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25 Pictures That Prove Christmas Shopping Was Way More Fun In The '90s

No online shopping, no cellphones, and the must-have toy is an animatronic, owl-like creature with fur — what could possibly go wrong?

Posted on December 3, 2018, at 5:54 p.m. ET

Owen Humphreys - Pa Images / Getty Images

Christmas shoppers on a busy street in Newcastle, England, on Dec. 10, 1998.

Left: AP Photo / Right: Getty Images

Left: Holiday shoppers crowd a Macy's in New York City on Nov. 24, 1995. Right: Santa Claus has his beard stuck on a rope as he tries to repel down the side of a store in Glasgow on Nov. 18, 1992.


These toys, photographed in New York City on Nov. 17, 1997, are among those expected to be popular during the holiday season. Top row, from left: Winnie the Pooh plush toy, Holiday Barbie, and a Tommy Pickles doll from Rugrats. Center row, from left: Sing and Snore Ernie and Microsoft's ActiMates Barney. Bottom row, from left: a Tamagotchi virtual pet and Tiger Electronics'

Ray Stubblebine

Children surround a Furby toy at the opening of the FAO Schwarz "Furby Shop" in New York City on Oct. 2, 1998.

Al Schaben / Getty Images

Mrs. and Mr. Santa Claus listen to Metiqua Hampton, age 7 (left), and her cousin Victoria Hampton, age 8, in San Clemente, California, on Dec. 22, 1998.

Chris Urso / AP

Blanca Cadiz of Baldwin Park, California, takes a quick nap with her shopping bags while waiting for her family in the Ontario Mills shopping center in Ontario, California, on Dec. 24, 1997.

Getty Images

Left: A man makes a pay phone call after holiday shopping on Dec. 23, 1998. Right: The Christmas tree at a Marshall Field's department store in Chicago, December 1995.

Raphael Gaillarde / Getty Images

A young girl plays with toys as her parents shop in Strasbourg, France, in December 1994.

James Leynse / Getty Images

A father and daughter window-shop in New York City on Nov. 28, 1998.

Kemal Jufri / AFP / Getty Images

A giant Frosty the Snowman, surrounded by ice caves leading to an igloo where children can pose with Santa, occupies one of the major shopping malls of Jakarta, Indonesia, on Dec. 7, 1997.

Peter Jordan - Pa Images / Getty Images

A group of Santas swarm into a Tesco store in London to spread some early festive cheer to busy shoppers on Nov. 28, 1997.

Daniel Hulshizer / Associated Press

Walmart employees in West Windsor Township, New Jersey, sort through shopping carts full of returned merchandise on Dec. 26, 1996.

Wally Santana / Associated Press

Hundreds of shoppers line up outside the FAO Schwarz toy store in New York City on Nov. 24, 1995.

Michael Walters - Pa Images / Getty Images

English TV presenter Michaela Strachan (left) is joined by Kirsty Kennedy, 9 (center), and her friend Claire Lawson, 9 (right), to email Santa Claus at the North Pole with their Christmas present requests via Comet's home shopping website on Dec. 11, 1999.

Ron Davis / Getty Images

Actor Brian Austin Green and his girlfriend, actor Tiffani Thiessen, share a moment together while shopping for a Christmas tree in December 1994 in Los Angeles.


Early morning shoppers at Filene's Basement in downtown Boston sort their way through a pile of scarves on Nov. 29, 1996.

Carlos Chavez / Getty Images

Children from throughout the Conejo Valley in California are treated to Christmas gifts at the Oaks Mall in Thousand Oaks, California.

Mirrorpix / Getty Images

Christmas lights are switched on at the Broad Street Mall in Reading, England, on Nov. 14, 1998.

Xavier Rossi / Getty Images

Artist Frédéric Bodenes sketches window decorations for the Le Bon Marché department store in Paris, November 1996.

AP Images

Left: Strings of lights hang from buildings in Hong Kong's shopping district of Tsim Sha Tsui on Dec. 16, 1996. Right: A group of students from Sear Rogers International School sing carols in front of a Christmas tree inside one of Hong Kong's shopping centers on Dec. 18, 1996.

Khaled Al Hariri

A man dressed as Santa Claus presents gifts to schoolgirls at a shopping center in Damascus, Syria, on Dec. 24, 1997.

Bobby Yip / Reuters

Mr. and Mrs. Claus share a kiss at a shopping mall in Hong Kong, Dec. 4, 1998.

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.