Detroit Christmas, 1950s

Christmas time was a magical adventure when we were kids; our family rode the Woodward trolley downtown to see the latest Disney film and ate hot buttered popcorn. Only downtown theaters had first run movies. Then, we visited Hudson’s Department Store’s North Pole with robotic elves and a live Santa Claus. We would

top the day with a Sander’s hot fudge cream puff sundae.

Detroit’s downtown bustled with activity back then: people thronged into stores, restaurants, theatres, office buildings, banks, and the town was decked with Christmas

lights and holiday music. Electric buses and trolleys criss-crossed the grid. Workers

and shoppers packed the sidewalks.


Detroit in the 1950s was a big city, a vibrant world class automotive center. Everyone had a good job and worked hard; there was charity but no welfare. Detroit was safe, neighborhoods were clean and kept up, there was little crime and no drugs. People looked out for each other.

Campus Martius and Sam's, Kern's, and Hudson's department stores from the  intersection of Michigan and Woodward … | Detroit history, Detroit  michigan, Pure michigan

No one had money after the War, but people dressed in style and wore it with a sign of respect – men in suits, ties, polished shoes and hats; woman in dresses or suits, high heels, stockings, hats, and gloves. Everyone took the bus or trolley; cars were for Sunday church, rides in the country, and Grandma’s Sunday dinner. There was no divorce, families stayed together. The elderly, young, and sick were taken care of.

Honor, duty, and responsibility were not questioned. The country just came out of World War Two and the Great Depression – people took responsibility for their family and job, for church and community.

J L HUDSON'S 12TH FLOOR: CHRISTMAS IN DETROIT | Vintage christmas photos,  Vintage christmas, Christmas photos

Kids were taught manners and respect. School was where we learned math, reading, history, science, music, and art. We were taught that one could be anything if we worked hard enough. We were expected to be the first generation in the family to go to college “and be somebody”. Detroit in the 1950s gave us the heartland of America and we were proud and optimistic about the future.

Christmas 1950... Loved the downtown decorations stretching across the  streets! | Vintage christmas, Vintage christmas photos, Vintage holiday


Bruce J. Wood
Bruce J. Wood
Bruce J. Wood, founder of AOIDE Bruce J. Wood has worked on Wall Street in business finance and strategy, and has written hundreds of finance business plans, strategic plans, economic feasibility studies, and economic impact studies. Bruce has lectured on creativity and strategic thinking, as well as worked on the development of numerous publishing, film, television, and performing arts projects, along with downtown revitalizations, using the arts as an economic catalyst. As an aficionado of music, art, and dance, Bruce is also a writer and an outdoor enthusiast. He has written poetry, blogs, articles, and many creative project concepts. He lives in the Metro Detroit area and enjoys writing poetry, backpacking, and ballroom dancing.

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