The D. A Smith Furniture Company appears on Vancouver’s Granville Street and moves into a “larger” premises at 931 Granville Street in 1911. Here is the Christmas advertising that was first used, with the admonishment
“Every year we notice an increase in the number of odd pieces sold at Christmas time. People are coming around to the proper idea of Christmas giving. If you feel you want to make somebody a present, why, be sure and give something that will be useful as well as ornamental”.
Even this early there is the start of a business association with co-operative Christmas advertising appearing in the Vancouver Sun in 1912 with gift suggestions for “Father, Mother, Wife, Husband, Boy, Girl and Baby”. All the suggestions of gifts were from local Granville and Hastings Streets businesses.
Here’s the list “for father” which is in this case means the elder patriarch of the family. There’s the ditty
At Christmas I think we would rather
Give a gift for our long-suffering dad
Than most anyone
For, when all’s said and done
He’ll square those of our debts that are bad”.
Suggested items include a gold cuff-links or a cigar case from O.B. Allan, a Victor Victrola from Watt and Co, Fancy Suspenders, Garters and Hosiery from Clubb and Stewart, a smoking jacket from J.N. Harvey, and a “contract” with Home Loan Company.
This was a period of wealth in Vancouver, where fortunes were made on land purchases and reselling, and thousands of people were moving to Vancouver. By 1913 the real estate run was over, with the Great War (World War One) darkening investment opportunities in the following year.
But in the 1911-1912 interim, Vancouverites were being educated by D.A. Smith furniture company about “proper” gift giving.
Images: Vancouver Sun, Vancouver Archives