Vintage Christmas advertisements always depicted a warm and merry scene, with dancing guests, twinkling decorations, and sweet faces with rosy cheeks. Christmas today has more distractions, sure, but the sentiment remains the same; Christmas is a time when family and friends come together to celebrate, and the house is bursting with holiday cheer and warmth.
Santa Claus visits homes across the country each year with his reindeer, surrounding the tree with gifts and taking bites of chocolate chip cookies fresh from the oven. The smell of burning logs and Grandfather’s pipe fill the air, and the walls are decorated with holly and the doorways dangling with mistletoe. Children stare at presents with lust, looking and feeling inquisitively at the shapes of their neatly wrapped gifts, wondering what wonders will be revealed when they pull off the wrapping paper in the morning. Kitchens are filled with delicious cookies, snacks, and refreshments, with the smell of Christmas dinner roasting perfectly in the oven. Sounds pretty magical, doesn’t it?
Ready to be transported to a simpler time? Here are Vintage Christmas Advertisements That Will Fill You with Holiday Cheer. Can you hear the sleigh bells yet?
Christmas dinner is when the entire family would finally all come together and sit down for either a peaceful and civilized meal, or an all out family brawl when Uncle Frank has had one too many glasses of sherry and starts talking about the war. Depictions of a retro Christmas dinner show families seated around a festive table, with a roasted turkey or carving ham as the drool-inducing centerpiece. Christmas dinner was when the head of the house would debut their hosting festivities, providing the food, drinks, and after dinner entertainment for a night of Christmas cheer. A Christmas feast can also mean plenty of leftovers, that will usually fill your fridge and feed your family until the start of the New Year. Have another cookie, your diet can start in January!
A vintage Christmas party scene would usually depict family members and guests as they gathered merrily around roaring fireplaces and twinkling Christmas trees, or around a grand piano as Grandma leads the singalong. The holidays were the ultimate time to showcase your fantastic hosting abilities, and provide the entertainment by way of classic Christmas music and dancing, plus cold cocktails and a refrigerator full of sodas to refresh guests after they’ve twirled their way through the evening. Christmas was a time to come together and forget differences, and to swap gifts and kind greetings with the ones you love the most.
What would a classic American Christmas without a bundle of vintage advertisements and promotional magazine ads? The holiday season was when companies showcased their best advertising campaigns, aiming for the hearts of customers who simply must have that new set of Pyrex cookware, sparkling piece of jewelry, set of car tires, or shiny new appliance for their kitchen. Children were over the moon at the prospect of new toys wrapped under the tree, and hosts were often gifted with a fancy box of chocolates or a bottle of top-shelf liquor. Christmas was the time for giving, and showcasing your thoughtful side by way of fancy gifts.
One of the most famous advertising campaigns that has ever been created, the Christmas Coca-Cola ads of the 1930’s-60’s have now become popular collectibles. The original oil paintings were created by a man named Haddon Sundblom, then adapted for Coca-Cola advertising in magazines, on store displays, billboards, calendars, posters, and plush dolls. The original Coca-Cola Santa appeared in a popular magazine in 1931, and then continued to reappear in different scenarios. Santa was shown delivering toys, spending time with children, raiding refrigerators, or pausing to read his letter and enjoying a bottle of cold Coke.
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What were your favorite holiday memories as a kid? Let us know in the comments below.