Gilmore's department store was an institution in Kalamazoo, catering to customers for 100+ years. This Christmas commercial will make you feel like a kid again.

Christmas is a holiday for the ages. As we grow older, we see that the true spirit of the season is more about giving than the gift. When you needed a gift in Kalamazoo, Gilmore's was the place to shop for more than four generations. Nearly twenty-five years after they closed for good, just bringing up the name brings back cherished memories.

Bring up the Gilmore name in the Vanished Kalamazoo Facebook group and, despite the fact that this is the internet, everyone has fond memories. Kalamazooians remember not only the vast selection of quality merchandise, but Gilmore experiences like ice-cold Cokes at the lunch counter, cheery holiday decorations, and intimate visits with Santa Claus.

It really was our version of Macy's. The salespeople were always all dressed up...the women in dresses and the men in suits. And I remember the elevator operator would announce what was on that floor as you arrived. Going to the mall just isn't the same.

-Rita M Smallcombe, Vanished Kalamazoo Facebook group

YouTube is also a treasure trove of memories, and a search unearthed a Gilmore's "Super Holiday Sale" Christmas commercial. "Mommy says the happiest holidays begin at Gilmore's," says the juvenile narrator before the professional "I'm on the radio" voice-over guy promises that "right now, you'll find spectacular storewide savings on everything you need for gift-giving at all three Gilmore's stores." Yes, three locations: the downtown store everyone remembers, Southland Mall, and Maple Hill Mall.

For more than one hundred years, Gilmore's meant Christmas in Kalamazoo.

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Irving Gilmore Mansion, Kalamazoo, 516 W. South Street,

This is the Irving Gilmore Mansion in downtown Kalamazoo, a block from the Art Institute, Bronson Park and the Civic Center.