20th Century Christmas Shopping

Updated on Dec 23, 2020. Originally added on Dec 15, 2016 by Kathy Pinna
Now 2 decades (wow!) into the 21st century, online shopping is beginning to equal the shopping at brick and mortar stores. But in the 20th century, people had to go out and shop - in great numbers. A part of everyone's Christmas tradition was going to the stores and enjoying the sights and sounds: The beautiful window displays, the Christmas lights, the newest toys and clothes, visiting Santa, sometimes hearing carolers . . . and the crowds. Always the crowds.

These are photos of those days of physically shopping during Christmastime. Do you miss some of it? Do you still at least go to a mall to experience Christmas sights and sounds? Or are you happy that with a click of your mouse, your shopping is done?

20th Century Christmas Shopping

Window Shopping at Christmas

New York City Christmas Shopping

Shopping in London

London, 1937

It's 1937, they're shopping for Christmas - and love the coats and sensible shoes!

Macy's, 1948

Christmas Eve, 1948

It's Christmas Eve and shoppers are watching the animated toys in Macy's windows. It looks like Christmas music is being played over the speakers above the windows.


She's doing a bit of shopping!

Christmas, 1930's

And I want a man to carry all my packages! Lucky girl.

1913 New York City

New York City, 1913

Oh, the muffs! I always wanted a muff when I was a girl. They look so elegant!

New York City, 1945

New York City, 1945

They look like they're having fun!

Crowd of shoppers, 1947

Christmas Crowd, 1947

The windows are "A Santa Claus Story" display.


1950's window shopping

1950's Christmas Display

Looks like the women want china!

In the 1910's . . .

Xmas shoppers

They look like they're having fun shopping!

New York City

Christmas Window Shopping, NYC

Bet some of those toys move - that's the only way boys would be watching so intently.


Woolworth's, 1935

1935 window display at Woolworth's on 5th Avenue.

Christmas Peddler

1910 New York City Christmas

1910 - and those boys are fascinated. I wonder what he's selling?

Have photos that you'd like to see included? Share your photos or click "next page" below to see a video of popular toys in the 1950's.
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