As I pondered over sixty Christmases that might be expected to be remembered, my thoughts went to my childhood. Probably the years 1938-40 when I was nine to eleven years old, the depression was still very vivid in the minds of all the adults of the time. Oklahoma City was much smaller and suburbs and shopping malls had not yet come into vogue. Everyone shopped downtown Oklahoma City.
On Main Street, between Robinson and Broadway, there used to be a magnificent theatre called The Criterion and, as you moved west from the theatre, the rest of the block was filled with 5-and-10-cent stores. There was an S.J. Kress, a Woolworth's and a couple more of the big-name stores of the day.
My folks would take us downtown, give us between $2.00 and $5.00 and let us out on that block. There we would do all of our shopping. I have never been famous for my shopping prowess but this time I came on like gangbusters! I can remember shopping with excitement for my mother and selecting just the right thing for her. I recall working every store on the block to be sure I got just the right gift. When the shopping was all done and we were picked up by our folks, I was so excited with my purchases and could not wait until Christmas came.
Maybe I was experiencing something very special about the season. It had nothing to do with money, station in life or impressing anyone. Rather it was about just caring, sharing and loving. Maybe that's why I thought of those years.
Read next article.
Return to table of contents.
Return to BRETTnews.