Monday, December 24, 2012

Baby Jesus & Woolworth's...

Good Evening, Everyone!
 
Almost Christmas.
 
You would think shopping would be winding down,
 
but Mr. B said it was still wild when he was out a little while ago, grocery shopping.
 
Jonathan, 18 now, did his first Christmas-gift shopping all by himself...
 
He came home, wrapped what he had purchased,
 
and went back out.
 
(To shop a little more ~ something he had forgotten ~ )
 
Thoroughly pleased with himself, I could tell.
 
I have spent the last few days totally immersed in finishing commissions
 
and "promises"...to the point that I didn't get things finished that were
 
gifts I was giving to some dear friends...
 
But, good friends that they are, they understand ~
 
We will continue the season throughout the upcoming weeks....
 
It is this way more often than not.
 
But really, Christmas should be a mind-set, not a rush to have
 
everything done by a certain date ~ don't you agree?
 
That's what I tell myself, anyway!
 
To quote Mr. Dickens,

" I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all year.”

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I wanted to share something that was so special to me when I was little...

My "Baby Jesus figures" ~ the "Manger Scene" , my Mom would correct ~

I had to have been really small when my Mom got the first ones,

and we would add one figure every year,

from Woolworth's 5 and Dime, in Sikeston, Missouri.

I remember Woolworth's...

I recently told a friend that it smelled like movie-theatre popcorn

and sounded like parakeets...

I can close my eyes, even though it's been 50 (+) years

and be right back there...

getting goldfish that would live for a few weeks,

or bubble bath that would last for a few minutes,

 that evening and a maybe a few more

(if I didn't pour too much in);

and then every Christmas, these figures that have lasted

for longer than anyone would have expected.

Mom always wanted us to pick the prettiest-painted faces,

and I've always thought that my Mother Mary and the Angel

had the most beautiful countenances...

as well as the Baby Jesus.

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Three of my original figures ...so pretty!
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The funny thing is, up until the past few years,

I preferred newer Nativities...

Tasteful ones, all-of-a-color ~ I had a terra-cotta set when

my older children were small...

My dime-store set from the late 50s and early 60s,

 made of papier-mache and painted in bright colors,

was just too kitschy for my taste!

(It stayed boxed-up for many a Christmas, after I was grown...)

And now, I cherish it.

I look to eBay to add to it...

Who would have thought, after all these years,

that I could add more angels and shepherds from the same era?

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This year, I added four angels...
 
and a smaller, lamb-carrying shepherd boy.
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This is from my original set...twenty-nine cents...can you imagine?
 
And we just got one new figure a year.
 
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This is the price tag on the camel...

If not for the tag left on, I would have thought he was from

my original set...that is what I thought...

until I turned him over and saw the Newberry's price tag,

and remembered getting him on a trip to Saint Louis to see my aunt...

if my Mom had removed the tag (the first thing I do when I purchase something

that will be displayed, whether it is on the bottom or not),

the memory would have been lost.

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Look at this photo I found of a vintage, circa 1910 Woolworth's Christmas display...

Wouldn't you love to have a time machine,

as my friend Wendy says, and go back there?

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This was downtown Sikeston, a long time ago ~ a vintage postcard that

shows where Woolworth's was on Front Street...

Downtown doesn't look like this anymore...

I look at the card, and picture what is there, now ~ a gift shop where

Woolworth's was. Surely that small retail space couldn't have contained all

those childhood memories!


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If I don't post again before then,

I want to wish all of you the merriest of Christmases!

Love,
 
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49 comments:

  1. Love your manager scene photos! Merry Christmas to you and yours :)

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  2. Merry Christmas! :-)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5kmzhVAL_7c

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  3. Have a Merry Christmas dear friend!

