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A Look into 1923’s Christmas Shopping Season
In November 1923, newspapers were filled with advertisements and suggestions for Christmas presents. A notable aspect of the holiday season in 1923 was the concept of Christmas funds or Christmas clubs. These were savings accounts set up by individuals in banks, specifically for the purpose of saving money for Christmas shopping.
The Brooklyn Daily Eagle reported that nearly $4,000,000 would be distributed among the depositors of Brooklyn savings banks at the beginning of December. This sum was a significant increase from the previous year. The Roosevelt Savings Bank, located on Gates Avenue near Broadway, had 24,000 Christmas Club accounts in 1923, with a total of $1,200,000 to be distributed to its members.
A summary of the Christmas Club funds throughout the country showed a grand total of $211,606,800 accumulated by more than 5,000,000 depositors. New York State led all others with a total of $36,824,430 in deposits.
Newspapers of the day were filled with advertisements for Christmas gifts. Suggestions ranged from practical items such as a new enameled gas range or a book of postage stamps to more luxurious items like jewelry. However, one advice column cautioned against giving jewelry unless one was engaged, suggesting instead gifts like flowers, candy, books, or stationery.
The Buffalo Express reported on a gift day for a local church home, where generous donations were received from many friends.
Learn more about November 21, 1923, through historical newspapers from our archives. Explore newspaper articles, headlines, images, and other primary sources below.