There was (and I assume still is) a large section of 13th Avenue Brooklyn in Boro Park that was strictly observant Jewish. There were banks that were closed on Saturday and open on Sunday. There were stores that were closed on Saturday and open on Sunday before the consumerism of American forced almost all stores to be open 7 days a week. The Post Office (11219) was even open on Sunday. (I just checked and Blythebourne Station 11219 still has Sunday retail hours - as well as Saturday hours.) Yes, it was a little weird to have the school buses from the Jewish Private Schools picking up kids on the usual holidays including Christmas.
Which brings us to the point of this story. It was possible to buy things on Christmas (of course if Christmas was on a Friday, things would close at sundown and if it was on a Saturday you would need to wait until after sundown). There was at least one year when we ran out to get a last minute gift for someone or their kids who was coming over on short notice.
Boston really disappoints me in this. There is a Kosher bakery (Blacker Brothers) a couple of blocks from me on Comm Ave. in Newton Centre. I'm used to them being closed on Saturday. They would never bother to reopen after sundown on Saturday. But they are nominally open on Sundays. I went out yesterday (Sunday) to get a Kosher (parve) dessert. And found ... they are closed for the Christmas holiday from Sat 12/22 through Tuesday 12/25. WTF?
Of course Rosenfeld Bagels seems to be embracing the holiday in the other direction. They are normally only open Wednesday to Sunday (not being observant of the Sabbath), This week and next they are open on Tuesday mornings (Christmas and New Years). Yesterday morning they were pretty much decimated of everything except plan bagels. I hope tomorrow will be better.