    Hugs,

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  4. What a charming post. So full of lovely memories. I wish you a very merry Christmas and look forward to reading your blog in 2013 xxx

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  5. Your post today is a memory keeper.
    I too remember much about Woolworths. My mom and I went there all the time..
    I wish you a Merry Christmas and
    thanks for the memories. BJ

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  6. Dear Anne - what wonderful memories you gave to me - Woolworth's in Alliance Ohio even had a counter where you could get a hotdog and coke for less than 50 cents - those were the days. I love your nativity scene - just beautiful - thank you for a lovely Christmas remembrance - Merry Christmas - xo xo Pixie

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  7. Merry Christmas to you, sweet Anne!

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  8. Merry Christmas Anne. I enjoyed the postcard of Sikeston, just a few miles from where I was born in Bloomfield.

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  9. Merry Christmas Anne! I love those precious manger scenes. As I child I used to love Woolworths and the trips made there with my grandmother. Thanks for bringing back sweet memories.

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  10. Your Manger Scene brought back so many wonderful memories! My grandparents and my parents both had Manger Scenes much like yours. I loved to help set up the figures each Christmas when I was little. Thank you for sharing!

    Wishing you and your family a Very Merry Christmas Anne!

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  11. Merry Christmas, Anne, and I love this post. Your Nativity is beautiful and precious. I agree with your sentiment, too. Wishing you all the best for a bright and happy New Year. xo

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  12. Oh-Anne- I so remember Woolworths. They had a little lunch counter in ours and you could get a sandwich and coke for 50 cents...I think it was.

    I love your little set-it is just a wonderful reminder of a more innocent time, isn't it? We had a Newberry's in PA, too. I have mentioned them over the years and no one I know has ever heard of them...and now I see the sticker here with Newberry's on it. Blessings & Merry Christmas- xo Diana

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  13. My Mom still has that nativity set - just like yours and I too have fond memories of spending much time rearranging the scene under the tree! :) Merry Christmas.

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  14. Merry merry Xmas darling.....love from me ...enjoy these days.....thanks for your friendship.....love you ...Ria...xxx...

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  15. We Wish You a Merry♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸♥ ¸¸.•*¨*•♫♪ Christmas♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸♥ ¸¸.•*¨*•♫♪We Wish You a Merry ♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸♥ ¸¸.•*¨*•♫♪Christmas ♥ ♥ ♥We Wish You A Merry ♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸♥ ¸¸.•*¨*•♫♪Christmas ♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸♥ ¸¸.•*¨*•♫♪ And a Happy New Year!!!

    Merry Christmas!

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  16. The closest Woolworth's was in the city, 30 miles away. I only remember going several times, but I remember the lunch counter. Hot Dogs on square buns that were toasted on the grill. What a sweet post. Reminds me of the individual N O E L angel figurines we had for the mantle. We thought it was so funny to rearrange them to spell LEON. Merry Christmas!

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  17. Merry Christmas, Anne! Thanks for the walk down memory lane. Your nativity is just lovely -- now nice that you have been able to add to it. And how fortunate that the pricetag was still on there to remind you of the purchase. I remember Woolworth's too. Those cozy, small department stores sure don't exist anymore. Such a shame! Happy holidays to you and yours, Tammy

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  18. Anne, I love the memories you've shared and all the darling pictures. I, too, certainly remember Woolworth's. It was like a mini-walmart back then, wasn't it? My first job was at a Woolworth's in Crestwood, Missouri!! I was a terrible waitress for a few weeks! :)
    Thank goodness you never threw away the vintage manger scene, too. Merry Christmas!

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  19. Hi Anne,
    how thoughtful of your Mom to advise you to look for the best painted faces. In fact thats the most important thing on a figurine. The funny thing is, that those oldfashioned paper mache figurines are now all collector's pride. Those few pennies had in former time more worth than today. Your manger scene looks beautiful. And it the sweet memories make it even more to a treasure. I wish you wonderful Christmas holidays.
    Best greetings, Johanna

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  20. What a wonderful nostalgic post. I hope you and your family are having the most wonderful Christmas.

