What I loved about the Thanksgiving Season

What I loved about the Thanksgiving Season, growing up in Philly from the late 1940s to the 1960s

  • The chill in the air and the possibility of snow were refreshing. After a summer of high temperatures and a hot bedroom, I could sleep better.
  • Thanksgiving was the beginning of the holiday season. There was excitement in the air.
  • Pumpkin pie, pumpkin spice, and Ginger Snap cookies were my favorites during this season.
  • The new designs for cars were released in September and October. Someday, I thought, “I would buy a new car.”
  • Drawing colorful art at school, such as red, brown, green and yellow leaves, was my favorite.
  • Playing Christmas songs on the small metal flutes the school provided made you feel like a superstar.
  • Christmas television was everywhere. Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer, Miracle on 34th Street, Bing Crosby singing White Christmas and just about every program on TV had a Christmas addition.
  • Trips to Gimble’s, Lit Brother’s or Wannamaker’s with Mom on the El was a treasure. Downtown was ablaze with Christmas lights.
  • Loved shopping with Mom on Kensington Avenue, which was also lit up for the holiday.
  • Turkey was so good. We only had turkey twice a year, Thanksgiving and Christmas. Oh, and stuffing. Also.
  • The Philadelphia Thanksgiving Day Parade was the highlight and the beginning of the holiday season.
  • Seeing Santa climbing the ladder to his throne in Gimbel’s Department store was exciting.
  • Christmas was close when my grandfather (POP) got ready to sell Christmas trees at the corner of Wishart and Front Street. My mom and sister Roberta made wreaths from broken branches.
  • After Thanksgiving Day, kids wished for certain toys. They visited Santa at a department store and created Christmas art in school.
  • Christmas garlands and lights would replace the decorations for Thanksgiving in the homes. It was a sight to see the houses and streets lit up.
  • I always wished for a white Christmas as a kid. We did experience them, but the Christmas Eve storm of 1966, when I was 22, overdid it.

    “December 24-25, 1966, when 12.7" of snow fell and drifts were up to your waist.”

 What did I forget? What were your favorite things about the Thanksgiving season leading up to Christmas?

Philadelphia Street decorations. 1954

Philadelphia Street decorations. 1954 

Christmas decorations at Gimbles 1970s.

A White Christmas 1966. 12.7 Inches fell on Christmas Eve and day. 

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