That's Life - November 22, 2017

Christmas comes but once a year and it’s almost here. I know, I know, it’s not even December yet, but let’s face it, the commercial side of Christmas get its start earlier and earlier each year.

Now I realize that this old world has changed a lot since I was a kid. I mean, my dad passed away 30 years ago and I often think about how he would react to the way things are today.

I know that online shopping is growing like wildfire. I also know that Big Box stores and regionalization of goods and services has pounded retail sectors of, not just rural Canada, but rural communities throughout North America.

Christmas shopping, in Three Hills, used to be a wondrous adventure. There seemed to be so much to see and there were so many shoppers. Mind you, retail shopping, in those days, took place in two blocks. I didn’t really put that together when I was a kid.

Let’s see, there were three grocery stores, a meat market, hotel with restaurant, a men’s clothing/shoe store, a ladies clothing/shoe store, a jewellery shop, two drug stores, three restaurant/cafes, two hardware stores, two barbers, a pool hall, a bakery, two banks, beauty salon, a lumber yard, a flower shop and a shop that specialized in shoes, boots, leather repair and tack, a furniture store and shops that dealt in electronics, even television and radio repair. OK, to be fair, I’ll stretch that to about 2.5 blocks, and I didn’t metion the post office.

But there was one store, in that 2.5 blocks, that meant more to the children of Three Hills than any other. That was the Robinson Associated Store on the corner of 4th Avenue and Main Street. Some remember it as Davidson’s Five and Dime. Some remember it as Shea’s.

That was our very own department store, otherwise known as “The Christmas Gift Store Headquarters for Family Shopping”.

About this time each year their front windows would come alive wit moving toy trains, dolls for the girls and all sorts of Christmas gift ideas to keep the window shoppers amazed at every passing. The Toyland would open in the store’s basement. Wow! Talk about the good old days.

Considering all of the stores I mentioned, it’s no wonder there was no place to park. No wonder it seemed like the sidewalks were crowded. That’s because they were.

So, yes, times have changed. Are they for the better? Sometimes yes, sometimes no. One thing is for sure. We are becoming a society that doesn’t mingle as much as we used to. That has a negative effect on everything from church congregations, to service groups, to volunteerism.

Check to see what’s happening in and around your community and do your best to get out there and enjoy the many special events that make up the Christmas season in and around this region. Check The Capital each week for details.

Also, our front cover signature pages are now available, in our office, for signing. These cover pages will act, as always, as our Community Christmas Card. We charge $2.00 per individual signature or $5.00 for a family. All proceeds from these pages are donated directly to the Three Hills and Area Food Bank. The cover pages will appear in our 2017 Christmas Issue on Wednesday, December 20, 2017.