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The Saratogian | November 2015

Linda Ambrosino is an employee at G. Willikers toy store, which is located in Saratoga Springs. She has worked there for over 30 years.

1 What’s your favorite part about working during the holiday season?

People are always in a good mood when they come to a toy store. It’s fun to help shop for all the kids and help fulfill their wishes. Wishes and magic, they’re what the season is all about, and working here helps put you in that holiday spirit.

2 What is your best holiday seller?

It is hard to pick one since there are so many different age groups, but two things that sell like crazy are the Crazy Aaron’s Thinking Putty, which comes in all different shapes, colors, sizes and have different cool features, it is also made here in the United States and is non toxic, which is great for kids who often like to collect them. Also, our mermaid blankets and the shark tails, which the company made for the boys. Other than that, our games and science stuff also sell really well.

3 What is your craziest story from working during the holiday season?

Our windows are always widely decorated and people like to come up and take pictures with them. People will even take their wedding and engagement photos there. This year, our windows tell a story of kids mailing a letter to Santa and how the letter flies to the north pole. It really is all about the magic.

4 Why do you think it is important for people to shop local?

It is important all year round and especially this time of the year. Downtown is an integral part of the city and it helps us not just financial-wise, but beauty-wise as well. People should walk downtown and help the independent dealers who keep up our festivals here. We are not over-priced and people should be open minded; it is especially great during Christmas time.

5 Outside of work, what’s your favorite part of the holiday season?

I love the whole thing, the lights, trees, music, food, everything. I start listening to Christmas music in my car on Nov. 1. There is not much I don’t like, it just always puts people in a good mood.

-- Sierra Mahoney

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