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Christmas in Danvers: 1951

Christmas 1951 in Danvers: good for merchants, record-breaking for the post office.

Have you ever stopped to think about how Christmas has changed over the years?

Unless you have the incredible hindsight of columnist Laura Hinds, sometimes it's hard to remember what past Christmases looked, felt, and even smelled like.

So, for the week leading up to Christmas, we've done our research and are providing a daily look back at what Christmas in Onion Town was like, starting with sixty years ago, 1951, and ending with twenty years ago, 1991.

In the meantime, we want you to tell us what your favorite memories of Christmas in Danvers are. A ? The best present you ever received (or gave?) Let us know in the comments.

This Week in Danvers History: Christmas 1951

  • All parishoners and clergymen celebrated the Annual Yuletide Candlelight by meeting at their respective churches and marching in procession to Danvers Square. At the square various choirs and musicians played, leading up to the mass lighting of candles.
  • The volume of Christmas mail handled at the set an all time record. Over a 14-day stretch, from Dec. 11 through the day before Christmas, 373,990 pieces of out-going mail was handled by local staff.
  • Christmas business was "as good, or better," than 1950, according to the merchants. There was an unexpected large turnout of customers the day before Christmas, and the business owners said "local shoppers purchased more practical gifts this year than other seasons, due chiefly to the high cost of several impractical gifts and large toys, plus the decreasing purchasing power of today's dollar."
  • Ropes Drug Company, located at 24 Maple Street, was advertising gifts for Him and Her, including a Men's Travel Set for $1.50, a Gillette Super Speed Razor for $1.00, and a Kodak Baby Brownie Special (takes 8 pictures on 127 roll film!) for $2.85
  • Christmas parties around town included the Women's Society of Maple Street Church's Christmas Tea, the Young Women's Guild Circle of the Methodist Church's Christmas Party, and a gala Christmas pageant for the patients at the Danvers State Hospital.
Laura Hinds December 19, 2011 at 11:12 PM
Nice article Molly! Reading this: "local shoppers purchased more practical gifts this year than other seasons, due chiefly to the high cost of several impractical gifts and large toys, plus the decreasing purchasing power of today's dollar." made me think: the more that things change, the more they stay the same.

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