Friday, December 3, 2010

1894 - "Santa Claus will now have the right of way for two weeks or more."


In a little more than two weeks the Christian world will celebrate the greatest of all church festivals. Even those who give no thought to the calendar know that, because for some time past, they have been confronted upon every side with the evidences of the coming events. Extraordinary efforts are being made by the Baltimore merchants to meet the holiday trade, and the displays in the shop windows are the richest and rarest of all the year.

Holiday goods are to be seen on all sides in bewildering profusion. The styles in children's toys do not seem to vary much, except that they share in the process of evolution which them ores serious phases of life are undergoing. As education is gradually changing for mere theoretical, abstract learning to practical, concrete knowledge, so the playthings intended to amuse happy childhood are mostly imitations of utilitarian ideas. There is no end of wagons, building blocks, steam engines and miniature railroads with trains drawn by real locomotives. Extreme youth is beginning to wrestle with some intricate problems, and must emerge into maturer years with more accurate ideas about life.

A glace at those articles intended to beautify homes shows a steady advance in American art. Those hideous things which not so very long ago elicited smiles from strangers have disappeared almost entirely. Nearly all of what one sees now is really very attractive.

Of the volume of trade, however, that which can truthfully be said is not greatly encouraging. Comparisons with prosperous years show a falling off. The shopping streets, though full of life and bustle, are hardly as crowded as before the business depression came on. This is apparent even to a careless observer. Still, this cannot yet be taken as an infallible barometer. Occasionally the Christmas trade has a way of swelling out very suddenly, and making up in one week what had been lost during a prolonged season of dullness.

It is hoped that when the final returns are in both sellers and buyers will have ample reason to feel joyous over the results of holiday trade.

The Morning Herald
Baltimore, Maryland
December 8, 1894