But can you really imagine Christmas without toys and games for children? In Icon paper from 2013, the historian Joseph Wachelder explains that giving toys as gifts on Christmas Eve first became popular in early nineteenth-century England. Before the Industrial Revolution, based on Wachelder’s words it was a “public, exuberant, turbulent feast”.
In a time where wages were indicative of one's standing in society, the holiday became more about family and gifts for children rather than an occasion celebrating laborers. Christmas transformed from being public with an emphasis on gift-giving to only occurring at home.
Nowadays, the most common Christmas present is probably a toy for kids. In the 1800s, a “toy” could mean anything from a cheap hairpin to an expensive snuff box.
In the 19th century, everyone called for parents to give their kids cheap toys rather than expensive miniature objects intended just as decoration. The idea was that if they broke it, then at least it wouldn’t be too big of a deal and there would still be plenty leftover on hand so you could get another one.
Looking at issues of the London daily newspaper The Morning Chronicle published between 1800 and 1827, there was an increase in advertisements for children’s presents. By 1816, there were 30 mostly Christmas-related ads with half advertising toys that created optical illusions like thaumatropes kaleidoscopes or toy theaters which all became popular gifts around this time too.
Around that time, the Christmas shopping season has been born. Merchants began selling their wares with display windows in toy stores and heavily decorated Christmas sales, much to the delight of all who saw them; it's hard not to be thrilled when you see Elpenor’s Toys or Captain Bligh’s Booty come alive at this time each year!
It's important to make sure your loved ones, especially children have toys on Christmas Eve as it is easier to get them in the 21st century compared to the 19th one. In the era of technology, there are a lot more options for buying gifts.
If you're looking for a fun and creative present to buy your kid this year, check our toys, your little one will definitely love them! Let us know in the comments what did you prepare for your adorable kids!