Sandburg's Hometown

December 16, 2013

Santa is Real!

The Reporter Sees Santa

By Barbara Schock

(This advertisement for the 99 Cent Store, disguised as a news article, was copied directly from The Galesburg Republican-Register of December 15, 1888, p. 5. We are accustomed to seeing and hearing countless advertisements during the holiday season. We may not be aware the same amount of promotion was used in years gone by. There is no end to the imagination that can go into an advertisement for the Christmas shopping season. That was as true in 1888 as it is today.)

                               A Little Girl Inveigles Him into a Beautiful
                               Emporium of Christmas Gifts, and He Sees
                                      Santa and Boys and Girls Presents.

Santa Claus came to town Saturday, and a little girl says she thinks it an awful shame because we did not notice the genial old chap, whom children love so much. We asked her where she saw the reindeer driver. Why, she saw him in the window of the 99 Cent Store. He was just the cutest, kindest old man imaginable. She said that he was all dressed in fur, that he held a long tin trumpet in his hand, and that his eyes were as blue as the sky and as bright as the evening star.

Look here, Sis, we said, sposin’ we go up there and you show the old chappie to me. Well, children, we went, and bless my eyes, it would have done all of your hearts good to have been there too. Yes, there was the genuine, the only real authentic Santa Claus in the window, and he bowed and winked at me and wondered if I remembered the time when he got stuck in the chimney at our house trying to bring a toboggan slide down. Well, I recalled it and laughed over it, and old Chris Kringle shook his sides and his furs and gewgaws and little gifts, so hearty was his laughter. And we told him that we remembered how we used to get up at 3 o’clock in the morning to see if he had filled the stockings.

But my little maid is tugging at my coat tails. My, what a crowd! There’s Deacon Jones and Elder Brown from clear down Spoon River way; and Aunt Jane and Grandma Jenks, from Rio; and Billy Funk and his best girl from Oneida and James Shucks and his bride from Abingdon. My charming little attendant says that every boy and girl in the county is here, and if I didn’t hurry up there won’t be anything to buy. Sly puss! She wants me to see Santa Claus.

But what shall I buy? I never saw such a display of toys, ranging from beautiful souvenirs, dainty favors, to the string dancing jack and the rattle box. Having no use for the last, we turn our attention to building blocks, wagons, toy animals, and we know not what else, until, with the crowing and the looking, we don’t know what we want, but we get interested and buy this, that and the other thing–a big doll for the girl, an album for Sarah, a rocking-horse for Frankie, opera glasses for Hattie, building blocks for Jimmie, portfolio for Lizzie, and like favors for the numerous other girls we know, and a tool-box for ourself.

Well, we came out strapped but happy, and hired a boy to take the things home in a wheelbarrow. Mr. Snyder said that he was just cram full of business and didn’t have time to eat hardly, and the little girl invited him up to dinner. The rest of the children are all going to the 99 Cent Store, No. 111 Main Street.

Sandburg's Hometown
Date Title
December 16, 2013 The Reporter Sees Santa
December 9, 2013 The Coming of Christmas
December 2, 2013 The Fire Boys Talk
November 25, 2013 Galesburg Will Feast on Turkeys and Cranberries - Thanksgiving 1893
November 18, 2013  Mary Sandburg Johnson
November 11, 2013 Carl Sandburg's Bicycle
November 4, 2013  Lace Curtains 
October 28, 2013 The Front Room
October 21, 2013 A Warm Breakfast
October 14, 2013 Marion D. Shutter
October 7, 2013 Cigars and Consumption
September 30, 2013 Forrest F. Cooke & August Sandburg
September 16, 2013 Forrest F. Cooke, Mayor
September 9, 2013 Dusty Streets
September 2, 2013 Typhoid Fever
August 26, 2013 Coffee and Water
August 19, 2013 A Horse! A Horse!
August 12, 2013 Gaddial Scott
August 5, 2013 The Racetrack
July 29, 2013 John Peter Algeld - Part II
July 22, 2013 John Peter Altgeld - Part I
July 15, 2013 Tramps, Tramps, Tramps
July 8, 2013 Lady Liberty
July 1, 2013 Galesburg's Fourth
June 24, 2013 John H. Finley
June 17, 2013 The World's Columbian Exhibition
June 10, 2013 Fruit Short-Cake
June 3, 2013 Horatio Alger, Author
May 27, 2013 Memorial Day, 1887
May 20, 2013 Professor Jon W. Grubb
May 13, 2013 Beginnings of Lombard University
May 6, 2013 Young Sandburg’s View of Lombard College
April 29, 2013 Thinking
April 22, 2013 Robert Colville, Master Mechanic
April 15, 2013 The Galesburg Opera House
April 8, 2013 Grocery Stores and Sample Rooms
April 1, 2013  A Hearty  Breakfast 
March 25, 2013  The Lost Wallpaper Legend 
March 18, 2013 Martin G. Sandburg
March 4, 2013 The Edison Talking Machine
February 25, 2013 Joe Elser, Civil War Veteran
February 18, 2013 Remember the Maine...
February 11, 2013 Lincoln's Birthday
February 4, 2013 Curiosity