Christmas Starts Early – New York, 1931

New York City Post Office December 9, 1931

This photograph shows a mountain of gifts awaiting sorting and delivery in the New York City Post Office on December 9, 1931.

There was a time when there was no Fed-Ex, UPS, DHL or other real competitor to shipping most parcels. There were express companies that shipped valuable documents, packages and large amounts of goods such as Adams Express, American Express, Wells, Fargo and others, but for the majority of Americans, The United States Post Office was your only choice.

After Thanksgiving was the traditional kickoff for the Christmas gift buying season. And by early to mid-December there would be a campaign to remind postal customers to send their mail early in order to get their cards and packages delivered in time for Christmas. Nowadays, Christmas (or at least the advertising) seems to start right around Halloween. That is a shame.

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