Tag: Christmas

Classic Advertising – Christmas Edition, Part 1

As you know, we love vintage advertising here at Retro Ramblings, and you know we love Christmas, so we really love retro Christmas ads!  Here are 5 classic ads for your viewing pleasure.

Old toy ads are always a favorite of mine, and this Toyland ad has some cool old toys included.  That Hiawatha bike looks pretty dang snazzy, and who wouldn’t want that the western gun set to go track down invisible bad guys all summer long?

 

Coca-Cola may be the king of Christmas advertising when it comes to soda, but Pepsi has had some good ones through the years as well.

 

If you had lights on your Christmas tree in the 40’s, 50’s, and 60’s, theres a good chance they were Noma lights.  I really like the ones shaped like candles.  I could go for a set of those today!

More Advertising:  Retro Comic Book Ads

 

Budweiser’s best Christmas advertising would come in later years when they introduced the famous Clydesdale horses into them, but advertising for alcohol was common place for years, and it only increased during the holiday season.

 

The Colonel gets all the women.  I still don’t know if it’s his own machismo, or the bucket of chicken he’s holding, but either way, the man is surrounded by lovely ladies.  This ad would probably play huge in Japan where going for KFC chicken is a real Christmas tradition.

 

Christmas Mornings of the Past

No other time of the year holds more nostalgic memories for me than Christmas.  All my life – from a kid, up through today – I spend all year long looking forward to this time of year, and making plans to make it as special as possible for my kids.  The climax of the whole season is Christmas morning itself.  That magical time of the year when you get up real early, and rush to the Christmas tree to see what Santa Claus has left for you.

It seems that Christmas morning is kind of a tally sheet for the year doesn’t it?  Like, as a kid, you had all these things you wanted all year, and all those wishes would culminate in that one single morning.  If you got a lot of loot, or very cool loot, your year was a success.  If not, well…better luck next year kid.  At least that’s the way it went in my mind all those years ago.  I had a few of what I thought were less-than-stellar Christmas mornings, but then 1986 came along and changed all of that.

Nowadays, I like to look back on different people’s Christmas mornings of years past and marvel at how cool it must have been to be in their shoes on those mornings so long ago.

Christmas Morning

So first up, this kid looks pretty pleased to have gotten the Go Bots Command Center play set under his tree on Christmas morning.  I was a big fan of the Go Bots cartoon, but only ever had two of the action figures….Loco and Dive-Dive.  Now while I wish I had more of the figures, and would have loved the Command Center, I never put it on any of my Christmas lists because it wouldn’t have been very much fun without a lot of the action figures to go along with it.

In the background on his right, someone has gotten some kind of G.I. Joe play set, because we can clearly see the opened box.  I’ve gotta take a few points away from this kid now knowing that he chose to pose with the Go Bots toy when he could have been posing with the G.I. Joe one instead.

I can’t really tell what his brother is holding in the background, but just in front of it is a nice looking piece of gold ribbon, which indicates their Christmas presents were probably well wrapped and made for a very nice presentation.  And I am almost certain, that on the far right of this photo, you can see what is the box of a G.I. Joe Cobra Rattler!

I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that these kids had a pretty damn good Christmas.  A Go Bots play set, and a couple of G.I. Joe toys means a big Christmas morning, regardless of what other loot they may have found.

More Christmas Memories:  Making My Christmas Wish List From the 1986 Sears Wish Book

Man these kids really hit the jackpot!  You can clearly see a buffet of G.I. Joe play sets including the Cobra Rattler, Cobra Vamp, G.I. Joe Wolverine, and the G.I. Joe Dragonfly helicopter!  I don’t see any carded figures in the picture, but one can only assume these kids already have several of those.  I’m sure there was quite a battle fought between the Joes and Cobra later on this Christmas day.

Continue reading “Christmas Mornings of the Past”

Drink Hot Dr. Pepper as an Old School Holiday Treat

Hot Dr Pepper

The ad above from the 60’s makes no bones about the fact that we should all be drinking hot Dr. Pepper this Christmas season.  I’m thinking this is one of those things where some executive was irate about losing potential customers to things like egg nog, or punch every Christmas and ordered his marketers to come up with some new concoction to move more Dr. Pepper.

