Holyoke in Holiday Clothes

by Laurel | December 21st, 2011

21 December 1902

4 Shopping Days Till Christmas

4 Shopping Days Till Christmas

Christmas Gifts Are Useful Rather Than Ornamental This Year

The week before Christmas is becoming the proverbial bête noire of theater management and dance promoters. It is becoming more and more accepted as the time for selecting and buying of gifts for one’s relatives and friends and a busy time for all. It is surprising to note how Christmas drifts into the conversation; this and that thing is to be done before Christmas, or after Christmas, and much friendly curiosity withal as to how your friends are to spend Christmas — whether at home in Holyoke or with relatives away from Holyoke, whether you will have a tree for your boy or girl or family, or whether you will patronize the church, or some larger family tree. It is one of the great epochs of the year: if you don’t believe it ask your young hopeful. Christmas and July 4th are the two great festivals of the year to the small fry, with a small forever sandwiched between them. A feature this year is said to be the predominance of the useful over the ornamental in gift buying, this being very marked.

The one bar to a happy Christmas for a great many Holyoke people is the lack of coal. There won’t be enough left to even hang on the Christmas tree unless something develops before next Thursday. Every Holyoke coal dealer is pretty nearly converted to socialism at present writing, and in two weeks more they will be raving anarchists and will be hoarding dynamite in their cellars — figuratively speaking of course. Unless relief is afforded the time is coming within a month when the arrival of a car of coal will be the signal for another Boston tea party convocation, only the coal will not be thrown away — not much. It will be tenderly cared for by those in need of the article. Even today the public of Holyoke turns away from the coal offices apparently with the belief that the coal dealer has some coal somewhere — either in the back yard or down cellar, or up his coat sleeves, or in the safe — that he is hoarding away from those who wish to buy. You can see disbelief on would be customers faces six inches thick when the dealer says he hasn’t a pound. This makes the dealer mad, and only by self-control and by saying things to an imaginary audience in the back office can he keep sweet tempered. One coal dealer Thursday with metaphorical tears streaming down his face took the six jars of sizes of coal that had been displayed in his office window for lo, these many moons, down cellar and used them on his heater. Now he is able to say truthfully that he hasn’t a pound of hard coal.

Adapted from The Springfield Republican.

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