Thursday, November 7, 2019

American Christmas in the 1930's

Unlike the festive 1920's, the 1930's were known as the Great Depression. Gifts and decorations were simpler and often homemade. However, there were several Holiday milestones that first appeared in this decade.

For the first time, cookies and milk were left for Santa Claus. Whereas prior to this decade, only the more affluent homes had electric lights on their trees, in the 30's almost everyone had them. Radio City Music's first Christmas Spectacular debuted in 1933 with the Rockettes. And in 1939, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer made his first appearance.

As for toys, Parker Brother's Monopoly game was introduced in 1935. The game was designed to allow everyone the chance to be a millionaire during the hard times of the depression.

New song was 'Winter Wonderland' written by Felix Bernard in 1934.

Popular toys of the 30's included the View-Master, that was introduced at the World's Fair in 1939. 

The Buck Rogers Ray Gun (1934). Every little girl wanted a Shirley Temple doll. There was the Bottletot doll (1937) that drank and wet her diaper. Train sets, Teddy Bears, and the Texas Ranger Cowboy suit (complete with headband, shirt, bandana, lasso, leather belt, holster, pistol, and real suede chaps) were popular with the boys.

Common Christmas decorations in the 1930s were bells, balls, tinsel and golden haired angels as toppers on the tree. Honeycomb paper angels and glow in the dark icicles became all the rage, just like wire-wrapped ornaments.
Fake snow (aka artificial flocking) was very popular during this time. Families flocked their Christmas trees and windows with Lux Soap Flakes to achieve the winter wonderland effect.

Chalkware decorations made of moulded plaster decorated with water-based paint and then glossily varnished, were the must-have Christmas decoration.  

Also fold-out paper decorations were also popular.

Image result for woolworth 50s catalog

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