Tis the season to shop!

10 December 2020


With the Christmas fast approaching – and the end to a year like no other – we turn the clock back 50 or 60 years to a time when Sydney retailers embraced the celebratory atmosphere of the festive season with lavish displays of yuletide cheer.

In post war Australia, before the big shopping malls spread throughout the suburbs, it was the city centre and the big department stores that led the way for Christmas shopping. Family owned stores in Sydney – like David Jones, Mark Foys, Grace Bros and Anthony Hordern’s – all sought to outdo each other, not just through their shop windows but also with magical floor wide ‘winter wonderland’ displays offering a fantasy world for kids and adults alike.

Step into an enchanted domain of snow encrusted Christmas trees, Santas galore and all the thrills of a trip town -- as this talk explores the heyday of Sydney’s department stores and all the joys of Christmas past. 

The opinions expressed in this talk reflect those of the presenters. They do not represent the views of the State Library of NSW.