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Saturday, December 20, 2014

GE is Beneath Your Christmas Tree

As promised in last week's blog, I'm introducing you to the GE Christmas Guys.  As you can see, they're a bit rummy, having been at the eggnog on a cold wintry day.  But they're eager to share their joy of GE products as they give you the low-down on the high points of these marvelous gifts available to the good people of 1962.  So here's what the GE Christmas Guys were pushing on the readers of Life Magazine on December 14th, 1962.

Every great gal in your life needs a bag over her head.  And here's one attached to an electric fan and a heating element.  This pink bouffant bonnet comes in a handsome travel case, which your wife might need if you give this to her for Christmas.  It'll be easy to include as she packs up to leave you.

Let's assume that the GE Christmas Guy in this picture is just napping, and that he wasn't electrocuted by the "Waverly" automatic blanket.  I've never been a fan of this idea.  Wrapping yourself with energized copper wire is grabbing hold of the atomic age a bit too literally.  Sure, it was the Sixties, and everything was going electric.  But let's try to keep the flow of electricity out of the sheets, huh?  There are better ways to keep warm in bed without resorting to regulated voltage.

Does anyone iron out there anymore?  I don't know.  I remember my mother ironing, and ironing, and ironing.  Seemed like our clothes didn't look much different than they do now, and my wife doesn't iron much.  Pretty sure that in the old days our clothes were made out of something akin to saran wrap.  I mean, just consider how badly they always wrinkled.  Come to think of it, many of the clothes back then were closely related to plastic wrap.  They were actually plastic.  All that polyester and rayon.  Even the cotton clothes wrinkled constantly.  But at least with this gift from GE, as they suggest, you can open your gift and iron out the wrinkles on your Christmas party dress.  That's supposed to sound wonderful, but it mostly sounds like a sad Christmas moment.  Let's move on.

 Nothing says "special Christmas" like an automatic can opener.  Especially one that is designed to opened cans with blank, blue labels.  Mystery meat, I'd guess.  Love the copy here--"Opens that can of cranberry sauce electrically."  And don't miss the fact that this puppy has a governor-controlled motor.  And the special bonus here is the pre-safety-conscious-society decision to manufacture this without a guard on the cutting device.  As a child, I always imagined what it would be like to catch your finger in that metal-chewing mechanism.  That I still have all ten fingers is a testament to sheer luck.

"Hey mom, here's your gift!  Open it first so you can bake us all a Christmas cake!"  Kids are so cute.  So are husbands who buy portable mixers for their wives and tell her it's from the kids.  Now she's no fool.  In 1962, mom knows perfectly well that dad put the kids up to this so she can mix drinks for him with the free drink mixer attachment.  I'd suggest he not toss in that optional accessory for sharpening knives.  

"From December 26th," this ad reads, "housecleaning will never be easier!"  Yeah, but your wife may never be easy to get along with ever again.  I doubt most wives would even be impressed that this vacuum has a double-action tool.  I might be, if I knew what that meant.  But I'm not gonna ask the GE Christmas Guy hanging from the hose.  Let's see what's left under the tree.

Coffee?  Now we're talking.  I think GE might have a winner here.  Since Keurig machines won't be invented for another forty-plus years, a Peek-A-Brew Coffee Maker is not a bad idea.  Not only will it count the cups, but it will keep the coffee hot.  Now we just have to wait until flavored coffees are offered in the coffee aisle at the local shopping center.  Toffee Pumpkin Skinny Lattes won't be available for quite a while yet!  You'll have to stick with plain cream and sugar.

Thanks to the GE Christmas Guys for their wonderful gift ideas.  For all you newly married young men out there, don't listen to these guys.  Cleaning and cooking supplies aren't your best bet for a young wife's Christmas gift.  Maybe on occasion, if she specifically asks for something.  But I'd avoid buying her anything like knife sharpeners and bags for her head.  I think we can all agree that's just a little common sense.

Here's the full ad that ran in Life Magazine.

For more Christmas ideas from the past, check out last year's posts on Burstein-Applebee.

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