This must not have been a one hit wonder either, because I’ve seen ads featuring this idea from several different years.  It actually doesn’t seem too bad either, so I may give this a try this year.  I think it would better suite my tastes if I switched out the lemon slice with a slice of an orange.  How about you?

More Retro Christmas:  Classic Christmas Commercials, Part 1

 

Hot Dr. Pepper

Hot Dr Pepper

Retro on the Web: Christmas Edition

As you know, doing the Retro Rambler’s Picks of the Week is one of my favorite posts to do here on Retro Ramblings.  It gives me a chance to shine some light on the great retro themed articles I find around the ‘net, and share the fun of reliving various old memories.  But when it comes to Christmas, my favorite holiday, not any little old list of links will do.  Oh no, at this time of year, nothing short of a mega list will suffice.

So here today I proudly present to you The Retro Rambler’s Picks of the Christmas Season!  If you enjoy stepping back in time to days gone by, you’re sure to find plenty here to whet your whistle, and all of it revolves around Christmas.  So get yourself a hot cup of coffee or hot cocoa, and click on some of these links and find yourself lost in nostalgia!  There may be too much here to digest in one sitting, so bookmark this page so you can keep coming back to it throughout the weeks leading up to the big day.

I’m breaking all these links down by category to make finding your favorites a little easier.  Here we go…..

Movies

25 Facts About Famous Christmas Movies – Mental Floss
10 Awesome Things About Home Alone – Dinosaur Dracula
25 Things To Look For While Watching the A Christmas Story Marathon – Mental Floss
25 Facts About It’s a Wonderful Life – Mental Floss
The Original Reviews of 10 Classic Christmas Movies – Mental Floss
25 Facts About Christmas Vacation – Mental Floss
21 Things You Didn’t Know About The Nightmare Before Christmas – Mental Floss

Television

When Rudolph Mania Stared Running Wild – Retro Ramblings Patreon Exclusive
Remembering 11 Classic Holiday Commercials – Mental Floss
6 Long-Forgotten Local Christmas TV Specials That Should Be Remembered – MeTV
Commercials From He-Man Christmas Special – Dinosaur Dracula
The 80’s Christmas Specials You Just Have to Show Your Kids – Hollywood.com
The TV Specials of Christmas Past – Like Totally 80’s
Let’s Not Forget the Brady’s Reunited for a Christmas Special in the 80’s – MeTV
A Stocking Full of Your Favorite 80’s Christmas Specials – Rediscover the 80’s
Let’s Not Forget About ‘Emmet Otter’s Jug Band Christmas’ – MeTV
Classic Christmas Commercials Volume 9 – Dinosaur Dracula
12 Unforgettable Live-Action Christmas Specials of the 1970’s – MeTV
Ranking the Doctor Who Christmas Specials From Worst to Best – Robots Pajamas
34 Great Christmas Episodes From Classic TV Shows – MeTV
8 80’s Christmas Specials You Might Have Forgotten – Dinosaur Dracula
Power Rangers Had a Christmas Special:  It Was Cheap – Robots Pajamas
5 Classic Christmas Commercials – Retro Ramblings

Music

10 Facts You Might Not Know About Band Aid’s ‘Do They Know it’s Christmas’ – Rediscover the 80’s
6 Controversial Christmas Carols – Mental Floss
12 Awesome Holiday Tunes! – Dinosaur Dracula
The Twelve 80’s Songs of Christmas – Like Totally 80’s
Retro Christmas Mixtape – Hoju Koolander
1976 Served Up the Strangest Batch of New Christmas Songs – MeTV
12 Forgotten Children’s Christmas Albums of the 80’s – Rediscover the 80’s

