12.29.2012

1950's Gifts and a New Year's Resolution


These fun holiday ads from the mid-1950’s show typical gifts for women from that era. 
I love to look at ads from this time, with their quirky styles and quaint notion of gifting. 





As the holiday gift season winds down, I have a question for you: Would you have been happy to get a bedspread, slippers or 'stockings' this year? Are they something you would feel comfortable giving, or do you feel the need to buy more expensive things for those you love?

Today, I’m sure that many people would find these simple and useful items too mundane and functional when compared with the current trend in giving flashy technology and luxury brands as gifts. The advertisements here interest me not only for what things looked like 60 years ago, but also for what women considered appropriate gifts to give and receive.

Gifts back then seemed so simple. Many items were also affordable for the shopper on a budget. Where along the line did we come to expect so many lavish presents from our family and friends? At that time, stockings, perfume, a wallet or slippers were appreciated and cherished. Many of these simple things are still in existence today, carefully folded and wafting exotic scents in old cedar chests and bureaus.

Ads like this remind us of a time when people waited for the holiday season to get the one thing they wanted most all year, like a suitcase or leather wallet. This is such a departure from our instant gratification practice of buying what we want as soon as the product becomes available. Do you find yourself doing that? Sometimes it can make the holiday season just another speed bump on the road to collecting 'stuff'.

I see the small undercurrent for homemade gifts a reaction to the ongoing rush for impersonal mass produced gifting and high ticket technology. If the 'slow' movement catches on, you may find yourself opening quirky, simple and unexpected gifts sometime down the line. Would you be happy with that?

Maybe you are already crafting the gifts you give, it's a slow and demanding process, but well worth the effort. When compared to the next Mac product, homemade soap speaks softly, but sweetly: "I'm here for you only, a specially crafted and delivered one-of-a kind gift".

So, here’s a thought for the year ahead. Could we make "craft all my gifts" a New Year’s resolution? It seems ambitious, but it would be worth the effort, don't you think?

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