From all of us at Beekman 1802 to all of you: Happy Cy Berman Day! Wait. What? You haven’t heard of Cy Berman? Maybe you’ve been mishearing his name all these years. Some folks believe that the Monday following Thanksgiving is something called “Cyber Monday.” But that’s silly. What does a computer have to do with Christmas? That’s right: Nothing. But Cyril “Cy” Berman? Why, he practically invented the first day of the Christmas Season! And here’s his mostly-true-but-kinda-also-entirely-made-up story… (But if you just want to skip to the sale part, click here.)
Our guy “Cy” was born “Cyril Berman” in Sharon Springs, NY in 1912. After earning his accounting degree, he married and moved his family to New York City where he worked at Pinchon Bottham & Vamoose Accounting from 1935-1976. And from his very first day on the job he was assisted by a very capable secretary named Holly Daye.
Every year, on the Monday following the Thanksgiving holiday, Cy would come into work with a list of Christmas presents he needed to purchase for his wife and a crisp $100 bill. Handing them to Holly, he’d say: “Miss Daye, as long as you return from lunch with all of the items on the list, I don’t care if there’s any change left over.”
Well, Holly happened to know every single bargain in the city, so each year she saved herself quite a Christmas bonus. She saved so much money, in fact, that the other secretaries began giving her the money from their bosses to buy their wives’ presents. Holly could shop for all of the executives in the entire firm and be done by 1pm with hundreds of dollars left over.
Soon it became tradition for Holly to invite the other secretaries to lunch with the money she’d saved. As these ladies sat around the fanciest restaurants in New York, trying on the latest hats, jewelry and furs just purchased for their bosses’ wives, they would lift a toast to Cyril Berman…the man who started it all…and cheer: HAPPY CY BERMAN DAY!
So while you’re sitting at your desk this Monday morning thinking about how long and expensive your shopping list is, we invite you to check out the “Cy Berman Day” sitewide special at Beekman 1802. We think Holly would be proud.