I don't really enjoy Christmas. I haven't in years. I've mentioned this before.
HOWEVER, this year I'm going to try to change my tune. I've been thinking about Christmases past, hoping that they will help me feel better about the holiday. Lucky YOU, my dear readers...you will get to read all about my Christmas memories!
If any of you grew up in an area where you could see Cleveland television stations, you may know who I'm referring to with this particular memory. I spent the first eight years of my life about 35 minutes southeast of Cleveland in northeast Ohio.
There was a nice department store in downtown Cleveland called Halle's. I don't know the history of the store, and never actually visited there, but everyone around knew about the store. Halle's sponsored a half hour television show that came on each weekday for a few weeks before Christmas.
There was a character, Mr. Jingeling, who was the "keeper of the keys" and was Santa's right hand elf. Mr. Jingeling would basically promote items from the Toy Department at Halle's, but would do it in such a subtle way that it wasn't obnoxious. He would also tell stories about Santa, working with the other elves, and what the North Pole was like. He would also spend part of his show sitting behind a table with a child on either side of him. Mr. Jingeling would talk to the children and gave each one a special large key to wear around their neck.
Oh, how I wanted to be one of Mr. Jingeling's children!
Occasionally throughout the holiday season, Mr. Jingeling could actually be found on the 7th floor of Halle's Department Store, handing out keys to the children.
At least that's what I've HEARD...I never got a key of my own.
When Mr. Jingeling came on for the season, Christmas couldn't be too far behind.
The theme song was quite catchy too:
Mr. Jingeling, how you tingaling,
Keeper of the keys.
On Halle's seventh floor,
We'll be waiting for
You to turn the key.
Mr. Jingeling went off the air in the 70s, well after I grew out of watching him, and the actor who played him passed away on December 26, 2000. This doesn't mean that I've ever forgotten him though.
Apparently there is still a gentleman playing Mr. Jingeling. I don't want to spend too much time thinking about him or looking at his photo too much, because it will tarnish my childhood memories. But you can see the history of Mr. Jingeling and the "new guy" here.
I miss the old Mr. Jingeling and what he represented...the innocence of youth.