Living: Gifts by Mail

Tenable, not trendy, is the rule

For multitudes of happy souls, Santa Claus did not pop down the chimney this year. He squeezed into the mailbox. It was history's greatest mail-order spending spree, and despite the catalogues' enticements to decadence and conspicuous frivolity, Americans for the most part ordered up gifts that tended to be more tenable than trendy, disproving the adage that there's no fool like a Yule fool. Said Bergdorf Goodman Executive Vice President Leonard Hankin: "This was the kind of Christmas where people were investing in things because they were not...

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