Christmas Gift Bags
The following story is shown with the
courtesy of Clarence E. Crocker. At the time
described (about 1953), Mr. Crocker was the Manager of the Mill Store.
It was the custom of Glendale Mills to celebrate
with their employees and their families, along with the community
at large, two special holidays of the year, Christmas and the Fourth of
On the Friday before Christmas, it was custom of the mill company,
to give along with the employee’s pay check, a Christmas card which entitled
them to a large bag of Christmas goodies. Weighing some 30 pounds, the bags
contained bags of apples, grapefruits, oranges, nuts and candies along
with boxes of cookies, a package of cereal, a can of pop corn, a jar of
apple butter, a fruit cake along with 6 or 7 other items of the season.
To prepare for these bags, some 14 hundred for both plants in
Glendale and Georgia, the company bought oranges and grapefruit straight
from Florida and apples from Washington state. Candies and cookies were
bought straight from the manufacturers for freshness.
On Monday, before the Friday when the bags were to be given
out, we had a group of school boys and girls to come to the gymnasium where
the items had been stored. We set up a conveyor which ran in front
of the station of each item. A girl would stand between two stations,
except for the fruits which were single stations each because of their weight
and tendency to bruise. As the bag passed in front of her she would place
the one or two items she was responsible for into the bag. The boys kept
the stations stocked with the items and stacked the full bags in their place
for distribution. It was a fun time for everyone packing the bags and
when the day of distribution came, the workers would be back to help hand
them out to the employees. receiving their thanks and appreciation.
Along with the distribution of Christmas bags, on most years we
had a Christmas party at night in the gymnasium at which time we had contests,
played games and gave prizes. One year, Willene Hughes was voted and crowned
Miss. Christmas. We set up a large Christmas tree to add to the Spirit of
We also had a Manger Scene float in the Spartanburg Christmas
parade with the school children from the Glendale Grammar School marching
behind. The employees and their families always seemed most appreciative
of the company’s effort to make their Christmas, a blessed and joyous event.
This web site has been started as a public
service to share the story of Glendale. The web master and person to
contact about putting information on the web site is Mary McKinney
Teaster. Contact her at:
by telephone at (843) 873-8117. See more information
about Mary and her Glendale connection at Mary McKinney Teaster.