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  21. Hi Anne! What a really lovely memory and nativity set! I think those kinds of memories link us to our past and make the holidays so special! I hope your day has been just as special and enjoyable! As the end of the year comes, I'm glad we've gotten to know one another this past year, and I look forward to our friendship continuing in 2013!
    (⁀‵⁀,) ✫✫✫
    .`⋎´✫✫¸.•°*”˜˜”*°•.✫
    ✫¸.•°*”˜˜”*°•.✫✫
    .•°*”˜˜”*°•.✫✫✫ MERRY CHRISTMAS!

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  22. So right as usual.

    When I return to the Office - after Christmas Day - some people ask "So, how was your Christmas?" I always answer "I'm enjoying it very much".
    After a few years that they thought I was "unique" they started understanding that I keep celebrating it... no, it is not over. How could it be?

    I love your Manger Scene and though I have many Nativity Sets I remember the bright colors (and "weird shapes" of my parents' Nativity. They were made of clay and painted in colors not suitable for sensitive eyes ;) but I loved them and I've been babying the idea of rebulding one like that and look for those pieces no one want anymore in detriment of newer and "prettier" sets.

    Thank you so much for sharing your Sweet Memories.

    Hope you have
    a wonderful Christmas
    and that the Lord
    blesses you with warmth
    and light
    and happiness.

    Merry Christmas!


    Teresa

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  23. I really enjoyed your reminiscence of your nativity and Woolworth's. The vintage photo of Woolworth is great.As a little girl I was in Sikeston a few times while visiting relatives. A time machine would be fun...:) I hope your Christmas day is filled with hope and joy that will last in your heart all year. Merry Christmas. Dee

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  24. Merry Christmas, thanks for sharing your heart.

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  25. I am so sorry this message is late here, dear friend...but I want to wish you so much joy and love this Christmas and always! You are such a special person, and I am very thankful to have found you in our little (or big :) blog world...
    Thank you for a sweet Woolworth's memory...I remember we had one at the local mall! I was so sad when it closed down...
    Those figurines are beautiful, made all the more special because of their history...
    Sending much love to you...
    Merry Christmas!
    xoxoxo,
    - Irina

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  26. Beautiful nativity.
    Merry Christmas , God bless Love Lisa x

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  27. Merry Christmas-I enjoyed so much reading this post...Have loved visiting you this year, and getting to know you and the cats..Much love, Debra

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  28. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year Anne!
    Have a wonderful 2013!
    Aybige

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  29. Hope your Christmas was fabulous, and your New Year will be a Happy and Healthy one! Thanks for your visits!

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  30. Oh My Gosh Anne! This post brought back so many wonderful memories. We had a Woolworth's downtown, and it was my favorite place to shop. Anything you could think of, you could find. We had a Newberry's, my Grandmother made pies for the food bar they had, and worked there daily. I really miss the old downtowns we grew up with, oh to go back to those days when life was so much simpler.

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  31. I love your description of Woolworth's, "smelled like movie-theatre popcorn and sounded like parakeets." That was exactly right!! Your nativity scene is a delight and a treasure. I hope your Christmas was a happy one, and I wish you all the best in the new year! :-)

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  32. How very special is that nativity with such a history and a heritage...hope your Christmas continues to be special ...wishing you a very happy New year 2013 XXXX

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  33. Dear Anne,
    How wonderful is was to see you had made a visit... Thank you so much... Yes, my Christmas was a joyful one, I hope yours was also.
    I just love your nativity, it is so beautiful..
    You know, I remember Woolworths and Newberrys...

    You are such a beautiful Artist, I am looking forward to your art in the new year.
    bless you,
    Penny

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  34. I love your manger scene, especially all the pretty angels. Thank you for bringing back such fond memories of Woolworths. Having just $4 to buy all my family Christmas gifts in the 50's the dime store was a popular place. I can hear those parakeets now. I always bought my brother and sister's coloring books, socks for Daddy and some kind of cheap perfume for Mom (poor thing) and bridge mix for myself. :) Happy New Year Anne.

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  35. So beautiful the photos, the memories, the message. Merry Christmas! We really have 12 days to celebrate... up until January 6, the feast of the magi. Though the Christmas season can last even later in the Byzantine Catholic church.

    Happy New Year to you, your family, and kitties.

