Monday, December 5, 2011

O'Neil's Talking Christmas Tree - 1959


Since my last post resulted in several comments about O'Neil's talking Christmas tree, I thought I would post this. It's a full page newspaper ad that ran in the Journal the day before Thanksgiving 1959 promoting the gabby holiday spruce.

Unless my memory is faulty, I remember the talking Christmas tree still being there in the mid-1960's. It was outside in the courtyard that was surrounded by the various stores. My parents had to coax my siblings and me to go up and chat with it. (It did have a friendly, female voice – and asked a lot of questions.)

I remember being puzzled as to how a talking Christmas tree fit in with the whole Christmas legend. Nevertheless, it was a more innocent time, and I'm sure I attributed it to the magic of Christmas, the one time of the year when everything is geared to making little kids happy.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

-Alan....

IIRC, the TCT was at O'Neil's until '69 or '70, when it wac moved to Midway Mall.

Lisa said...

This post
http://mallsofamerica.blogspot.com/2006/11/santas-coming-to-midway-mall.html
shows a 1974 Midway Mall ad promoting the "ever popular Talking Christmas Tree"

So, that tree was long gone from O'Neil's by the time my grandparents took me there to see Santa. I always wondered why Santa was hidden in the basement and nobody else was there to see him. That talking tree must have been the main attraction.

I remember having to be convinced to go talk to the tree at the Mall, too. It wasn't a real tree, if memory serves me correctly. It was more like a wood teepee. I wonder if it still exists in the Mall basement or attic. There's one way to bring people back to the Mall. Put it right back by the JCPenney inside entrance.

Dan Brady said...

Hi Lisa,

That is a terrific link--if you go to the bottom of the post and click on the numbers 1 and 2 next to "More Midway Mall" then you find dozens of great comments about the Mall by locals--and even a comment by the Mall's Talking Christmas Tree!

carla fruner said...

I wonder if anyone can post an old pic of the Sheffield or Midway Mall Talking Chrismas Tree...

Anonymous said...

My dad, Jack Ryan, was the talking Christmas Tree at Westgate Mall in St. Cloud MN in the early to mid 80's. I wonder if this is where the Westgate Mall got the tree from? I remember it being about 12 feet tall if not taller! Then again, I was only in elementary school.

ldysunrise said...

Dan as always thanks for the memories. Yes at least mid 60's it was still there. I remember it well. Now were telling our age. It was my aunt's favorite shopping spot. She took my cousin and I there all the time. I remember it well. Lorna

Anonymous said...

Alot of Midway so problem is that they always put more some where else.OUR DILLARDS WAS SMALLER OUR MACYS SMALLER ETC.SO NO WONDER PEOPLE LEFT THAT MALL.CERTAIN STORES WOULD NOT EVEN COME LIKE OUR OLIVE GARDEN UNTIL THEIR OTHER STORE DIDN'T WORK.OR DO WE HAVE A STARBUCKS.Really I feel Starbucks is stupid if they think they wouldn't be busy.