December 19, 2005
This is definitely off the usual arts and crafts topic but while scouring the web I ran across vintage Christmas catalog pages from Sears, Penney's, and Spiegel. It's interesting to see what kinds of things were popular back in the day. I think the most interesting thing I found for sale in a catalog was a burro. Yes, a live burro. For some reason I just can't fathom a child screaming, "Mommy, mommy, can I have a burro for Christmas!!?" Or how about this:
I have been a very good boy. This year for Christmas I would like a train set, a Radio Flyer wagon, and a burro.
If a burro didn't tickle your fancy, in 1955 you could buy a Shetland pony or a monkey. Is it legal to sell live animals from a catalog?? I'm sorry, but that monkey looks diseased.
From the 1966 J.C. Penney catalog we have some interesting dolls. Check out the doll on the page to the far right - the picture in the upper left hand corner. Now tell me, isn't that just about the scariest thing you've ever seen? Other than Wednesday Addams, I can't think of one child who would have put that down on their list. I would have been traumatized for life if I would have found that doll under the tree.
And on the left page, upper left side, we have the Jolly Green Giant doll. Huh? Might have been a favorite of some kid who lived on a farm in the midwest. In any event, it's nice to see some normal toys, like Superman, Batman, and Flipper (??).
As a child, I was always afraid of those Troll dolls. They looked demonic and scared the bejeebies out of me. I always thought they were probably some sort of voodoo doll, disguised as a toy. And they were usually naked - disgusting. Oh how cute, bride and groom tolls. Wouldn't that just be lovely atop your wedding cake?
Now here's a toy I'll bet would be hard to find in a catalog today - a complete chemistry set. I think I might know some adults who would love to have that for Christmas. Are they even allowed to sell these anymore?? I can just see some 8-year-old huddled in a corner of the basement working at his meth lab.
HaPpY Holidays to all!