Monday, December 25, 2023

Vintage Christmas!

Merry Christmas everyone! Even those of you who are not observant can enjoy a nice morning with presents, right? As I write this blog post (weeks ahead of December 25th), I wonder if SoCal will have one of those unpleasant HOT Christmases. If so, I will be sure to sprinkle plenty of that fake asbestos snow all around my home so that it feels colder.

I have some vintage scans from Christmas mornings of yore, starting with this first one from our good friend Sue B! She is looking adorable and happy with her Bozo doll and other fantastic toys and goodies. She said: This one is obviously from Christmas 1964 (I was four), and I'm wearing the cowgirl outfit that my Great Uncle gave me for Christmas - that I LOVED.  In this photo is a Disneyland gift AND a Knott's Berry Farm gift.  The Disneyland one is easy to find...but can anyone find the KFB gift? 

Don't you love the couch with the plastic covers?  At one point, my folks had [transparent] deep blue plastic covers made for this couch and the matching chair.  I still have that tree (that slices your fingers and hands when you work with the branches) and ornaments. 
I have wonderful memories from this Christmas! Thank you for sharing, Sue!

This one is from 1959, and you can see the results of the morning's carnage. Presents everywhere! But at the moment the little boy only has eyes for his toy train ("Fancy Dan"??). Not only does the train have a face, but it has forearms, which is not something one sees every day. I especially admire that sweet toy convertible to the extreme left, what a beauty! And how about some Juicyfruit gum (to the right)?  

Next we see a lucky girl admiring her loot on Christmas morning, 1961. The tricycle is the obvious "big item", though there is a toy truck in the lower right - presumably for her brother? The "wipe off drawing board" must have been an early version of the white boards found in every office. Oh, and I like the girls "mad doctor" goggles! On the table I can see a LIFE magazine...

.... here it is!

And finally, from 1963 comes this scan featuring a young boy and his brand new Hawthorn 700 wagon. All steel, I'm sure. Pay no attention to the double exposure area to the left. Why are you looking, I just told you to pay no attention to it! Also, don't think about elephants. Seeing the pile of presents reminds me of when I was a kid - my grandparents would visit, and with 8 people in the house, including me and my three siblings, the sheer amount of gifts was frankly kind of obscene. Then a friend would come over and I would actually feel embarrassed, realizing how spoiled rotten I was. But I got over it in a hurry.

I hope all of you have a wonderful, happy day! I should be back very soon.


Nanook said...

[Oh, Sue... and you have a 'Pepper' doll]. What - no Barbie-??!! And since you had a Pepper doll, did you also have her older sister 'Tammy'-?

You're not kidding about that train with 'forearms'. It's almost upstaging that "sweet convertible" - which happens to be a 1959 Ford Galaxie Skyliner - I suspect with a retracting hardtop roof-!

Thanks to both Sue and The Major. And Merry Xmas to all.


Sue…. I think I see a Knott’s Berry Farm Gift Star ( as Knott’s called them) Preserve basket behind you….

Sue: west is that creepo burr thing wearing googles !??

The sofa has a custom Viynl-lite protective covering !!

Merry Christmas everyone and have a Great Big Beautiful New Year!!

"Lou and Sue" said...

Mike, you are good! Yes, that's a KBF preserve basket behind me. It was given to my mom...probably shipped to us from one of our California relatives.

That bird walked (it's feet actually were round and turned)...I can't remember its name, though. When it walked, its eyes moved, too. I think it's beak opened and closed, too. I'll try to find a commercial for it, and link it here, later. I wonder if anyone else remembers it?

"Lou and Sue" said...

Thanks to Nanook, I just found out that my bird was "Smarty Bird." HERE'S the commercial for it.

JB said...

My, isn't Sue a little cutie here! Her red hair sort of matches Bozo's, except she has more on top. :-D
I have no idea which one is the Knott's gift, unless it's those feet sticking up behind the Tic-Tac-Toe box. Is that a plastic dodo bird? What on Earth do you do with it?

