Friday, December 11, 2015

Rebecca Johnson's Fondest Childhood Christmas Memory

The Dayton Christmas Trolley, a seasonal tradition begun by City Transit Company in the 1960s and continued by Greater Dayton Regional Transit Authority into the 1980s - photo from

One of my favorite Christmas childhood memories, late 1960s, was riding the city holiday bus downtown with my mother and looking at the Christmas window displays at Rike's Dept. Store. Although there were 6 children, my 4 brothers and my sister could not care less. I was the only one interested or excited. You could see the bus from afar and hear the holiday music. "Hurry Mama!  Hurry!" I screamed, smiling from ear to ear. I can hear her now yelling back, "I'm coming Becca, good Lord!" She knew I was excited so she gave me a pass.  

The bus was decorated on the outside with reindeer and inside there was a fake piano, fireplace and Santa... there he was sitting in the back of the bus, greeting everybody and passing out candy canes. As soon as mama dropped the tokens in the slot, I flew to the back. She knew me like a book, but she kept her eye on me. You would have thought he gave me a hundred dollar bill. I didn't dare eat mine, I needed it for proof to show my brothers :-).

Animated Santa's helpers

After we finished doing business downtown, my mama would let me look at the animated display windows.


I can still remember standing in the bitter Ohio cold, nose pressed against the icy glass, literally trying to take in every single detail of every scene. I later found out it was taken and replicated out of a big NY department store after Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol. I guess if you looked really hard you could see the strings, but I was so intrigued. It was so magical, I could watch the scenes over and over again.  This time my mama, would say, "Come on Becca!  We're going to miss the bus; it's cold out here!"  I would say,  "One more time, Mama, please, just one more time." She would smile and ask, "Girl, what am I going to do with you?" :-) 

Later as a teenager, 15 or 16, I got a job working at this department store, and during Christmas time, the hours were extended. I still indulged my holiday tradition. My father would say, "Becca, you bring yourself straight home when you get off."  I would say, "Okay, Daddy :-) 


Rebecca's story placed me right there on that Christmas bus, witnessing her excitement to get one of Santa's candy canes and take it home to show her siblings what they had missed!  Thank you, Rebecca, for sharing your fondest childhood Christmas story.  I thoroughly enjoyed it! 

Share Your Story
Readers, remember, you too can share your fondest childhood Christmas story for publishing consideration here between now and Christmas by emailing it to blackdolls @ sbcglobal . net (close in the spaces) along with your associated images.

Merry Christmas!


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  1. What a wonderful memory. I wish our Department stores had those animated Christmas Scenes

  2. Wow, it's so nice to hear about Rebecca's fondest childhood memories, Debbie! It's like our brains were synched when I was also sharing my memories in my post! Love love it!


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