In the decade that we put our first Americans on the moon around the Holiday Season, many Christmas traditions were created; some you’ll remember no matter your age because you still see them today, and others, you may not. Let’s explore some favorites from the decade.
The Emergence of Christmas Cartoons
By the mid 60s, almost every home had a television set and the era brought the cartoon classics we still know today; Charlie Brown and The Peanuts. The Charlie Brown Christmas special almost never came to air because the television executives didn’t like that they used real children’s voices, jazz music throughout, and more importantly, its non-consumer, almost spiritual vibe. They did air it, however, and Americans loved it.
Favorite Adult Holiday Programs
Holiday specials blew up, not only for children but adults too. Even veterans had their own Christmas special to watch with Bob Hope. Veterans watching Bob Hope in Vietnam from home laughed their butts off, and their children looked up at them thinking ‘this is great!’. Executives were concerned for Bob Hope’s safety in Vietnam, but Hope insisted. In 1997, Bob Hope was named an ‘Honorary Veteran’ by Congress.
A twisted adult Christmas favorite was the classic Twilight Zone episode, The Night of the Meek. It was about a department store Santa Clause who is actually a drunk and gets fired from his job. Then, he finds a magical sack that gives presents and his life purpose becomes bringing the bounties of Christmas to the less fortunate.
It was in 1966, that the television fireplace was invented. A network named WPIX, stopped its programming during the holidays and replaced it with only a picture of a burning fireplace. It was meant to be a gift to all apartment dwellers who did not have a fireplace of their own. In some homes today, this is still a tradition, in both homes and apartments. Also, the creation of the television fireplace may have inspired others like it, such as the lightening and storm DVDs and many others.
Interesting Gift Suggestions via Commerical
Commercials in the 60s are definitely different in comparison to the commercials we see today. When smoking was widely socially acceptable and the harm it caused your health was a non-issue, cigarette commercials suggested you purchase a whole carton of your loved smoker’s favorite cigarettes to wish them a wonderful holiday season and “happy smoking!”. Women were largely targeted by new home devices to make their stay-at-home jobs easier; new irons and the latest cooking appliances. One of the most unusual suggestions back then was suggesting you drink your Dr. Pepper soda hot!
We hope you’ve enjoyed some of our favorite highlights from the 60’s media favorites and that you have a fulfilling and safe holiday season with family and friends!
Notes that made it into this article derived from the History Channel’s Christmas Through The Decades: The 60s Special you can watch yourself at http://www.history.com/shows/christmas-through-the-decades/season-1/episode-1