Special to Times
Last Saturday, Dec. 5, it was disappointing for many Beacon Hill businesses and would-be holiday revelers to see the annual Holiday Stroll canceled due to pouring rain, but this did not dampen the spirits of Laura Cousineau and her merry staff at Upstairs Downstairs at 93 Charles St.
Despite the inclement weather, many intrepid strollers visited the neighborhood and, within Upstairs Downstairs, found perfect gifts and wonderful surprises and a warm and welcoming refuge from the storm. Many people and families, 42 plus in all, were delighted to receive a free gift with their purchase – hand sanitizer.
In addition, each brave soul who entered the store was surprised to see a giant wooden hand-carved advent calendar of Faneuil Hall with 25 drawers that held 25 surprises. Each customer was invited to choose any door they wished and claim for themselves the treasure within. Each drawer contained a surprise coupon like 10 to 20 percent off their purchase or a free antique ornament. Every box contained an old Buffalo nickel and a couple of old Lincoln Wheat pennies. Scattered in a few drawers lucky ones could find a dollar coin or a Kennedy half-dollar. The look of glee and the happy surprise in people’s eyes was a sight to see and even behind masks broad smiles could easily be detected.
The entire store was bedecked in a sparkling nostalgic and glorious Christmas splendor and with the gratitude of customers one could feel the Stroll although different and with challenges to overcome was a success.
Furthermore, customers expressed gratitude that their purchase supported the MGH first-responders fund. (Anyone interested in supporting MGH’s COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund may do so at https://because.massgeneral.org/campaign/mass-general-emergency-response-fund/c276647.)
“Although the stroll was brief and grey, Upstairs Downstairs look forward to continuing to entertain and surprise its customers next weekend on Dec. 12 from noon to 6 p.m. for the rescheduled Stroll (rain date: Sunday, Dec. 13),” Cousineau said. “Rain, snow, or shine, Upstairs Downstairs is here to brighten your day.”