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LIII. Santa Claus agencies.

No one seems as yet to recognize that if Santa Claus is to continue in the field, he absolutely needs agents and auxiliaries. With the increasing wealth of the community and the growing complications of shopping, the mere ordinary preparation 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

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