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  36. Dear Miss Anne,
    I have just returned from a holiday trip away and just now checking in to see what I have missed! I wish you and your family a belated Merry Christmas! I love this post on Woolworth s!!! I am just sitting here reminiscing over past memories along with you! I LOVE the nativity! The price tags just tickle my fancy too! I put up my Grandmas nativity made of antiqued white plastic figurines glued to a wooden stable every year. I find it charming and it makes me feel like Grandma is here with me as well! Enjoy your family!!! Thank you for your Friendship and Lovely postings and comments!!! <3 I see that my seeds have sprouted, I hope I can keep them alive through the winter ;)

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  37. Lovely pictures and I wish you a good continuation.

    Hugs

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  38. I must say your kitty pics are ICONIC! Everytime I visit your blog I enjoy it thoroughly, thank you for the lovely uplift in holiday spirit!

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  39. We have a woolworths round the corner from our place that's where I do all my food, cleaning stuff shopping they are big supermarkets here, I don't think they are connected in any way, that is the a sweet little set, the figures do have lovely faces.
    Merle.....

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  40. This is such a sweet post! I remember Woolworth's too! Your nativity set is beautiful.. I especially love the angels. It is in remarkable condition. Wishing you much Joy and Goodwill in the New Year!

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  41. That Dickens quote is so lovely! One of my favourites. This time of year is magical, if you beleive.

    Love your ornament photo, so pretty! Hope that you and the family all enjoyed Christmas and wishing you a very Happy New Year! Minerva x

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  42. Yes! i would want to take a visit back to that old Woolsworth. And so many other paces as well. It is a great reminder that maybe I should leave the tags on for my kids to remember when. I love the Nativity set you treasure. It is a beauty and the memories are fantastic.
    Blessings,
    Susie

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  43. Oh, Anne! I missed this lovely post! I hope you had a very Merry Christmas!

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  44. You had stopped by the other day - thank you so much. I haven't been visiting blogs much at all. When I looked at the RSS subject line for your blog, the Woolworth name grabbed my attention. I am SO glad I came by and chose this post to read. I love all of your descriptive - all the way through. It's a wonderful post and I love the way you described Woolworth's - so true - movie popcorn and parakeets. Sometimes, those simpler times are so attractive. Seems that I practically felt the times change some years back - when everything became suddenly obtainable. Now we know where that was leading. I'm so glad the price tag was still on the camel.
    I couldn't believe all the beauty in your first photo of the Jesus Figures was from the Woolworth's find. It's a great set. Something I'm glad you kept because it gave us this post.

    Wonderful post! Thank you! Looking forward to seeing the typewriter and white cat change for 2013. ;)

    Happy New Year!

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  45. I wish Woolworth's had been around for me... :(

    Hey, that "new" terracotta nativity you mentioned will be (is) my childhood nativity memory now! And it's no longer terracotta - much better painted by you! Next year, you will have to showcase it in a post. I haven't gotten it out in a few years (haven't had a good place), but I know exactly where it is.

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  46. Anne, hello, Merry (belated)Christmas and a very happy new year! I came across your blog through Jenn at Peacorn...

    Wow! I am so excited to see your nativity and read the history behind it. At first I thought the angels looked familiar, then when I saw Mary and baby Jesus, I knew this was the same nativity my mother had. I LOVED our nativity and, like you, always thought Mary had the sweetest countenance. The wise men, too, are so familiar and bring back wonderful Christmas memories. Our nativity cut-out star above the nativity nook had a rice paper insert and there was a little bulb behind it that when plugged in would light up the star.

    Now I know where we got our nativity scene..Woolworth's...I remember the store well. I loved those 5 and dime stores.

    Thank you for the fond memories...I miss my mom's nativity, but it's still in the family!

    May your new year be filled with great promise and the manifestation of prosperity in every area of your life.

    Blessings,
    Marianne

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I love your thoughts and comments, and I read each and every one! Sometimes life gets in the way, though, and it takes me a while to respond...Thank you for understanding! ♥...Time is precious, and the time you've taken here is truly appreciated!