Saturday, December 04, 2010

Christmas Shopping

Wow its been a busy day.  I worked at the quilt shop today and had quite a busy day.  In between I was organising a Christmas decorating suprise in the classroom upstairs as we have a customer party at the shop next weekend.

After work I headed into the city to get some Christmas gifts - managed to get three in about two hours, its always good going when you know what you are after.

I couldn't resist this photo.  This santa was always a part of my childhood.  Before the days of shopping malls, everyone in Auckland used to go to Farmers at Christmas.  This store began trading in 1899 and as a place for rural New Zealanders to shop via a catalogue.  It grew into a nation wide chain store.  In 1934 it innovated a Christmas Santa Parade for the children of Auckland, which continues to this day.  It was another thing of my childhood, to every year go to this parade.  My father's office was on the route and we used to go and sit high up in the windows above the crowds and get a birds eye view, hanging out windows and waving our 'welcome santa flags'.

In 1960 the store innovated again and this gigantic three store santa which was made of concrete I think, was placed on the outside of the building.  I remember reindeers being added with beautiful sparkling tinsel linking them all as the sleigh reigns to santa.  A further innovation one year was that santa's eye winked and his crooked finger beckoned.

With the sale of the flagship store and the birth of malls santa went into storage for a few years, until he was brought by another major retailer Whitcoulls.  Now again, every Christmas he sits on his corner in Queen and Victoria Street, somewhat less majestically than I remember from the magic of my childhood.  But he is still an iconic Auckland Christmas symbol, loved by generations.

I took another photo which I've uploaded to the 365 days tab on this blog - this one has triggered and idea for a NZ Christmas Quilt ... as if I need any more ideas ....  You can get there by clicking on the tab at the top of this page.

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