I couldn’t have been more than 10 years old at the time.
Half asleep, I crawled out bed and fumbled around my room, never noticing the absence of sunlight that typically streamed in from my one window.
I pulled back the curtains and saw that the road in front of my house had disappeared under a thick blanket of snow. The kind snow so deep that it’s hard to tell where the curb ends and the street begins.
I immediately thought I was having a dream. If you’ve ever met my mom, you know she doesn’t drive in the snow. At all.
But I wasn’t dreaming. She called again to let me know we were leaving, now.
I think I fell asleep in the car, because the next thing I remember is pulling up to Child World and running alongside my mother to grab a place in a line that had formed before dawn outside the toy store.
During those days, known as the mid-1980s, retailers had yet embraced online shopping, to say the least.
So, it was up to parents to brave the elements if they wanted to buy their children the latest and greatest toys.
Nowadays, parents still weigh having to drive on slick roads with the need to finish their holiday shopping. What’s different is that snow-shy shoppers now turn to the Internet and not their mad driving skills to get them through the season.
This year, area retailers are being forced to meet sales’ goals during a truncated shopping season slammed by weekend snowstorms.
First of all, Thanksgiving fell one week later this year, pushing back the unofficial launch to the Christmas shopping season.
The next weekend, York County shook hands with its first snowstorm. Cars slid and trucks plowed, but parking lots of local stores were not as packed as they should have been.
On Saturday, many shoppers stayed indoors hoping to avoid a late-afternoon storm.
But, that didn’t mean that they didn’t spend money.
Jim Boscov, vice chairman of Reading-based Boscov’s, said that the company’s online component, boscovs.com, did experience and bump in traffic this weekend.
“It never snows on the internet,” he said. “When the weather is bad, there are two things you can do, pray and make sure your strongest promotions are in effect so that customers can come out after that store and still get those deals.”