December thirteenth, first department store Santa (1890). Department storeowner James Edgar delighted customers’ children by walking about the store on weekends dressed in a Santa costume. Edgar aspired to broad-mindedness in his religion, and though not a member he attended the Unitarian church where he paid the annual pledge to reserve a pew. (In fact, he paid for pews with the local Unitarian, Congregational, and Episcopal churches but never actually joined any.) James Edgar’s hometown of Brockton, MA holds an annual Santa’s hat day in Edgar’s honor.