What You Could Have Bought for Christmas, in the Olden Days!

What you could have bought for Christmas! That is the title of this article which appered in the December 1976 Issue of the Australian Parade Magazine. It’s a great article which shows you a who bunch of vintage items which you could have bought in the ‘olden days’. As well as comparing current (1976) Christmas to way-back-then …

I was hoping to reproduce the photo so that you could click on it, and it enlarges, but haven’t worked out WordPress well enough to do so. So as the article itself is too small to read, I’ve decided to transcribe it here for you:

As you fight your way through the department stores this Christmas, buffeted by the crowds, benumbered by the piped music and ignored by the shop assistants, cast your mind back to a more leisurely age …

To a time when a store was an emproium, elegant and unhurried, where the floorworker bowed and the assistants scurried, parcels were tied with string and your change (oh yes, you could get change then) came rattling back to the counter along a network of overhead wires.

With a pocketful of sovereigns you could have bought gifts for the whole family – and had them delivered too, at no extra cost – and still have money left for a meal and the journey home.

Even after World War I things were still cheap; the two-seater runabout (top left picture) cost £150, or £180 for the four-seater model.

You could liberally indulge in beer and wine and drive off with a tank full of cheap petrol, without having to worry about seatbelts, breathalysers, traffic jams, or radar speed traps.

Before you get too starry-eyed about Christmas-past, remember that they were also the days of depressions and lock-outs and industrial strife, days when the rich were certainly rich – but they were few – and the poor were poverty-stricken – and sadly there were many.

The turn of the century was a good time for those born into the silver-spoon set, but for most of us Christmas shopping in the “good old days” would probably have been restricted to wishful window gazing.

As we sit down to our Christmas lunch this weekend, we should take a moment to think about our ancestors and the Christmasses they celebrated all those years ago …

One Response to “What You Could Have Bought for Christmas, in the Olden Days!”

  1. Judy Webster says:

    I can really relate to the bit about “ignored by the shop assistants”. 🙂

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