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Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Women and Men, chapter 53 (search)
ration of Christmas presents is becoming a very arduous matter. For many well-to-do households, especially in the suburbs of large cities, it absorbs an alarming amount of time and strength, even endangering, in many cases, health itself. The Christmas trade, which formerly kept the retail shops crowded for a week, now fills and overfills them for nearly six weeks, and during December the simplest purchase involves such confusion and difficulty as to take hours instead of minutes, and to drive even experienced shoppers to despair. Many a family seriously contemplates each year the alternative of foregoing all Christmas presents, rather than grapple with the formidable task involved. There are the children's stockings to be filled, something really pretty and appropriate to be got for Uncle John, and just the right thing to be selected for that unsatisfactory corner in Cousin Mary's drawing-room. Day after day passes; nobody can find time to go to the city, or, if some one goes,