Christmas Shopping Season

The increasing length of the holiday shopping season has been a trend for many decades. Decorations seem to go up earlier in stores with each passing year. Seasonal merchandise is stocked on shelves soon after Halloween, and Christmas-related commercials appear on television and radio long before Thanksgiving. On November 24, 1907, the Nebraska State Journal of Lincoln joined a national effort to persuade Christmas shoppers to buy their gifts early in the season and early in the day. The Journal told readers: “A letter urging early Christmas shopping is going out over the signatures of leading department store men and editors to the heads of 5,500 women’s department stores and to the 750 newspapers in the 257 cities where these department stores are urging early shopping-early in the month and early in the day. . . .
Store during Christmas 01

Brandeis Firestone Tire Company, Omaha, NE, 1941


Store during Christmas 02

The Corner Grocery, Lincoln, NE, 1904

“This is the letter sent out: ‘Will you join in a movement on a national scale to modify the hardships incident to holiday shopping? Observation might show many of us that Christmas is a time of hardship for those who have to do with supplying the needs of Christmas shoppers. Authentic records from the lives of clerks, delivery boys and drivers of wagons show that while we are keeping the Christmas festival, while we are feeding the lame and halt, the blind and friendless, we are lightly reducing to illness and exhaustion the young and strong and faithful who serve us, seen and unseen.’ “‘Every year the celebration of Christmas grows more elaborate. More presents are bought; the crowds are greater; the decorations are more splendid. The problems of the merchants are correspondingly more complex; the supply has to be increased; the pressure at every point intensifies. On the one hand, public opinion disapproves long hours and late work, particularly for young women, girls and children. On the other hand, merely through thoughtlessness, many shoppers defer their purchases until the last possible moment at the cost of unnecessary strain upon salespeople and delivery forces.’ “‘By joint effort of editors and merchants, the idea can be brought home to millions of customers that they can benefit themselves and everyone concerned if they will do their Christmas shopping early in the season and early in the day. This will lengthen the Christmas shopping period and reduce the disadvantages which, in other seasons, have attended the Christmas crowds.'”


Become a Member!

Our members make history happen.

Join Now

Other Publications

The Bachelors’ Protective Union of Kearney

When the Bachelors' Protective Union gave a gala reception for two of its newly married, former members and their brides in March of 1890, the social club for young, ...

U.S. Weather Bureau in 1890s Nebraska

The U.S. Weather Bureau was established by an act of Congress on October 1, 1890. It took over the weather service that had been established in the office of the Chief ...

Canning the Way to Victory

During American participation in World War I the U.S. Food Administration, under the direction of Herbert Hoover, launched a massive campaign to persuade Americans to ...

The Shoemaker’s Ashes

"Edward Kuehl, one of the most peculiar characters that ever lived in Omaha, or anywhere else, was found dead in his bed last night in the back room of his place of ...

Crazy Horse Surrender Ledger Foreward

Red Dog, an Oglala Lakota who lived at the Red Cloud Agency, Nebraska, 1876-77 (Nebraska State Historical Society   In the summer of 1876, following the ...

Darryl F. Zanuck

Darryl F. Zanuck Darryl F. Zanuck (1902-1979), a native Nebraskan, produced some of Hollywood's most important and controversial films. He helped found 20th Century Fox ...

The Burlington’s Profitable Pork Special

Nebraska railroads were much concerned with developing an adequate economy in the areas they served. The Burlington, for example, had a long history of caring for the ...

Bungalow Filling Stations

After the giant Standard Oil Company was broken into thirty-four separate companies in 1911, the newly independent Standard Oil of Nebraska dominated the state's market ...

The Bull Fight

This is the perfect time of year for a visit to the old fishin' hole. But a group of fisherfolk from Plainview discovered that this bucolic pastime sometimes has ...

Buffalo Soldiers West

African-American soldiers on the western frontier are the focus of an exhibit at the Nebraska History Museum in Lincoln. Buffalo Soldiers West, on loan from the Colorado ...

Protection for Buffalo

The extermination of the buffalo on the Plains occurred largely between 1870 and 1885. The Nebraska State Journal of Lincoln on February 1, 1874, editorialized in vain ...

Buffalo Hunting

In late October 1877 young Rolf Johnson and three friends left their homes in Phelps County, Nebraska, for a buffalo hunt in northeastern Colorado. The hunt was not very ...
About History Nebraska
History Nebraska was founded in 1878 as the Nebraska State Historical Society by citizens who recognized Nebraska was going through great changes and they sought to record the stories of both indigenous and immigrant peoples. It was designated a state institution and began receiving funds from the legislature in 1883. Legislation in 1994 changed History Nebraska from a state institution to a state agency. The division is headed by Interim Director and CEO Jill Dolberg. They are assisted by an administrative staff responsible for financial and personnel functions, museum store services, security, and facilities maintenance for History Nebraska.
Explore Nebraska
Discover the real places and people of our past at these History Nebraska sites.

Upcoming Events

View our new and upcoming events to see how you can get involved.

Become a Member

The work we do to discover, preserve, and share Nebraska's history wouldn't be possible without the support of History Nebraska members.

History Nebraska Education

Learn more about the educational programs provided at our museums, sites, and online.

History Nebraska Programs

Learn more about the programs associated with History Nebraska.

Latest Hall of Fame Inductee

The Nebraska Hall of Fame was established in 1961 to officially recognize prominent Nebraskans.

Listen to our Podcast

Listen to the articles and authors published in the Nebraska History Magazine with our new Nebraska History Podcast!

Nebraska Collections

History Nebraska's mission is to collect, preserve, and open our shared history to all Nebraskans.

Our YouTube Video Collection

Get a closer look at Nebraska's history through your own eyes, with our extensive video collections.

Additional Research Resources

History Nebraska Research and Reference Services help connect you to the material we collect and preserve.

Support History Nebraska
Make a cash donation to help us acquire, preserve, and interpret Nebraska’s history. Gifts to History Nebraska help leave a legacy and may help your taxes, too! Support the work of History Nebraska by donating to the History Nebraska Foundation today.

Volunteers are the heroes of History Nebraska. So much history, so little time! Your work helps us share access to Nebraska’s stories at our museums and sites, the reference room, and online.