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 July.

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 Season.


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.


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