As a kid in the 1970s, Christmas Eve meant going to Hill’s General Store for their prize drawings. Osler and Oscar Hill, and their wives Edith and Barbara, prepared all sorts of prizes, mostly candy and nick-nacks, so that everybody who entered won something. There were a few big prizes — boots, pocket knives and such — but I always hoped to win a bag of chocolate-covered peanuts, which we only had at Christmas time (it was as an adult that I realized chocolate-covered peanuts are in season year-round). The store was so packed with people that folks could hardly move, so Osler and Oscar would have to toss the smaller prizes through the air to the winners. I sat high on the top shelf of flour sacks above where I read every comic book in the rack (Hill’s had it all) so I could see. When I won a bag of candy, I wanted somebody to chuck my prize halfway across the store so I could catch it — but instead, the men passed it hand-over-hand across the room and handed it to me. I was bummed that they didn’t toss it, but I consoled myself by eating most of the bag before anyone could stop me. Good times.
Do you have any Christmas Eve or other memories of Hill’s Store? Let us know. We would love to share them!