Friday, December 31, 2010

Christmas joy - Danville redux

This Christmas had our little family of four all together again. I did my usual detailed random shopping in Manhattan, picking up this and that over a month's time, not spending too much but in my mind spending right. The results were fine with just the slightest rejects and some smiles and laughs. Almost all gifts were unexpected keepers. Spend enough time and that's not so hard to do here. Well, not so easy, keeping the lid on the wallet and the credit cards is not a foregone conclusion but the 23 year old would have none of over spending.

Thinking about this pattern of gift buying brought me back to its beginnings in Danville, VA circa 1956 or 1957. Those days were so different. At the age of eight or nine I could go to the downtown(bike or we even had regular bus service that stopped at my corner of College and Averett) and buy presents(maybe age seven years old since I do remember buying an Elvis 45 at Benyunes in defiance of my father, who for for some reason had no problem with Chuck Berry or the Everly Brothers, and obviously not with my other taste at that time for Pat Boone and Marty Robbins). Anyway, those days were the beginning of my joy of buying gifts, child with no siblings buying this and that everywhere, at Kresges, Woolworths, Thalhiemers, and Belks, too young yet for Kahns, Rippes, Saters, and Bermans. With the little money from my Grandmother Borden, my Great Aunt Virginia and my allowance, and even then shoveling, I was set.

That was such a rip. Going from place to place, accumulating merchandise like hand lotion, ties, gloves, and really small stuff like mirrors and cups, that was such a mission. Wrap it up privately? in my room and then on Christmas Eve(our family day for presents) it was seemingly such a pleasure to my parents. Well, it was.


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