The holiday season at Hutzler’s, the famed Maryland department store chain, was always merry and bright. Each location was trimmed to the nines—bedecked with garland, pine trees, and tinsel, with Santa Claus visiting each day to hear the Christmas wishes of all the good little girls and boys of Maryland. Some lucky kids even got to attend “Breakfast with Santa,” which each shop hosted every year. The window displays at the Howard and Lexington Street store in downtown Baltimore brought throngs of shoppers to gaze upon quaint holiday scenes and purchase the season’s most in-demand gifts.
Creating such a festive atmosphere was no easy feat. Planning began months ahead—hundreds of seasonal employees had to be hired, Santa Clauses vetted for plausibility, window displays designed, all culminating in the ultimate Christmas shopping experience. While Hutzler’s closed its last store in 1990, the department store chain is still remembered fondly in the community, because “A gift from Hutzler’s means more.” The Maryland Historical Society became the repository for the store’s business papers, photographs, and much more, so enjoy a Christmas-themed taste of the fantastic Hutzler holdings in the slideshow below. And, have yourself a merry little Christmas from the library staff at MdHS. (Lara Westwood)
(Editor’s note: Since it’s the season to be jolly, the Underbelly staff will be taking the next two weeks off, but will return with a new post on January 9th. Happy Holidays!!)
Sources and Further Reading:
Michael J. Lisicky, Baltimore’s Bygone Department Stores: Many Happy Returns (Charleston: The History Press, 2012).
Michael J. Lisicky, Hutzler’s: Where Baltimore Shops (Charleston: The History Press, 2009).