Christmas Past: Christmas Eve Shopping, Kirkwall


‘Taking advantage of the fine weather of the forenoon, the majority of Christmas shoppers, – of which a large number were from the country districts, – had made their purchases before darkness set in; and in the earlier part of the evening the streets were almost deserted.

The shop windows, however, were all brilliantly lighted up and exposed to view therein were goods of a seasonable nature, pleasing to the eyes and appealing to the purse. One feature of the window displays in general took our notice and that was the absence, as a rule, of any effort to depart from the commonplace in the way of window dressing; and we observed nothing novel, or, we might say, showing the touch of genius, to draw the crowd.

The giving of Christmas presents is, however, nowhere on the wane, and the shopkeepers of Kirkwall report a fairly brisk trade. This is the cheapest Christmas we have had for many years; and the Christmas spirit was undoubtedly, abroad judging from the number of persons we saw on Christmas Eve laden with parcels.

As on former Christmas Eves the local corps of the Salvation Army, with their brass band and carol singers, were out, and visited the principal localities in town, where they rendered sweet Christmas Noels in a very pleasant manner. Needless to say, the householders upon whom they called gave them a very hearty reception.”

Orkney Herald and Advertiser December 28th 1921

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