Your Daily Dose of Christmas!

Here’s something interesting: a short (20 minutes) documentary I found about the kid-sized monorails that were used in some large department stores, usually in the toy sections, in the mid-to-late 20th century. These monorails–suspended from an overhead rail, as opposed to riding atop the rail–would take kids on a circular trip around an entire department store floor (or, in a couple cases, a part of a shopping mall).

I actually rode the one in Portland, OR’s Meier&Frank store downtown, probably sometime in Christmas 1979 or 1980, the last two Christmases we lived there. It was a fun ride, though short; as I recall, that floor of the store was divided into the toy section proper and then, on the other side of a partition, was something called “Santaland” or something like that, a walk-through Christmas display thing that culminated in Santa himself. The train would pass through an opening into the wonderfully-decorated Santaland area, which was kept dark and lit with Christmas lights and many trees and animatronic figures.

I am honestly not the least bit certain how much of this my brain is making up from the distance of 40-whatever years, but that thing was fun, and it’s a shame they’re all gone now.

Cool stuff! I want an adult version of that.

And because I don’t want this post to not be musical at all, here’s something that fits: the March of the Toys by Victor Herbert.


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One Response to Your Daily Dose of Christmas!

  1. Roger says:

    They did not have monorails in Binghamton, but I’d swear I was on one once, maybe in Rochester (my father’s aunt lived there) or Syracuse?

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