Christmas Downtownby Tyler Woods on Dec. 17, 2010, under Life
I was driving the other day downtown and looking at how dark it was at night. Well that is for this time of year and it got me thinking…
When I was a kid growing up downtown was the place to go to see wonderful holiday lights. Matter fact, when I was a kid, downtown was the place to go for holidays because there were so many shops.
Kresge’s, McLellans, Sears, Penny’s, Lerners and Woolworths were all located right in the heart of downtown Tucson. Store fronts were decorated, windows painted and kids would be in line to see Santa. Downtown at Christmas, who can ask for anything more?
Sure there are a few decorations downtown and we should be happy for that, but it sure isn’t the downtown I grew up with. In fact, I just try to avoid downtown anymore if I can. Oh yeah occasionally a trip to the coffee shop, or the court house, and it makes a nice short cut, but it isn’t filled with the spirit like I recall as a child. Downtown was simply magical as a kid.
My mother would park in a parking garage and she would be just as excited as my sister and I. We all knew we would be spending the day downtown and have our special downtown Christmas day. An old smoke shop is where we always got my grandfather a foot long cigar that was fat and wide. Sears always had an “old ladies” sweat that my grandmother liked, and we kids loved to shop at any and all of them for ourselves pointing out all the things we wanted for Christmas.
We would go to the drug store, grab a burger and a shake and eat it, then head to another store where Santa was. Being downtown at Christmas time was simply magical. We did not need the malls, downtown Tucson and the city sidewalks were all the malls we ever needed as kids.
I long for the days when downtown was such a site for Christmas and the lights were hung and decorations were eye candy. Sometimes my father would tell us to get in the car and he would just drive us downtown to get us in the spirit. We would have hot chocolate and cookies in the backseat as he drove downtown showing us the lights and telling us about all the building he helped build downtown. Even he, the very quiet man that he is, would get excited about downtown at Christmas.
Those days are long gone but those are holiday memories that I cherish even more than any gift I have ever received. So do you recall Christmas downtown when Christams was bright and filled with light? Love to hear your story.