Timeless Gift Giving Suggestions from a Century Ago

A few weeks ago, Brian came across an old magazine from 1911. A Christmas issue, it has advertisements for anything and everything a household during George V's reign could ever need - along with numerous holiday gift suggestions. The magazine is exactly 100 years old and is in pitiful condition, but has to be quite rare since these publications were not meant to last. It has no monetary value, but to me it's priceless since it offers a fascinating and accurate glimps at the lifestyle of the time.

Surprisingly, several of the Christmas gift suggestions still
apply today, as you will see below. Perhaps it will help you with your Christmas shopping.

In 1911, books were very, very popular, this magazine used eight pages to advertise books from different publishers. One hundred years later, books are increasingly replaced by electronic devices offering instant gratification. Books are now similar to luxury items, bought by a minority - the weird thing is that book buyers are not necessarily rich.

Holeproof Hosiery? I don't know about the "holeproof", but socks and Christmas go together whether you like it or not.

Gloves are also very popular today. I personally must have lost hundreds in my lifetime, so a new pair is always welcome.

Ahhh, Birks... the Canadian Tiffany & Co.

Lovely toiletries... an excellent, reliable choice when in a quandry.

Men's grooming kit... classic.

Glassware... crystal or tableware are still very popular.

The phonograph is, of course, long gone, but today's electronic equivalent is probably the most popular gift under the Christmas tree for the 12 to 35 age group.

Here is the exception. When I turned the page and saw this ad, it seemed weird to advertise a bookcase for Christmas. To my surprise, there were two more ads for bookcases. In 1911, our tiny town of St Marys had two thriving bookstores on our main commercial street. Imagine how many more there were in big cities across the country. If books were very popular a hundred years ago, it's only natural that bookcase would be as well. Sadly, although beautiful, I think only this suggestion would truly be a thing of the past.