I know that since I live in L.A., this blog should probably cover my adventures in L.A. But sometimes, “adventures” come in the form of my friends calling me and telling me about something that’s happening in Real Time in my hometown of Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
So I get this message yesterday:
“Hi, Lesley, this is Steve. Um, I’m standing in the lobby of the M&I bank in downtown Milwaukee and… they have a moving Christmas display and um….unfortunately, you’re not here. I wish you could see it. Bye.”
Why of course! The Stuffed Animal Christmas Display at Milwaukee’s Marshall and Ilsley Bank! A cherished memory from my childhood. And it’s still going strong! How lovely!
As Jewish child living in Wisconsin in the 70’s, I didn’t get much Christmas exposure. Plus, there were no magical Hannukkah displays of stuffed animals huddled around a menorah looking vaguely disappointed.
But thanks to the M&I Bank Stuffed Animal Christmas display, I still got to enjoy Christmas. Semi-Guilt free!
Every year, the display has a different theme. It was pretty straightforward when I was a kid. Just bears and lions and giraffes, frolicking in the snow. Some of them had cute hats. So I can’t wait to see what they’ve done for 2007. I’ll just go online and see what pictures are available…
Here’s an article describing the display for this year:
“A Holiday in Old Milwaukee” features the Steiff animals in custom designed and custom sewn costumes from the mid 1800’s. The animals are gathering on the steamship “Holly” and celebrating the holidays at Milwaukee’s port.
Now, some might miss the simplicity of previous displays, but I’m going to embrace this because it is totally original and not boring and dares to express itself.
So you rock on, M&I display! Rock on, Tiger in a plaid suit and bowler hat! And you too, tiger in a petticoat!
You kick it, giraffe and ostrich wearing bonnets!
You work it out, hedgehog pulling other hedgehogs!
You celebrate yourself, Bear and Kangaroo in a dress and snappy waicoat! That’s right. Look back at us with defiance and say, “I am”!
Hey, you are my FAVORITE, Stag in a Mr. Rogers Sweater Playing Checkers with a Kitten in a Bonnet and Gingham Frock! You heard me! That’s what I said!
Right on, St. Bernard having a puppet show! Right on!!!
Well, my Christmas-adjacent experience is now complete for another year. M&I Bank rules!
So thanks for following me down memory lane on this special holiday adventure. I’m going to email M&I with my ideas for a stuffed animal version display of the movie Yentl. It’s never to early to start a new tradition, right?