The Christmas season started with a big
Bambergers' parade, which started at a park on Central Avenue in
East Orange and slowly moved down Central Avenue until it got to
Bambergers' department store in downtown Newark.
With the arrival of Santa, downtown went into the holiday mode.
The streets were jammed with shoppers, the Salvation Army played
Christmas carols, ringing their bells, many Santa's helpers and
all the stores were decorated. Most famous was the Bambergers' window,
which was concealed until Santa arrived, then the drapes parted
to expose a Christmas animated screen. This corner was already famous
for the numerous amount of people who met under the Bambergers'
clock, which hung above the window.
My mother would take my sister and I downtown on the trolley car
to see Santa. We would take the elevator to the sixth floor. As
we stepped off the elevator there was the record department, where
you could select records, go into a booth, listen to them and then
decide if you were going to buy them. There were counters full of
toys and games, with many wide eyed kids looking for something they
would ask Santa to bring.
We stood in line to talk to Santa, told him we were good and what
we wanted him to bring. We would then go to the counter which had
the items we asked for and there my mother would give them our address
and tell them to send it C.O.D. (cash on delivery). We were told
this was what we had to do so that santa would have our address.
The packages were delivered by Bambergers' trucks, to my Dad's store,
where he would pay for them C.O.D.
Our next stop was the basement. Bambergers' had their 'Dollar Day
Sales', everything on sale was a dollar. My mother shopped and everything
went C.O.D. to my Dad's store. While we were in the basement it
was time for lunch. Bambergers' had a cafeteria. A Ham sandwich
for 25 cents and a cup of coffee for 10 cents. We then got on the
trolley car and went home waiting for Santa to come.