Vintage Christmas Catalog Countdown

As I do every year, over the last month I’ve used my personal Facebook feed to countdown the days from Thanksgiving to Christmas. I’m sharing the countdown more broadly through this blog post.

2017 Countdown: Vintage Christmas Advertising

2018 Countdown: Christmas Classic Toy Countdown

2019 Countdown: Illustrated Christmas Magazine Covers

This year’s countdown is a trip back in time through the 1970 JCPenney Christmas Catalog. My Dad worked his whole career as a JCP store manager and my brothers and I memorized almost every page.

I hope you see some favorite toys, mod outfits, entertaining gifts, and wonderful memories in these pages from 50 years ago. Note on the cover of the catalog it says that “toys and giftware orders need to be placed by August 28th” … already more than 90 days ago!

All scans are from the amazing christmas.musetechnical.com archive

🎅🏻 27 Days to Christmas – Snoopy & his Peanuts Pals earned a 2-page spread in the 1970 JCP catalog. To adjust for inflation, multiply the prices 7x. No doubt all of these toys & watches would be vintage ‘collectibles’ worth more than that on eBay today.

🏈 26 Days To Christmas – Uniforms for the newly merged NFL + AFL were popular fifty years ago in the JCPenney Christmas Catalog. The Chiefs had beat the Vikings in the Super Bowl the previous season and the Cowboys were on their way to beat the Colts in the January 1971 championship. Did they photograph the same kid in all 26 team uniforms?

⭐️🥃 25 Days to Christmas – Drinking & smoking were a big part of the 1970 holiday season. Lots of sophisticated bar sets, decanters, and lighters – with a full length fencing foil (left) to add to the fun!

🎁 24 Days to Christmas – 1970 fashions from the JCPenney Christmas catalog put Mrs. Roper from ‘Three’s Company’ into context with ‘quilted culottes’ and ‘shimmering caftans’ …

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Merry Christmas – 2019 Christmas Countdown

Every year for the last 10 years, I’ve posted a ‘countdown’ of vintage Christmas advertising, classic toys, or antique post cards on my personal Facebook feed. A few years ago, I started sharing them here – as a Christmas card of sorts to readers. This year’s Christmas countdown focused on 25 classic magazines featuring the ‘golden age’ of cover illustration. It was a fun countdown … Continue reading Merry Christmas – 2019 Christmas Countdown

Between Christmas & New Year’s Day …

The week between Christmas and New Year’s have always been one of my favorites. I used to always take the week off of work – and enjoyed time off of school before that. In fact, I’m not sure I’ve ever held any responsibilities between the start of Christmas Eve and the last play of the New Years Bowl Games. Three years ago, just before I … Continue reading Between Christmas & New Year’s Day …

Christmas Classic Toy Countdown

In addition to writing a couple articles a week for this site every week, I also enjoy writing a Christmas Countdown that I post on my personal Facebook feed.  I’ve posted my ’25 Ads of Christmas’ for a number of years and feature vintage advertising with great illustration.

This year, I did something different: I researched 25 ‘Classic Toys’ and wrote a little bit about the history of each.  Just as I shared last year’s countdown here (LINK), I thought I’d collect this year’s and share it here too!

M E R R Y   C H R I S T M A S ! 

🚂 Classic Toy Countdown #25 – In 1905, Joshua Lionel Cowen first circled Christmas Trees with his electrified Lionel Train. Wind-up trains had been popular for decades, but Lionel made Christmas “unforgettable” and became a toy people continued to play with into adulthood!

📷 Classic Toy Countdown #24 – Revealed at the 1939 World’s Fair in NY, the View Master modernized stereoscopic viewers. Originally sold through high-end specialty photography stores with travel & history reels, View Master reached major toy status with a landmark Disney licensing deal.

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FIRE Station Fun – What Do The 12 Days of Christmas Cost?

What’s the cost of true love at Christmastime?  According to the English carol ‘The Twelve Days of Christmas’ and the financial experts at PNC Bank in Pittsburg, it is $39,094.  That’s up just 1.2% from last year, according to their annual study. They’ve done the ‘True Cost of Christmas’ analysis each year back to the 1980s.  They somehow research each of the 12 items mentioned … Continue reading FIRE Station Fun – What Do The 12 Days of Christmas Cost?

FIRE Travel – O Little Town of Bethlehem

We had the great pleasure of enjoying Christmas in July this last summer by visiting ‘O Little Town of Bethlehem’ in the West Bank. For me, it was the highlight of our two weeks in the Holy Land. Since we are now just a week from Christmas, it would be a perfect time to share some of our experiences there. Visiting the city is pretty … Continue reading FIRE Travel – O Little Town of Bethlehem

Holiday Book Suggestions for FIRE Enthusiasts

It’s just a couple weeks to Christmas, so I thought I would send out a quick link to reviews I previously wrote on helpful personal finance books. If you know someone interested in FIRE (financial independence & retiring early), I highly recommend any of these books: Making The Most Of Your Money, Jane Bryant Quinn The Millionaire Next Door, Thomas Stanley & William Danko Affluenza, … Continue reading Holiday Book Suggestions for FIRE Enthusiasts

Walking In A Winter Wonderland

Last month, I fell short of my monthly walking goal for the first time since I stopped working 30 months ago. My goal is 12,000 steps a day and I’ve reached at least that many steps whether sunny, rainy, cold, or snowy until I averaged just 11,755 in October. Related: Fitness Activity in Early Retirement I could have probably jumped on the treadmill for ~75 … Continue reading Walking In A Winter Wonderland