Sunday, December 18, 2011

electric toy trains

electric toy trains
in a winter wonderland --
smiles on children's faces

Every year during the holiday season, Everybody's grocery store sets up a large display of miniature electric trains on three levels of tracks that wind around a toy village. Children of all ages watch with delight as six trains zip round and round, through the covered bridge, past the little houses and the snow-covered fir trees.
          When I was growing up in St. Louis, Missouri, in the 1950s, one of our family's traditions at Christmas time was to drive downtown to visit the big department stores: Famous & Barr and Stix, Baer & Fuller. Each store occupied an entire city block and every one of the big display windows was filled, not with manikins dressed in the latest fashions, but with elaborate animated Christmas scenes: toy trains, of course, as well as Santa's elves making toys, Mrs. Claus helping Santa put on his red coat, Santa in his sleigh with his bag of toys and the prancing reindeer. We were spellbound by the magic. Inside the store, we watched a glassblower creating more magic: glass reindeer, candy canes and Christmas trees. Then we waited in a long line to sit on Santa's lap, whisper what we wanted for Christmas, have our photo taken and receive a candy cane.
          It's good to see children still enjoying a real live Christmas display.

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