Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Seems We Just Get Started and Before You Know It...

Sorry, two Carol Burnett references in one week.  But as I was saying, Christmas is already here!  Those 25 days went quick.  Welcome to Day 25 and a Merry Christmas!

I found these animatronic Mr. and Mrs. Claus last summer at the annual Gramond Street sale in Affton, Missouri. It was the same sale where I previously found this Harold Gale piece.

They weren't as cheap as the Harold Gale I bought there (I only paid $5 for that).  The seller was asking $50 a piece, but I got them for $75 for the pair.  They were part of a department store display in Ohio made by the Creegan company. In speaking with the seller (who turned out to be one of the largest collectors of animated Christmas figures in the St. Louis area), he had purchased them as part of the closing of the Creegan company in 2010.

Like husband and wife team Harold and Viola Gale, George Creegan and his wife JoAnn started their own company that manufactured puppets and animatronic figures which were used in department stores around the world.  George Creegan even starred in a local Steubenville, Ohio children's show called "Creegan and Crow".

Creegan also provided the animatronics to the Mr. Rogers attraction at Idlewild Park in Pennsylvania.

A large number of animatronics were lost when The Creegan Company warehouse burned in December of 2013.

JoAnn passed away in 2003. George passed away in January of this year.

A couple of their designs, along with a Harold Gale Santa opening a treasure chest I picked up at the same sale, are now on display in my front window.

Merry Christmas and thanks for following me this month.  See you in the New Year!

Monday, December 24, 2018

Here Comes Santa Claus

It's Christmas Eve and Santa is frantically preparing his sleigh and packing all the toys for good girls and boys.  This Christmas chime demonstrates how fast a plump, jolly old elf can run.

Sunday, December 23, 2018

I'm So Glad We Had These Stockings Together

If there'd been a "Vicki" stocking, I'd have sworn these were the Christmas stockings of the surviving members of The Carol Burnett Show. (Okay, as Joe pointed out in the comments, Tim Conway is still with us. Sorry, Tim.)

Somebody really blinged out these stockings.  It seems to have been a popular practice in the 1960's.  They remind me of this Santa mail holder I found years ago.

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Reader's Digest Condensed - December 1968

It's time for the December edition of Reader's Digest Condensed, which of course means, just the ads.  But as a bonus in honor of Christmas, I'm including "St. Nicholas: The People's Saint" for a bit of history on the jolly fat man in red.

Friday, December 21, 2018

Sunken Treasure

Milton Bradley's "Sunken Treasure" game is another spin (pun intended) on "Operation".

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Pine Cone Elves

These pine cone elves I found at one sale look right at home with this log cabin I found at another. The cabin needs a few repairs. It's a good thing elves are handy with hammers.

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Mall Memories -- Day of Christmas

During the late '70's and early '80's, there was an annual event celebrated in my family.  One weekday in December my mother would call my sister and me in sick at school. Then along with my other sister, we would head off to the "big" mall. We had our own local shopping mall, but there was another, larger and more grand, with more shopping and dining options: Crestwood Mall in South St. Louis County, Missouri.

Crestwood Mall 1986

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Magic Memories

Yesterday's blog about Christmas memories reminded me of something that happened this past year. Something magical, you might say.

Way back in 2012, I posted about some magic sets I'd found at sales over the years. One of the sets was one I'd picked up even earlier, probably in the early 2000's: the Remco Sneaky Pete's Professional Magic Show.

Monday, December 17, 2018

Santa and Me

The arrival of Santa Claus at malls across America used to be the kickoff to the Christmas season and was often a grandiose affair involving helicopter landings and high school bands. These photos with Santa harken back to those days when children waited in long lines expectantly, if a little nervous and unsure. They chronicle one little girl's (Judy Sutter's) visits to the man in red through the 1950's and '60's. 

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Christmas Ad Templates

Time for this season's dose of the newspaper ad templates I found this past summer. These date from December 1968 and '69.