Besides the Juicy Fruit, the little kid scored a Life Savers 'book' (underneath the gum). I also, have never seen a toy train with forearms before; what the...? There are playing card suit symbols (a diamond and a spade) on top the train. Again, what the...? It appears that the convertible is remote controlled (with that blue cable thingy).

Under the end table is a blue box that held a Corning Ware something-or-other. I did extensive research (5 seconds!) and discovered that the "P-119" is a coffee percolator. It looks like a donut, with sprinkles, exploded on the armrest of that chair.

The "Italian beauties" on the cover of that Life magazine are dressed like the Italian beauties one sees in Italian sci-fi movies of that period.

One Hawthorne 700 wagon wasn't good enough for Little Red Riding Britches... he got two of 'em! I'm not thinking of elephants, I'm thinking of crocodiles and hippos. That upside-down farm tractor and cart under the wagon didn't last long; 8 seconds of playtime and DONE! The kid looks like he burns through his toys pretty fast.

Ah, a Knott's preserve basket. Thanks, Mike.

Ah again, a walking dodo bird that did other things too. Thanks, Sue.

Thanks for sharing, Sue. And thanks for the photos of Christmas Carnage, Major.

Nanook said...

@ Sue-
I see one of the painters in the commercial is Frank Cady ([perhaps] most-famous for his role as Mr. Drucker in Green Acres). And for ILL fans, he played golf with Jess Oppenheimer.

(I trust you didn't have "a room full of Smarty Birds..."-!)

JB said...

Sue and Nanook, thanks for that YouTube link. I do NOT remember that bird! Or the commercial. Live and learn.

"Lou and Sue" said...

JB, I saw those dots on the couch arm, too. I hope I'm wrong, but they look like straight pins and safety pins. That arm's a pin cushion?!?!

Nanook, I remembered parts of that commercial. Almost 60 years ago. Egads!

Merry Christmas, everyone!

"Lou and Sue" said...

....and, after taking a second look, I see a spool of thread and a possible sewing basket, next to that couch arm, which supports my theory.

Nanook said...

@ Sue-
And adjacent to that spool of thread appears to be a 2-dimensional 'doll' with a large tuft of red hair adorning her head...

JB said...

Sue, I'm sure you're right about the colorful pins and needles but... GEEZ! Maybe this is the Addams Family?! I bet they sleep on a bed of nails as well!

Nanook said...

AND... under the table with the spool of thread, sewing basket and doll, appears to be two, orange boxcars, and sections of train track. And as the track sections seem to only have two rails, that rules out Lionel, probably making all that train stuff American Flyer.

Bu said...

Merry Christmas to all today, and thanks Sue for the cute pic. What is that Disneyland Game/thing/etc? I had something like that later that I saved and saved to buy: but it was paper models of iconic rides, and a "map" that was also to be colored with crayons. NO coloring allowed: this was a showpiece! Only to be touched with washed hands. Of course: where did it go? Who knows. The Knott's jelly pack is like the dent: I can't see it/find it. I liked Bozo and Butchy Boy back in the day: even though clowns freak me out. I suppose Bozo didn't hit my "creep factor". I also see the track arm sofa pin cushion. Looks like something little Tina there would get into. I certainly would, because those pins are not tidy and randomly placed. Pins must be organized by color and type and placed in straight lines. I also see a spool of thread, and also a tool box underneath the coffee table. Madness! Christmas: what a mess of cardboard and paper: which still blows my anxiety through the roof. Clean as you go people! Trash/used wrapping paper must be disposed of IMMEDIATELY. Little Johnny with the big ears and wagon needs to also clean up his chaotic mess...I'm not sure I can look at these photos anymore. Onto my own chaotic mess...which starts shortly....thanks Major and Sue!

Andrew said...

Merry Christmas to everyone who celebrates, and thank you Sue for sharing such a lovely picture! Perhaps your dad was a fan of the Disneyland toy himself?

In the second picture, I now realize that every toy train I ever had feels worthless compared to the "Fancy Train." Have a wonderful day, everyone!

Chuck said...

The photo of Lil' Sue is adorable. I had a suspicion that that basket in the background might be the KBF gift, but had no idea what it was.

In the last photo, the kid is playing with a Fisher Price #932 Amusement Park. A copy in good condition today apparently has the highest market value of any Little People playset (read more from a collector's perspective here).