Toys & Gifts

Retro Rambler’s Retro Gift Guide for 2017 – Retro Ramblings
1983 Montgomery Ward Christmas Catalog Shopping Spree – Rediscover the 80’s
29 Real World Toys in ‘Jingle All the Way’ – Dinosaur Dracula
12 Strange Christmas Gifts From the 1970 Sears Wishbook You Won’t Find Today – MeTV
Making My Christmas List From the 1986 Sears Wish Book – Retro Ramblings
A Look at Rankin-Bass’ Santa Claus Trilogy – Cavalcade of Awesome
12 Fantastic Christmas Gifts We Found in a 1963 Spencer’s Gift Catalog – MeTV
1982 Sears Wishbook – Dinosaur Dracula
Top Christmas Gifts We Received in the 80’s – Rediscover the 80’s
10 Most Wanted Christmas Toys of the 1960’s – MeTV
1985 JC Penny Christmas Catalog – Dinosaur Dracula
1989 Sears Christmas Wishbook Shopping Spree – Rediscover the 80’s
11 Tiny Toys That Were Always Stuffed in Our Stockings Back in the Day – MeTV
The 1994 Toys “R” Us Big Toy Book – Dinosaur Dracula
Most Popular Christmas Toy from Christmas’ Past – Do You Remember
10 Totally Awesome Christmas Toys We Had to Have in the 80’s – MeTV
Highlights From the 1986 Sears Wishbook – Dinosaur Dracula
Toys From the 1991 JC Penny Catalog – Dinosaur Dracula

Cartoons

13 Spirited Facts About How the Grinch Stole Christmas – Mental Floss
Identifying Garfield’s Christmas Presents – Dinosaur Dracula
6 Times That 80’s Cartoons Should’ve Left Christmas Alone – Rediscover the 80’s
9 Forgotten Cartoon Christmas Specials of the 70’s – MeTV
The 1987 Broadcast of a Charlie Brown Christmas – Dinosaur Dracula

Food

These Bizarre Vintage Holiday Recipes Are Best Left to the Ghosts of Christmas Past – MeTV
Ancient Christmas Appetizers – Dinosaur Dracula
More Ancient Holiday Appetizers – Dinosaur Dracula
6 Ways McDonalds Made Us Love Christmas – Pop Rewind
10 Old-Fashioned Christmas Candies That Will Take You Back – MeTV
Five Cereal Boxes From Christmases Past – Dinosaur Dracula
80’s Christmas Movie Drinks to Go With Classic 80’s Films – Like Totally 80’s
Holiday Food Ads from 1983 – Dinosaur Dracula

Other

50 Vintage Christmas Cards From the New York Public Library Archives – Mental Floss
15 Vintage Christmas Ads You Would Never See Today – MeTV
How ‘A Christmas Story’ Kept Peter Billingsly Normal – BuzzFeed
Mid-Atlantic Wrestling on Christmas Day – Mid-Atlantic Gateway
Energizer Bunny Ornaments from the 90’s – Dinosaur Dracula
How the Transformers Saved Christmas – Branded in the 80’s
How Christmas Trees Have Evolved in Our Lifetime – MeTV
5 Ways Christmas Was Better in the 80’s – Like Totally 80’s
80’s Christmas Ads From Woman’s Day – Dinosaur Dracula
The Origins of 12 Christmas Traditions – Mental Floss
20 Vintage Christmas Decorations That Are Making a Major Comeback – Do You Remember
Are These Christmas Photos From the 1960’s or 1970’s? – MeTV
Christmas Cards From the Soviet Union Space Race – Flashbak
6 Great Comic Book Christmas Adventures – Mental Floss
8 Retro Christmas Traditions From the 50’s and 60’s – MeTV

Videos

Watch These 80’s Home Movies of Kids Unwrapping Presents on Christmas Morning – Rediscover the 80’s
Silent Film Version of A Christmas Carol from 1901 – Retro Ramblings YouTube Channel
A Super Cut of 80’s Christmas Commercials – Rediscover the 80’s

For more videos, come back next Friday for the Retro Rambler’s Christmas Watch List!

