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December 22, 2012


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I remember as a kid every holiday there were a couple of big downtown trips. One was the day after Thanksgiving for the Fairytale Parade and the other was a night perusing the windows...not just at M&F...but at Lipman's and Olds & King. Then there were the windows at all of the smaller shops...like Nordstrom.

The unveiling of the Christmas windows was a big deal. As big as when they took the wraps off the new cars in September. Of course, it was on a night the stores were closed (most nights back then) and scads of people went downtown for the big show.

I had forgotten about all of the holiday windows. It was the one time each year when the window designers and decorators really got to shine. I don't suppose the stores even hire window designers any more. Why would they they don't have windows? And they spend way too much on those courses to teach the clerks to be snippy.

I still have the old black and white photos of us as three sibling kids seeing Santa at M&F, stored away somewhere. Now I'll have to locate them today as this article has spurred my inspiration to want to share them.
-thank you for posting,
-Mark Seibold, native Portland Oregonian

... and oh, I just read the previous commenters words, and have to further chime in. Yes, I too remember well, our parents taking us to not only to Meir & Frank (now Macy's), but also Lipman & Wolfe, Olds & King (later as Rhoads, then Liberty House, Frederick & Nelson- Mervyns.) Portland has some wonderful holiday history!
-Mark Seibold, Portland Oregonian native

Do you remember when "The Chipmunks" came to Portland for the first time during the 1959 Christmas season? Alvin, Theodore & Simon appeared in the "Meier & Frank" store window but I was too short to see them. My father lifted me up to watch. I'll never forget it, I was spellbound! The mechanical Chipmunks were heard outside on a speaker and you watched them play "The Chipmunk Song" (Christmas Don't Be Late). There was a crowd outside the window and families waited their turn to see the boys play their holiday hit from the previous year. 53 years later, this is still one of my fondest Christmas memories.

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