Remembering The Past: Union County Christmas Memories

by Diane Norek Harrison

ELIZABETH-Christmas memories of Levy Brothers from Edward Levy: “I was thinking today about some of those days between Thanksgiving and Christmas. The stores were open every night until 9:00 PM or 9:30 PM for shoppers.

“Levy Brothers always had a Santa Claus in the toy department before Christmas and he would sit the little kids on his lap and talk to them and give them a toy or a candy cane, etc. This took place around 1950 thru about 1956 or 57. I think they took pictures of the kids with Santa and gave them (or sent them) the picture–not sure about the pictures that but I think so as I remember.

“The toy department was removed around 1960 or so when my father sold out his shares and opened up his own business. That is about the time Pauline and Katherine (who were the sales ladies of the toy department retired.) My father loved toys and was very good with children so that department was his favorite. In those days you got the toys from what were called “jobbers”. Today big stores go right to the manufacturer. For example, they would not get games directly from Milton-Bradley, they would be supplied by a jobber in NYC.”

KENILWORTH-Melvin Bakers remembers in the early to mid 1950s he would go to Kenilworth to look at the city’s lights. “Their lights seemed to be better then the other towns with Christmas lights.”

If you have your own memories of the past in Middlesex or Union counties, email me at or send copies of your past material to me c/o CMD Media, 1139 East Jersey St., Suite 503, Elizabeth NJ, 07201

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