THE PANAMA CANAL REVIEW - December 7, 1951



     The occasional sound of timeless hymns from Clubhouse record players, children being specially good and helpful, bans on the youngsters entering certain dry closets and storage rooms at home, all add up each year to the realization that, despite the continued heat and the verdant appearance of the countryside, the most important Christian holiday of the year again approaches the Canal Zone, even as it does in the snow-clad New England States. Continued practicing of Christmas carols by the neighbors' school-age children seems to have even the childless Zonians humming or whistling the old, familiar tunes at unguarded moments.
     Because of the recently terminated longshoremen's strike, which created havoc with ocean shipping through the Port of New York, it appeared for a while that we might have to make a great many special arrangements to ensure that all of the "fixings" for a Merry Christmas would be in the stores in time for the jolly season. With the strike now a matter of history, however, we can return to established procedures and still be certain that all of the tradi­tional merchandise will be available.


    As practically all Zonians knew at the time, there was no possibility of the strike affecting the local toy situation, since these important items had already arrived and been placed on sale. There are still plenty at both of the Toy Sections for those who may have deliberately under-budgeted at the time of the Toy Sale opening in October and who now feel that, with a few dollars of spare retroactive pay in the hand, they can approach the liberality of former years in their toy buying. Some of the more important items that sold out early have been re-ordered and placed on sale and a few new, late-arrivals, have been sent out. There may now be none left, but the imported mechanical toys that were placed on sale in November indicate a sound reason for re-visiting the special sections, where you are welcome just to look around to avoid missing new items. Both toy sections are self-service, with cash payment plans, and visitors won't be disturbed in their "browsing."
     Gift items abound throughout all of the larger stores and are constantly being added to as new shipments arrive. It would require too much space and effort to try to enumerate all of the enticing things we have, but there is certain to be the exact item that is wanted for each particular age or taste. Some of the especially nice things you may wish to look at are sterling silver and plated tableware, the lovely new pattern of hand-cut English crystal that was recently exhibited, new convenience for the house through the modern household appliances, beautiful and exclusive designs in lamps and pottery.


     Christmas seems to call for eggnog and, as usual, we will offer the mixed product (minus only the "nog") for those who value convenience. Other mixers you will want may include the popular sparkling Commissary Club Soda, or cream, milk, eggs, cinnamon, etc., for your own recipe for a Yuletide drink. Set up the buffet with a cold, sliced, canned ham, a few dishes of pickles, olives, sliced fruit cake and other "snacks" and be all set for your friends who drop in while making their rounds of calls on Christmas Day - a buffet set-up also serves as a "wife-saver" and will keep cooking to a minimum. For Christmas Eve, we suggest the traditional turkey menu, possibly with chestnut stuffing, or roast goose, backed up with fresh cranberry sauce or attractive molds of the canned cranberry jelly. Fruit cake (your own favorite recipe, the delicious ones that we have baked at Mount Rope, or the States cakes, plain or brandy flavored), plum pudding, pumpkin and mince pies savory from the oven, yum-m-m. 


     We are planning to make delivery (within our regular delivery districts) of natural Christmas trees, family size, on December 18th and 19th. For the few who especially want their trees ahead of that time, however, we have a small lot due to arrive Monday, December 10th, and can arrange for delivery the following day. If interested, please discuss the matter with your store's manager or supervisor. We hope also to have the customary and very popular table size chemi-colored trees, and there will he a limited number of holly wreaths. 


     Although all stores are customarily closed on Mondays, for the benefit of last-minute shoppers, as well as to avoid a three-day period when stores are closed, all stores will operate on December 24th.

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