Personal Memories & Stories

1986:  The Year Santa Became Real – Retro Ramblings
Christmas Yuleogy – vkimo at Retro-Daze
Holi-Daze:  Toys Unwrapped – Hoju Koolander
Yuletide Yakking – vkimo at Retro-Daze
Christmas, 1988.  A Photo Journal – Dinosaur Dracula
Christmas 1985 Through My Gobots Camera Lense – SockofFleagulls at Retro-Daze
Christmas 1991:  The Year of the Tournament Table – Horror Movie BBQ
NLogan’s Retro Christmas – NLogan at Retro-Daze
vkimo’s Christmas Special – vkimo at Retro-Daze
A Very Lego Christmas – Garage Sale of Awesome
1990:  The Year Santa Died – Fuschnikt at Retro_Daze
Ghosts of Christmas Past – Goodwill Hunting for Geeks
Stocking Stuffers – Hoju Koolander
Christmas Eve, 1986 – Dinosaur Dracula
Christmas Conundrum – vkimo at Retro-Daze
Being Jacob Marley – Junk Fed
Perfect Game – kidcoffee at Retro-Daze
Ghosts of Christmas Past – Adventures of a Geeky Vixen
Christmas at Grandma’s House – NLogan at Retro-Daze
The Santa Diaries – Hoju Koolander
Christmas, Crockett Style – Crockett Foundation
Christmas Memories:  Traditions Come and Gone – Fuschnikt at Retro-Daze
Christmas 64 – vkimo at Retro-Daze
That Dude’s Christmas Memories – TDitH at Retro-Daze
A Very Sega Christmas – massreality at Retro-Daze
The Worst Christmas School Production in the World – Pikachulover at Retro-Daze

 

Well, there it is.  That is one big list full of retro Christmas goodness to enjoy all month long in the lead-up to the big day.  If you know of something I’ve missed and myself and others might enjoy, drop the link in the comments.

 

5 Classic Christmas Commercials

Christmas Commercials

Man, what better way to keep getting pumped up for Christmas than watching some old commercials!  No?  You’re not a fan of commercials, are you?  Well, once upon a time I didn’t used to be.  But that was back in the days before Tivo, Netflix, and other streaming services that allow you to skip all the advertising.

These days, I find myself kind of missing commercials.  Not every commercial break, but some old commercials in particular.  It was rare, but sometimes commercials could actually enhance the show you were viewing.  Hang on…hear me out!  I can remember watching the Mickey’s Christmas Carol Special that aired on NBC every year in the mid-late 80’s, and when the commercials that aired were Christmas in nature, it kept the cool Christmas vibe going for my young self.  So these commercials we’re viewing here today get a pass.

Folgers Coffee, “Peter Comes Home for Christmas”
(1986)

I’m not sure why this commercial ever touched me as a kid.  It probably had something to do with the fact that my old man traveled a lot, and there were times he would come in early in the morning like this.  Never at Christmas though.  He was always in town for that.  But whatever the reason, this commercial has continued to resonate with me for all these years since I first saw it air.

I think it really embodies the spirit of Christmas in the form I like to think of it.  Families being together, and enjoying simple things in life like a fresh cup of coffee is endearing to me.  I actually keep this commercial on my Christmas playlist on YouTube to make sure I see every season.

 

Polaroid Cameras
(1985)

One of the great frustrations for me growing up was trying to prove or disprove that Santa Claus was real.  I tried my own ways of getting to the bottom of things, but trying to snap a picture with a Polaroid camera was never one of them. I give these two kids an A for effort here, as their plan kinda worked.  They just didn’t anticipate Santa being a petty thief and sneaking away with their snapshot.

Continue reading “5 Classic Christmas Commercials”

The Year Santa Became Real

By the fall of 1986, my thoughts were starting to turn to the coming Christmas season, and anticipation was starting to build for the holiday. The hope of children isn’t easily pushed to the side, but back in those days, I would be lying if I said that Christmas didn’t feel a little lacking.

Admittedly, I personally never felt slighted on Christmas morning. Whatever was under the tree from Santa Claus always left a lasting impression on me, even if I sometimes felt the little internal tug of wanting a little bit more. But when I would return to school, and see and hear about all the cool things my friends and others had gotten for Christmas, I would get a little jealous.

