25 Days of Christmas: Day 20 ~ A Century of American Christmases, Part IV (1990-2000)

Christmas in the 1990s

1990sThe 1990s brought an unsettling decade, as we coped with the first Gulf War and the bombings of the World Trade Center in New York City and the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City. On the economic side, however, the nation was booming, alongside advances in technology that brought the World Wide Web to homes and businesses, connecting people around the world like never before. Popular toys included Beanie Babies and Tickle Me Elmo, and a move from skateboards to Rollerblades.

1990s Christmas Budget

  • Sony Walkman – $69.99
  • Transformer toy figure – $15.00
  • Girl’s bicycle – $150.00
  • Hardcover books – $25.00
  • Music CD – $19.99
  • Cordless power drill – $95.00
  • Polar fleece scarf – $9.99
  • DVD Player – $525

New Century Christmas: 2000-2009

2000sAlthough the decade opened with the hope brought by the turn of the millennium, emotions turned to shock at the events of September 11, 2001 in the United States, with conflict ensuing in countries around the world. As the decade continued, however, further advances in technology, health, and environmental researched provided hope again – in the battles for wellness, quality of life, and climate change. Toys based on cartoon characters remained very popular, from Buzz Lightyear to Spiderman, along with ever-more-sophisticated computer-simulation games.

Christmas Budget; 2000 – 2009

  • Men’s sport jacket – $99.95
  • TV cabinet – $450.00
  • Portable MP3 player – $109.99
  • China candlestick – $35.00
  • Boys’ worsted sweater – $30.00
  • Toy sewing machine – $29.99
  • Toy automobile – $9.99
  • Railroad set – $34.00

(Jeffrey, Yvonne; The Everything Family Christmas Book)

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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)

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How can a girl be so stinkin’ happy…

…about a mixer?

Potato Masher For someone who has been using the old fashion hand masher and whisk for the last five or six years, it was a huge surprise to open the heavy over-sized box and find my brand spankin’ new KitchenAid Mixer.

I immediately started thinking about what I was going to make that would “require” me to break out the new gift toy kitchen helper (toy).  Needless to say my train of thought on this topic did not last long as my attention quickly returned to the festivities of the day, watching family open their gifts and enjoying everyone’s company.

When the presents were opened and everyone was enjoying their gifts and visiting others, I retreated to the kitchen to prepare our Christmas meal.  About an hour into the preparations I reached into the utensil drawer and pulled out the tater masher…THEN IT HIT ME!  I can use my new mixer to mash the sweet potatoes and mix the squash casserole ingredients, so I quickly called to my son for assistance. After enduring a few minutes of excited anticipation, there she was sitting tall on the counter, shining in all her glory and waiting to assist in preparing our Christmas meal.

KitchenAid Mixer

KitchenAid Mixer

Maybe it was me, maybe it was because of the mixer, but on that Christmas day I felt the food tasted a little extra delicious.

Thanks dad for the great Christmas gift. I love it and look forward to preparing many tasty dishes with it.

Stocking Stuffer Ideas for Your Guy

Only 67 Days Till Christmas Ladies

Now is about the time I start thinking about Christmas shopping and since my life is filled with males (my dad, 3 sons, 2 grandsons, brothers, nephews, etc.), not only am I racking my brain trying to figure out what gifts to get them, each year I have to be creative about what goes in their stockings too.

Shopping for stocking stuffers gives us an opportunity to find unique, fun, and small goodies that add an extra special touch to our loved ones’ Christmas morning joy.  I love watching the look on their faces when they explore what Santa brought for them each year.

I try to find at least one item in each of the following category’s for each person’s stocking:
    1. Food, Drink, or Snack (candy, fruit, flavored coffee)
    2. Personalized item (monogrammed key ring)
    3. Something they wouldn’t buy for themselves
    4. Article of clothing (scarf or beanie)
    5. Fun gag-gift
    6. Something for their vehicle
    7. A personal item (nail clippers, etc.)
    8. Something they would find very useful (extra mobile phone charger, etc.)
    9. A personal something from me

I hope some of the ideas below make your shopping trip for stocking stuffers a little easier this year.  If you want to add a little more excitement on Christmas morning, just for giggles why don’t you wrap a few of the stuffers.

“Stuff” For Guys

Here are 100 ideas to help you kick start and tackle your Christmas lists this year.