Christmas commercialization is no modern phenomenon. Put the Post cover artists in charge and the mundane experience of making lists, checking them twice, and scavenging stores to gather holiday bounty becomes a delightful, miserable, and just plain silly occasion.
How we envision ourselves while Christmas shopping — calm and fabulous. This stunning self-portrait by Neysa Mc Mein, one of the Post’s more popular female artists, makes the whole event appear effortless. But we know it’s not as simple as waltzing into the nearest department store adorned in your favorite black mink.
Department Store at Christmas
Even 63 years ago the ugly tie was universally recognized as the least desirable Christmas gift. But sometimes, well, that’s the best a person can do.
Lost Child Department
Black Friday may not have existed back in 1958, but Christmas gifts were still serious business. Shoppers flooded malls from gift finding through gift wrapping stages.
‘Twas the Night Before Christmas
Probably not a coincidence, this mom bears an uncanny resemblance to St. Nick. Although J.C. Leyendecker was best known for his stylish illustrations of fashionable people, he occasionally produced comic numbers, such as this colorful depiction of the frantic, last-minute shopper.
“Pops” Fredericks, the model for this illustration, never achieved fame on the stage or big screen. From a hobo, to Santa Claus, his many appearances on Rockwell covers have turned Pops into a crowd favorite here at the Post.
Father Rushing Home with Gifts
The crazy was felt even in 1909. Take notice of the rocking horse. After being popularized in England during the 1800s, it galloped into factory production. By the time this father ran home with the toy, it had become a staple present in America.
Hiding the Presents
After the shopping is all said and done, we recommend being extra sneaky about where and when you decide to hide the presents. Kids have a knack for watching their parents with hawk-like eyes during the month of December.
Become a Saturday Evening Post member and enjoy unlimited access. Subscribe now