It’s been a busy November, but I’ve never been so organized heading into the holidays. I like to load up the month with all of the ‘work’ of the holidays so that I can just goof-off and enjoy ourselves between now and New Year’s. My approach this year was inspired by something I saw used at our metro zoo. I’ve been involved with the zoo … Continue reading Pre-Holiday Organization
As I do every year, over the last month I’ve used my personal Facebook feed to countdown the days from Thanksgiving to Christmas. This year’s vintage countdown focuses on the great illustration/design from vinyl album covers of the 1940-60s. Hope you enjoy seeing some old favorites … 🎼 25 Days to Christmas – Mitch Miller released this colorful album in 1958. He role of chorale … Continue reading Vintage Christmas Album Covers
I saw a news segment earlier this week about the supply chain issues on the west coast and how it may impact toys at Christmas. The ‘Toy Industry Expert’ went out of his way to ensure everyone there would be plenty of toys from Santa Claus, but the news person did her best to try to create holiday hysteria anyway. I fell for it. Within … Continue reading An Early Start …
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’ …Continue reading “Vintage Christmas Catalog Countdown”
My uncle posted this cute ‘copy & paste” on Facebook a few days ago. I don’t know who wrote it, but they did a wonderful job capturing the craziness of 2020 and our collective hope going forward. It doesn’t really have anything to do with financial planning or early retirement, but I thought I would share it here anyways. I hope to look back on … Continue reading Christmas COVID 2020
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
Everyone loves the holidays – unless you are Ebenezer Scrooge – but it is quite the BUSY time of year. Especially since the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas this year is one week shorter than last year. This is now the fourth year since we made our FIRE escape that I have been able to enjoy holiday activities untethered to a job 50+ hours a … Continue reading Savoring The (Shortened) Season
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 …
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.
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?