25 Days of Christmas: Day 19 ~ A Century of American Christmases, Part III (1960-1980)

Christmas in the 1960s

1960 tape recorderA pivotal decade, the 1960s were marked by the Civil Rights movement, the rise of the hippies, the Bay of Pigs, the Vietnam War, and the race to be the first nation to reach the moon. Postwar baby boomers began to transition from teenagers to adults against a background of toys that included Easy Bake Ovens, the Etch-a-Sketch, and GI Joe.

1960s Christmas Budget

Kitchen convenience was offered in style in the 1960s – never mind the refrigerator, check out the lazy Susans and the electric can openers!

  • Lazy Susan – $4.76
  • Electric can opener – $7.77
  • Ladies’ stretch slacks – $3.97
  • Aluminum Christmas tree and stand – $2.99
  • “Your kiddie’s Polaroid picture taken with Santa himself” – $0.49
  • Viewmaster stereo viewer in “rugged, shock-resistant plastic” – $1.75

 Christmas in the 1970s

1970sProtest against the Vietnam War increased as the decade opened; it would close with the capture of hostages at the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, after seeing the end of the war and the resignation of a president, North America families took to the highways in station wagons, sporting mood rings and playing with Rubik’s Cubes, skate-boards, and Matchbox cars.

1970s Christmas Budget

  • Stereo set with turntable and 8-track player – $199.95
  • AM radio mounted in headphones – $14.95
  • Lava lamp – $45.00
  • “25-function” calculator – $49.95
  • CB radio – $89.95
  • Bionic Man action figure – $6.65
  • Baby Thataway – $8.88
  • Ten-speed bike – $99.50
  • Evel Knievel stunt cycle – $9.95

Christmas in the 1980s

1980sThe beginning of the end for the Cold War marked the close of this decade, as the Berlin Wall fell in Germany. Here at home, the drive toward space continued with the first reusable space vehicle, the Space Shuttle, in 1981. Computers arrived in homes and schools, while video games such as Nintendo and Pac Man gained huge followings. Shoppers flocked to stores in search of Cabbage Patch Dolls, while other hot toys included Trivial Pursuit and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

1980s Christmas Budget

  • Microwave oven – $227.00
  • Videocassette recorder (1980) – $1,395
  • Videocassette recorder (1989) – $299
  • Garfield telephone – $44.70
  • Space Invaders video game cassette – $24.88
  • Care Bear – $13.99
  • Castle Greyskull, from Masters of the Universe Collection – $23.99
  • Lazer tag game kit – $29.99
  • Rambo Rocket water launcher – $14.96

(Jeffrey, Yvonne; The Everything Family Christmas Book)



Birthdays parted by 3-years & 2-days

It is the same every year; separated by 2-days.  The birthdays of my first and second children.

 September 29

As luck would have it I started having contractions during my first son’s third birthday party while I was sitting crossed legged on the floor watching/helping “D.A.K.” open his gifts.  I was a tad embarrassed when it took three men to hoist me off the floor as I was not adequately able to fully see myself through the standing up process on my own.

We did not rush to do anything other than continue celebrating DAK’s special day as we finished enjoying time with our guests, eating hamburgers, hot dogs, cake, and ice cream.

DAK 3rd Birthday

Celebrating his 3rd birthday, DAK was excitedly opening gifts.

The contractions sporadically continued as we finished the party, said goodnight to our friends and turned in for the evening.  I was able to get a bit of rest off and on during the night and into the next day.  Late into the night of Sept. 30 and early morning Oct. 1 the contractions begin to be more consistent and timely.

October 1

Around mid-morning on Monday, 10/1/84 we decided to call the doctor’s office when we were instructed to take our time, but start getting things ready and head to the hospital.  It was mid-day when we left DAK with the sitter and explained the next time we saw him he’d be a big brother.

Upon arriving at the hospital all was pretty standard, except in New York at the time, unless you were having a Caesarean (C-section), you were given nothing, nada, zip to help with the pain and discomfort…REALLY?  Since this was my second pregnancy I already knew what to expect and worked my way through the pain.  I however, felt terrible for the first time mom who was down the hall from my room, yet sounded as though she was in the room with me; as she was not dealing well with the “no meds” rule very well at all.  It wasn’t until 1988 when “Patient-controlled epidurals, which allow women in labor to adjust the timing and frequency of their anesthesia with the push of a button, come on the scene.”  (Source: http://www.birthologie.com/pregnancy/the-history-of-childbirth/)

Approximately 9:15 pm the nurses told me I was ready to deliver and would retrieve the doc from the doctor’s lounge.  As he entered the room the doctor said without batting an eye, that I was interrupting his Monday Night Football.  My response “too bad.”  Although he may have been joking…I certainly was not!

A few minutes later, at 9:29 pm, JMAK entered this world and expanded our family.


DAK and his new brother, 1 month old JMAK

So today I wish my two oldest boys a very HAPPY BIRTHDAY.  DAK turns 33 today and on Wednesday, October 1st, JMAK will be 30.  My how time flies and before we know it, we’re grandparents.

Happy Birthday boys.  Yo momma loves ya.

Throwback Thursday: Circa, Spiral Perms & Gold Chains

Circa 1980sSpiral Perms & Gold Chains

In an effort to keep up my tradition of posting pictures and stories from yesteryear on Throwback Thursdays, I dug up this picture of me from the 1980s.

Although I’m not really sure why most of my pictures are from that era.  Perhaps I had a new camera, maybe it was the thing to do and freeze time with a snapshot. None the less, that’s me…in all my glory and spiral perm; just imagine what it looked like when it was really curly (I actually have a picture of it and will post on another TBT.).

So, here’s to Throwback Thursdays