I was a good kid. I never caused trouble at school, and I definitely knew better than to cause trouble at home. I did my chores and I ate my vegetables, so why did I seem to be farther down Santa’s Nice list than some of the other kids? “Jonathon pushed Samantha down and hurt her arm”, “why did he get a huge Lego set and I only got a trumpet?”. “Zach punched me in the arm all year…hard.” “Why did he get a cool G.I. Joe HISS Tank and all the Dreadnoks figures and I ended up with a set of cars?” Such are the worrisome wonderings and questions of a kid who is not aware of all the comings and goings of adulthood.

What I didn’t know or understand back then, and actually I’m still learning and gaining a greater perspective on now, is that times were very tough for my family in the early eighties. My Dad was a self-employed business man. He bought and sold new and used conveyor belts to coal mines, and as the coal business went, so did my family’s financial well-being.

1983 was a very tough year. My Grandfather’s alcohol addiction was in the last stages of consuming his life, and my Dad spent more time helping my Grandmother, both emotionally AND financially, than he did on the business. The first week of December, my Grandfather passed away. Christmas was lean due to dealing with the emotional struggles of losing someone close, and the fact that so much time had been spent away from the business.

1984 came along, and so did the large-scale United Mine Workers of America strike in West Virginia…..primarily against the A.T. Massey Coal Companies and subsidiaries. West Virginia was always the bread basket of my Dad’s business. When strikes occurred, it crippled his business and our financial well-being for quite some time, and unfortunately, this strike would not be over quickly.

1985 came, and the strike was still on. It wasn’t resolved until late in the year. Too late for lost income to be made up. Several straight years of lean and underwhelming visits from Santa Claus was wearing on my faith in the man.

But then came 1986. The strike had been resolved, and with the mines back in full-time operation, orders poured in from all sides. It was a VERY good year. Not so coincidentally, Santa seemed to fill his sleigh completely just for my family. I guess he was making up for lost time.

Continue reading “The Year Santa Became Real”

Retro Rambler’s Christmas Gift Guide 2017

Christmas Gift Guide

As a true retro lover perpetually stuck in the 80’s and 90’s, sometimes it’s easier for me to spot awesome retro gifts than say you’re average joe or millennials.  What if someone from the current generation wanted to get their Pop something cool from Christmas to remind them of their childhood?  Would they have any clue what he would like?  Or what if you’re like me, and want to get something for someone who isn’t as retro as we are?  Would you know what is out there to be had?  Well have no fear, because the Retro Rambler is here!

I’ve scoured the ‘net to find the gifts that all retro lovers will love, and taken a lot of guess work out of the gift buying process for you.  We’ve put together a list of 25 gifts that are retro through and through, so take a look and find that perfect gift for someone in your life.

We’ve added links to all these products to their Amazon page.  If you see something that you’re going to buy, we ask that you use our link here.  It will help the site as we get a small cut for sending traffic their way.  It don’t add anything to your cost, and you would be helping the site here stay afloat.  With that all said, let’s take a look at this years top gifts for the retro lover.

 

Rubiks Cube

01.  Rubik’s Cube

Does it get any more 80’s than the Rubik’s cube?  This thing was everywhere throughout the decade, and if you were alive back then, you probably had one in your hands at some point.  This would make a great gift for anyone, as it will test their skill and patience trying to solve it.

Get Rubik’s Cube at Amazon for $11.59

 

Simon

02:  Simon

The classic 80’s game of quick action, memory, and recall is back and has a sleek new look and improved performance; it’s surprisingly addictive.

Get Simon at Amazon for $24.02

 

Lego

03:  Lego Classic Brick Box

Lego’s were one of the top toys of the 80’s and 90’s, and still are today.  You don’t have to be a kid to enjoy them, as anyone can have fun making and building things with them.  These boxes include a wide range of Lego bricks in 35 different colors so your imagination can run wild.

Get the Lego Classic Brick Box on Amazon for $27.99

 

Lego Ideas Book

04:  Lego Ideas Book

If you’re thinking of getting the Lego’s Classic Brick Box, or if you already have a bunch of Legos on hand, then you’ll want to pick up this Lego Ideas Book.  It’s got details on how to build all sorts of stuff, and no matter what you have in mind, you’ll probably find an idea that works in this book.

Get the Lego Idea Book on Amazon for $17.86

Continue reading “Retro Rambler’s Christmas Gift Guide 2017”