something tailor made than you can go up the street to Frederick McLeod’s Tailor Shop.

Buying something for the house this Christmas then go to Hyatt’s Hardware or perhaps George R. McPherson & Co. General Store. If its furniture you want then the place to go is Morris Saffron Furniture Store.

Then at Jimmy Demetre’s Candy Kitchen you can pick up all your candy such as ribbon candy, toy candy and chocolates.

If you are taking the little ones in town to do their shopping then the place to go is Selrite 5c-$1.00 Store where they can buy that cup and saucer or salt and pepper shakers for Mom, that tie or hanky for Dad, some little bottle of perfume for an older sister and a toy for a younger brother or sister.

While you have the children in town make sure you take them to see the big Christmas tree all decorated and of course you must take them to see Leo White’s window which is decorated every year. When you can pry them away from that window then take them up to Samuel Russell’s Toyland and watch their eyes light up when they see all the toys. You could drop the children off at the Capital Theatre so they could watch “Scrooge” or “It’s A Wonderful Life” while you do your grocery shopping.

Looking for your turkey and all the trimmings for the Christmas dinner, apples, oranges, and nuts that will fill the children’s socks when they hang them Christmas Eve, then there are plenty of stores to choose from: Fisher’s Market, Hunter’s Store, L.B. Herrett Groceries, Ryan’s Market, M.k. Mills, V.R. Mills, Newman Bros., A.L. Hollis Grocery and Hibbert Rolfe Grocery.

Don’t forget to pick up your orders from Eaton’s and Simpson’s which thankfully arrived on time – hope you were able to get everything that you ordered.

Now that the shopping is all done and you are waiting for the show to end why not stop at Art Jardine’s Lunch Counter or Rex Café for a nice cup of tea or maybe you would prefer to wait for the kids and then you could head to Hyatt’s Restaurant for supper so you won’t have to cook when you get home.

As it gets closer to Christmas the home is a very busy place. Mum is doing all her Christmas baking – Cookies, squares, fruit cakes – white and dark, and pies – apple, pumpkin, mincemeat. Dad and the boys go off to the woods to find the perfect tree (no artificial trees then). They bring it home and let it stand outside until it is ready to be put up. Of course, you can’t forget all the School Christmas Concerts which you have to attend if your children are in them. Gifts must be wrapped and hidden from prying eyes.

Trimming the tree is always for the adults to do (until you get a little older). No lights were allowed on the tree as they might catch fire but you have all kinds of decorations and tinsel and don’t forget the icicles which have to be hung just so.

Finally, its Christmas Eve – the children are all in bed early (Santa won’t come if you are still up), those who were living away from home gather on Christmas Eve and gifts will be exchanged. They will visit for a while and then those that chose to do so go to the Christmas Eve Service at the Church.

Christmas morning everyone will be up early and the kids will rush down stairs to see what Santa brought only to be told “You have to eat breakfast first.” Finally, you get to open all those presents and hopefully you get the one you really, really want. With the kids playing with their new toys, Mum starts cooking the turkey, getting things ready because there will be all the family there for dinner. The dining room table has to be set (for the adults) children sit at the kitchen table or a card table depending how many there are. With the supper over, the guest all gone, it’s time to sit and relax for a bit before heading to bed early. Another Christmas is over and it’s time to think of the New Year!

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Pat Crowe is a member of the Springhill Heritage Group. To learn more or read past article of the Heritage Corner, visit www.springhillheritage.ca.

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