Do you still remember the Sylvanian Families John Lewis Department Store I got last Christmas as a present from A♥? I’ve been meaning to play with it all these months but I never got around to unboxing. Last week, I finally set some time for it. It took close to ten hours (divided into two days) to assemble the whole thing, take pictures, and pack everything away again, but it was such a lot of fun. 🙂
It always brings a smile to my face when I remember this particular gift’s history; knowing how the people I love collaborated to give me something special is more precious than the gift itself. If that doesn’t make me feel loved, well, I don’t know what else will.
To A♥ and my bestest, farthest away friend, Panda– I ♥ you always!
John Lewis is Open for Business
It was the first day of business for Mr. Spencer Maces’ store and he was a nervous fellow that day. Having plunked down a significant portion of their family’s nest egg into acquiring a John Lewis store franchise, Mr. Maces could not afford to fail; his family depended on him.
So on that bright Monday morning when he announced that the store was finally ready to open, his family’s excitement could not be contained.
“Well, here it is! Our very own store!” Papa Spencer announced to Mama Arvey, Nichole, and Mark. “Do you think we can make this work?”
“Oh, Papa, it’s beautiful! We love it already!” the three shouted in glee. Mama Arvey even had tears in her eyes.
“But, Papa, Mama, may we help you? Nichole and I are handy kids, you said so yourself. May we stay in the store all day?” Mark asked his father. Nichole solemnly nodded her head in agreement. “Please?” they said in chorus.
“Well, of course, you may,” Mama said right away. “And Papa and I would be most happy for the help. Here, get your aprons right away!”
“Oh, don’t you all look lovely?” Mama gushed, as she whipped out a camera. “How about a picture to remember this day by, family?” she asked as they scrambled towards the steps of the store.
“Say cheese!” she shouts. “One…two…three…”
“…cheddar!” shouted Mark.
“…gorgonzolla!” Papa added.
…click!” Picture perfect!
Before long, the first of the day’s clients arrived. Papa Spencer and Mark rushed inside to get things ready for their guests. Who else would be first than Kitty Little Lanes’ incumbent Mayor, Kittymama White, and her daughter Kitty?
“Thank you for coming, Kittymama! We’re so happy to see you,” Mama Arvey hugged and kissed her old friend.
“You know I wouldn’t miss this for the world, dear,” Mayor Kittymama replied. “I reserved the second floor cafe for a council meeting at nine, you know.”
Upstairs in the cafe, Papa got busy with the preordered sundaes and drinks. Mark would be his assistant. “One banana chocolate caramel sundae coming right up!”
Mrs. Huckleberry and Mrs. Macavity joined Mayor White for the council meeting that morning. The town, they said, was abuzz with the news of the store opening.
“Oh, Mayor, this is the perfect place for a meeting! Aren’t we lucky to get a John Lewis Store in our little town?” Hatty Huckleberry announced.
“Yes, indeed! First a Sainsbury and then now a John Lewis! That Panda is one smart town planner!” Cassandra Macavity agreed, as she started to lick her paws clean.
Mark handed the Mayor her sundae and proceeded to get orders from Mrs. Huckleberry and Mrs. Macavity.
“I’ll have the same, Mark, thank you!” Mrs. Hucklberry barked happily.
“Make mine pink with lots of strawberries please, meow!” purred Mrs. Macavity.
Papa Spencer deftly juggled whipped cream, chopped nuts, sliced fruits, milk and ice cream, and in no time flat, had created two more delicious concoctions!
“Two more sundaes ready, son,” Papa announced. Mark got ready to receive the new orders.
Well, it looks like Papa and Mark has got everything handled already. Why don’t we take a peek at Mama and Nichole in the store’s ground floor ?
Downstairs, Mama manned the Drinks Bar, as well as the general store. Two little girls waited by the service window for their ice cream floats. “Can mine be red and swirly please?” sister Violet Gray requested.
“Of course, dear,” Mama Arvey replied.
The two little girls sat on the steps of the store and enjoyed their cold soda floats. “Hmmm… Brain freeze!” Violet shrieked and the friends giggled loudly.
Sister Nichole was hard at work, serving the orders in the outdoors cafe. Cold drinks, soda floats, sweet jellies were crowd favorites and she got them coming one after the other.
Mr. Fred Golightly took the first table with his buddies Allan Huckleberry and Dorian Gray as they all waited for their wives. It was a hot day and they guzzled cold sodas in quick succession, much to Nichole’s delight.
“Another soda, sir?” she asked. “Perhaps more jelly for the baby?”
“Just keep them coming, little miss. Looks like we’ll be here a while,” Mr. Golightly chuckled.
“Me wuv jelly, eez wishus, Papa, mee nom nom” baby Georgina babbled. She had fallen in love with her mound of orange gelatin. She puckered her lips to kiss it.
On the other end of the yard, Delia Doughty and Emma Furbanks caught up on news about town. The opening day of the John Lewis Store was the talk of the town for the last few months and they didn’t want to miss any of the day’s happenings. Mrs. Furbanks wrote a column for the town newspaper called Gadabout and the title fit her nosiness perfectly.
Inside the store, Mrs. Cordelia Gray had little Vane in the seat of a trolley. There were so many things to choose from and she could not make up her mind what to buy. New clothes? Baby toys? House decorations? The choices made her dizzy.
At the checkout counter, Tiffany Golightly handed Mama Avery the book she wanted to buy. It was about plants, and Tiffany could not wait to check if she really had a green thumb or not.
Behind her, Papa Gordon Doughty had just finished paying for Baby Brooklyn’s new toy. “What is it about baby googoo eyes that are difficult tor resist?” he thought, the hole burning in his pocket aching slightly.
All day long, patrons came in and out and the sound of the cash registers were sweet music to the Maces’ ears. Apparently, word of the new store had spread like wildfire.
As the day drew to a close, the whole family trooped outside to thank their patrons. Papa Spencer locked up the store and hang the closed sign in front. The Maces waved to their friends goodbye, all the while shouting their thanks for their support.
“Thank you for coming! Come again please! Make it soon!”
“Oh, You bet we will!” the Golightly girls shouted in unison, their new toys slowing them down as they walked.
Everyone, it seemed, carried a bag or two from John Lewis, filled with many delightful things they found during the day.
Last to leave, Baby Brookly broke away from his parents and ran back. “Goo-bye, Jon Luwish!” he shouted. “I come back morrow, pwomise!” The Maces broke out in smiles.
The store was closed for the day. Mama and Papa ushered their kids home, the sun setting quickly behind their backs. “Go straight home, kids, and we’ll be there in a little bit.”
“Yes, Mama! Yes, Papa!” Mark and Nichole skipped home happily.
Thankful for a successful opening day, Mr. And Mrs. Maces heaved a sigh of relief. It was time to head on home, they knew, but for now, they sat in the growing darkness, counting their blessings.
The Sylvanian Families John Lewis Store