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What a Christmas Store means to kids

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The kids are "speed-wrapping" presents. At right, Gina & Tucker are pleased with their purchases.


JJ (Jeremiah Jensen) is one happy shopper.


The Christmas Store

by Patti Bartlett Dunlap
Seeley Swan Pathfinder
January 14, 1999

One year when I was young, I watched my brother give a pillow to my dad that he had purchased at a "Christmas Store." He was so delighted with himself. It was pretty contagious. My brother believed that pillow was the best gift ever to be given.

The Seeley Lake Elementary PTA has let me do a "Christmas Store" for the past two years. On Tuesday, December 15 our one day store opened at the Seeley Lake Elementary School. Items for sale were donated or purchased by members of our community. There were lots of gifts for moms, dads, and siblings. Bus kids were allowed to come early if they had shopping to do. The rest of the kids were there promptly at 3:00. (No parents were allowed in until 6:00 so the kids could shop privately.) Within the hour we wrapped approximately 500 gifts, with close to 750 gifts wrapped by closing time.

We had a profit this year, although that was not the intention of the store. It will be used to purchase wrapping paper and gifts for next year's store.

There are no words to describe the bright smiles and tickled expressions of the kids as they carried out their packages to surprise their families with on Christmas morning. They were such conscientious shoppers!

The thank you list is pretty large when a special event like this occurs. I hope I haven't left anyone off. The elves - Pam, Ginger, Roxeen, Marlene, Carol Lee, Jane and Kelly (for being personal shoppers and wrapping); Senior Priority (wrapping); John Hebnes (for use of the multi-purpose room); Bruce Wold (donation drop off point); various school staff (wrapping help); Gary Noland and the Pathfinder (for publishing our articles); and most of all the Seeley Lake community for the donation of items for our store.

Please keep the Christmas Store in mind as you clean out those garages and closets this year. We always take new or gently used non-clothing items.

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