A new decade dawned with a sense of hope and positivity. Would the decade end in the same way?
Christmas 1920 and the first example of mass marketing I have come across as I’ve moved through the decades and it came from Kodak. The advertisements promoted Kodak cameras’ convenience which could give lasting memories of holidays long after they were past. Even a child could use it.
The Salvation Army’s charity work at Christmas was attracting more attention in the papers during the 1920s.
The Portland Guardian Christmas editorial of December 23, 1920 had it all. Christmas from a religious perspective, the need for positivity, forward movement and encouragement to buy local products. Industrial disputes, prominent during the 1920s in Australia are also mentioned as was Santa with the suggestion that if Santa could not find a suitable Christmas gift in the Portland shops, he wasn’t up to the task. Luckily there was the clarification that Santa has been in the job too long for them to question his abilities.
It was hot in the Western District during Christmas 1920 and this brought people out on to the streets of Heywood.
Spencer Street Station (now Southern Cross Station), Melbourne would have been a sight at Christmas time with crates of live poultry of various types lining the platforms. This report comes from Christmas 1921.
The war was over but help was still needed by the many returned servicemen, many facing unemployment.
The ladies of the Horsham Church of Christ had gathered together homemade goods to sell at their annual Christmas sale of 1922.
Photographs were a popular gift suggestion for Christmas 1922.
Barnes the Chemist of Horsham had ivory goods and hair tidies and were also an agent for Kodak, the camera to suit all purses.
Shoppers fell over each other to get the best Christmas poultry at the Bendigo Auction markets in December 1923.
As seen above, turkeys were the more expensive type of poultry for Christmas 1923 and were considered “a forbidden luxury”.
The Argus of December 18, 1923 offered Christmas gift suggestions in the “Woman’s Realm” column. French embroidery dressing table mats looked “charming” on a glass-topped table. The Christmas handkerchief was always welcome with some relying on a handkerchief gift to replenish their supply. Telephone book covers and patience card sets were also suggested.
Christmas 1923 in Horsham sounded a little brighter than 1922. The greenery on shops and the ladies’ summer dresses added to the splendour of the fine weather.
The annual Christmas treat at May Park had grown into a popular Christmas Eve fixture in Horsham by Christmas 1924.
The shopkeepers of Portland were competing for a prize of one guinea from the Mayor for their Christmas 1924 window displays.
If you were wanting a step by step guide to preparing a 1924 style Christmas dinner, this is it. Worth reading if you have a mother in law or sisters visiting. Failure to take heed could see your reputation as “a good housekeeper…hang on a thread”. This really is priceless and is a wonderful insight into domestic tasks of the 1920s.
Christmas 1925 was looking disastrous for the parishioners of the Horsham Church of Christ when they heard the news that Father Christmas was stranded at Dooen Hill after his plane had broken down. A rescue party was sent and he eventually arrived with presents for all.
Goodwill and good business marked Christmas 1925 in Horsham. The reporter also noted that the pine boughs on the shop verandah posts served the purpose of stopping people propping up the posts, “Australia’s favourite duty”.
While the night soil man and his family innocently enjoyed a hearty Christmas dinner of two geese thanks to what he thought was a generous Christmas box, the true owners lamented that things don’t always turn out the way one expects them to.
A. and P. Glover of Horsham opened an extra shop during Christmas 1926 to cater for the increase in trade.
A Christmas story from Horsham, 1926.
Mr. G.C Perring advised Horsham residents that he was taking orders for Christmas Cakes for the 1927 celebration.
The Post Master General’s department distributed three million of the following posters in 1927.
The Christmas Box Art Union were selling Australian made Christmas cards.
The Argus Shopping Page offered a range of last minute gift ideas. Interesting items listed under the heading “Sweets for Children” were bunches of grapes and pink radishes along with tool sets and chocolate telephones.
Every shop in Horsham had taken the trouble to decorate for Christmas 1928. People were beginning to feel the pinch as the decade drew to a close.
Only weeks on from the Wall Street Crash of 1929, Jim Scullin was insisting that Australians buy Australian. With high unemployment, the crash and a trade deficit of 10 million pounds there was a sense of urgency to stimulate the local economy and create jobs. Examples of the products imported were £400,000 of serviettes and linen and £46,000 of playing cards.
Santa dropped in at the Laverton Air school in December 1929.
The Argus of December 13, 1929 offered tips on getting through Christmas during a time of “financial stringency”. Christmas trees ranged in price from 5/6 to 7/6 but a cheaper option was pieces of bamboo or hardwood placed in a pot and adorned with pine needles or asparagus fern.