Merry Christmas to you all!

JG said...

Thank you Sue, you were a cute kid, for sure. Thanks for sharing the pic and the memories. Give our best to Lou!

The furniture and accessories are as interesting as the decorations and gifts.

That muscular train is sure an oddity, and the ergonomic desk behind looks familiar.

I think the “mad scientist” goggles are swim goggles, I had some with yellow lenses.

Those Italian Beauties in At-Home Wear are certainly eye-catching, if hardly seasonal.

A wonderful Christmas haul, Major. Have a good day and thank you!


JG said...

And Merry Christmas to all the Junior Gorillas!


Anonymous said...

What a cute girl in the first picture. Bet she still is too! And Sue, since you still have that tree do you also have the color wheel? Both are collectibles.

So many toys surround each child...matching my own memories as Dad would film me with his 8mm camera. He'd place two spotlights on tripods which were my 'stage lights'. I was a "star" each Christmas. Happily, he digitized all his film onto several CDs which I now have comprising several decades of family history. And THAT was the best present of all.

Speaking of presents, may you all be showered with them today. Which leads me to this question. I wonder just what are the popular children's gifts for 2023? Merry Christmas. Back to my egg nog. KS

Melissa said...

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good everything else! These are all winners, but the crown jewel is little Sue and her awesome haul. I'm going back in time to covet your Pepper doll. She was to Tammy what Skipper was to Barbie. (Tammy was sort of a more "clean-cut" alternative for parents who thought Barbie was too sexy.)
I'm having a great time at my mother's, and I hope you all enjoying the day as much as I am.

Dean Finder said...

Merry Christmas, Jr. Gorillas.

That train is intimidating. I feel like he's always asking the other locomotives "how much do you bench, bro?"

TokyoMagic! said...

Sue, was that Disneyland item a Colorforms play set? A Rub Ons play set?

It looks like your Bozo was actually a puppet. I had/have the doll version (with legs), which "spoke." The puppet must have too, because I can see the pull string on the side. I still remember mine saying, "Boy, that's a ding dong dandy!" and "Yowie kazowie!" But sadly, he hasn't been able to speak for a few decades now. These were made by Mattel. My brother had the Herman Munster talking puppet, but there is also a doll version with legs. I posted a pic of his puppet a few years back. We also had/have the talking Woody Woodpecker puppet.

Here's footage showing what the talking Bozo doll and puppet said:

These are some very nice vintage Christmas pics! Thanks you, Major and Sue. And a belated Merry Christmas, to all!

Stu29573 said...

Late to the party as usual!
Merry Christmas everybody!
And the Happiest of New Years!

"Lou and Sue" said...

Bu, to find the KBF gift basket of preserves, just look below bozo (the preserves are actually under the tree, behind me).

Bu, your description of the paper models of DL attractions, on a "map" - sounds familiar. Weren't the attractions on heavy-stock 'laminated' paper in a 'booklet' (maybe 12" x 18") - and you punched them out??

KS, yes, I still have the color wheel - but it isn't the standard circle wheel. It's a "Revolving / Motorized Rainbow-Lite." Still works perfectly. It's globe-shaped, white with glitter on the outside - about the size of a basketball. There's a large hole on the side, and inside is a light bulb in the middle of a slowly spinning metal cube with four different colored lenses, one on each side. The colored light shines out onto the tree or whatever it's facing.

TM! Yes, that DL toy was a Colorforms (ha! Spellcheck wants to change that to 'chloroforms') set. I loved it, as it had a few different scenes and LOTS of Colorforms to peel and stick, and peel and stick.

Oh my goodness, did anyone else see Stu's "GOOD NEWS!" on his blog? Congratulations, Stu!

I enjoyed everyone's comments, thank you!

"Lou and Sue" said...

TM! I just realized I hadn't answered your questions about Bozo. Yes, he was a puppet, and he did say some of the same sayings as the Bozo doll in that video you linked. I remember mine also saying, "Wowie Kazowie, and a howdy do to you!" and "Geeeee Willakers!" Mine also had a difference voice.