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Holly Bells

I used to find the plastic Christmas decorations made in Hong Kong to be tacky.  They've grown on me over the years. And I've amassed quite a collection. These plastic bell-shaped holly decorations are the latest additions.

Friday, December 14, 2018

Sugar Candles

These crystallized "sugar candles" are gaining in popularity.  I recall these from the '70's.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Santa Light Cover

I found these ginormous Santa light covers in the basement of an estate sale a couple years ago. They measure 18" x 18". I would guess they date from the 1960's.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Masticated Memories

I had one of these red velvet Dakin Reindeer when I was a kid.  I found this one at a garage sale over the summer.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

I saw Grandma Kissing Santa Claus

Well, I guess actually it's supposed to be Mrs. Claus.

I've written before of my love for those tacky '70's Hong Kong produced plastic Christmas decorations.  This is another addition to my collection.

These haven't quite made it to collectible status yet, but I suspect as older Christmas items price out of most collectors' range, these will find a market.

Monday, December 10, 2018

Uncanny Finds -- Sweet Christmas Memories

It's odd what things stand out in our memories.  I remember my father receiving a can of these every Christmas from his employer.  But this is no "jelly of the month club" story.  He also received chocolates, and a huge fruit basket not to mention a sizable monetary bonus. But as a kid, I was more interested in the candy.  Except for these...

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Oh, Christmas Tree

This little tree is the aluminum equivalent of Charlie Brown's tree.  It's a little pathetic, but "I never thought it was such a bad little tree".

Saturday, December 8, 2018

No Cardholder Lefton Behind

I found these Lefton Christmas card holders at separate garage sales, but they go well together.

Friday, December 7, 2018

Christmas Greetings

These days, most people turn to online services like Shutterfly to create custom Christmas cards to send to friends and family.  In 1977, you could order personalized cards out of book like this.

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Merry Christmas Adele. STOP

I have no idea who "Adele" was, but I'm assuming she was employed by Western Union and perhaps received this as a gag.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

What a Bunch of Crepe

I gasped when I saw this batch of vintage Dennison Christmas crepe paper in a pile of other plain wrapping paper at a garage sale this summer.  It's rare to find vintage items at garage sales these days.  Especially marked as cheap as these were at a quarter a piece.

Monday, December 3, 2018

Lenticular Santa

This lenticular Christmas wall plaque probably dates from the 1950's.   From one angle we see Jolly Old St. Nick.

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Merry Chris-mouse

Mr. and Mrs. Santa Mouse were made by Royalty Industries in 1970 and were made to be banks.

They are clearly inspired by the popular puppet of the time, "Topo Gigio".

"Topo  Gigio" debuted on Italian television in 1959.  In 1963, he began appearing on "The Ed Sullivan Show". "Topo Gigio" (translated from the Italian for "Louis Mouse") was operated by 4 puppeteers, 3 for various articulation and a fourth to voice "Topo".  The puppeteers all dressed in black and used a black back drop to conceal themselves.  "Topo" was known for his stereotypical Italian accent, always saying to Ed when he would depart: "Keesa me goo'night!".  "Topo" continued as a regular throughout the show's run and even closed out the final show in 1971.

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Good Day and Welcome to Day 1

There's a war on Christmas, my friends.  I'm not talking about "Merry Christmas" vs. "Happy Holidays". I'm talking about Christmas vs. Halloween.  It seems to be popular thought as of late that you're either a Halloween person or a Christmas person.  I'm here to tell you that's not true, because I'm both.

Historically, I've blogged a lot more during October than in December, particularly the last few years. So, I'm here this month to attempt to make up for it with my "25 Days of Christmas".  That's right, once again I will attempt to post something every day in December leading up to Christmas.  And while I admit, my Halloween-related finds tend to be a little more interesting, I hope you'll enjoy my Christmas tidings this month as well.

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