Now that Thanksgiving is finally over, it’s time for Black Friday to let the Christmas season finally commence. And I don’t think it would be more appropriate for me to start my cavalcade of Christmas posts than with some good old fashioned yuletide advertising. After all, chances are you’ve probably been bombarded with Black Friday special from retailers since after Halloween. Maybe even before that. Not only that, but several radio stations have already begun playing Christmas songs to so many people’s dismay who think it’s too freaking early. Now I’m fully aware that many people nostalgize over these old Christmas ads with their technicolor illustrations. However, I’ve done such posts twice before and the ads featured here surely aren’t those many tend to forget. In fact, many of them make you scratch your head, especially if it pertains to Santa doing stuff that put him squarely on the naughty list. And no, I don’t mean causing an Type II Diabetes epidemic every time he drinks a bottle of Coca Cola. So for your reading holiday pleasure, I give you some more vintage ads that might make your grandparents revisit parts of a time they’d rather forget.
- With Textron menswear, you can sled ride on a log in your pajamas.
And he’s smoking a pipe as well as even has a guy pulling him with a string. Also, are those deer ladies in the background? Man, this ad seems to take inspiration from an acid trip.
2. Pause and refresh with the great taste of Coca Cola.
Now this would make a perfectly good ad. If it weren’t for that little bottle cap sprite boy handling the reindeer. Seriously, I guess he has the reindeer trample bad children.
3. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from Interwoven socks.
Also, watch Santa beat the living shit out of Axis power leaders. Still, the Japanese depiction is the mot offensive of the 3. Yellow peril, really?
4. This year, Mrs. Santa Claus gets the greatest gift of all: a brand new refrigerator.
First of all, we know the guy dressed as Santa is her husband. Second, uh, fridges are appliances that should be for the whole family since everyone uses it. Not just the wife.
5. Why use a flying reindeer pulled sleigh when you can drive a 1950s muscle car?
Uh, Santa, I’m sure you really like that car. But seriously, falling into it from your sleigh really isn’t a good idea. The next place could be the ER. Or six feet under.
6. Lionel trains are always a great gift for young boys.
“Excellent. Soon I’ll use this train set to carry out my plan to take over the world. Let’s see if I can use it to run over my brother’s gerbils.”
7. Santa Claus Soap is always best for laundry.
Okay, the Santa isn’t that bad in this one, strangely enough. But if I were him, I’d watch out for that creepy child. She may have murder on the mind if St. Nick doesn’t give her the chainsaw and hockey mask she wanted.
8. As Santa says, Chesterfield cigarettes come wrapped and ready.
Yes, nothing says Merry Christmas like the wrapped and ready gift of lung cancer, emphysema, COPD, and a 1 out of 3 chance of an early death. But here you have Santa with a cigarette in his hand. Way to put yourself on the naughty list, Kris Kringle.
9. Boys, spend your Christmas money on this Red Ryder Carbine BB gun.
Warning: Contains a strong possibility that you’ll shoot your eye out, kids. Also doesn’t come with a gyroscope as you might’ve thought from Christmas Story.
10. Cameo stockings are always great Santa bait.
Yes, Santa loves to look at women who wear Cameo stockings from their windows. Of course, if he didn’t have that magic sleigh and a sack full of gifts, he’d probably be subject to hundreds of restraining orders by now.
11. Remember guys, ladies always love when you give them jewelry from Monet.
This guy’s like, “I must’ve made a mistake. I only gave her some gold bracelets since she’s a good friend of mine and it was my turn to play Santa. Now she thinks we’re more than that. Sure she’s hot and I fantasize about sleeping with her. But I don’t know if this is what I really want right now. I’m so confused.”
12. Even Santa Claus himself wears a Botany Tie.
Sorry, but I don’t think Santa should really go for business attire. If it weren’t for the hat, he could easily be some mean grizzled old guy in accounting for all I know.
13. Don’t know what to give a man for Christmas? How about a pen?
Because nothing says “I didn’t know what to give you this year but I know you hat ties” like a fancy overpriced pen. I’m sure your man will enjoy it.
14. If you want to give your man something different, how about something among Avon’s all-men Christmas gifts?
Because nothing makes a manlier Christmas gift than a cologne decanter he can also use as a toy. The covered wagon one is particularly stupid.
15. Have your child dream of gingerbread men this Christmas with Royal baking powder.
I don’t know about you, but that kid better wake up soon. Or else, surrounding magic gingerbread men might subject him to very terrible things. That clown looks pretty shady, too.
16. Bob Hope tells you to hope for the best with Page & Shaw chocolates.
Sorry, but Bob Hope would’ve made a great Christmas movie horror villain in that Santa suit. Seriously, he’s already giving me nightmares.
17. For air-flight mileage on the road, give Fisk tires.
For one, Santa’s sleigh doesn’t need tires since it’s pulled by reindeer and magic. Second, is he in space? If so, how is he and his reindeer able to function? Oh, right magic.
18. For Christmas travel, you can always go on the Pennsylvania Railroad.
And here we have Santa creeping in on a girl in her sleeping car while the conductor seems to be totally fine with it. After all, Santa always sees you when you’re sleeping even on the train.
19. When seeing Santa at the mall, always remember to ask for the Plymouth your dad always wanted.
Because nothing says Christmas like parents using their children as pawns during a Santa visit. No, having your kid ask Santa for a new car you want isn’t being a good boy.
20. Don’t know what to give your woman for Christmas? How about a set of tupperware?
Because we all know that women can’t get enough of colorful plastic containers to store food in. This especially goes for containers you can’t put in the dishwasher.
21. Make your Christmas morning a Kodak moment.
From Cracked: “The photograph that woman is taking is about to be mailed to that girl’s mother with a ransom demand, possibly with a tiny severed finger included. That weeping girl has no idea where she is or who the monster behind that fine Kodak camera is. We suppose you could say that, in reality, this is just an ad about a mother photographing her little girl on Christmas morning, and this girl likes to open presents in bed (and the girl is apprehensive because she lives in an era when terror lurks around every corner). But Kodak actually had a whole series of these ads, and each and every one featured a woman photographing a young girl, in her bed, with a doll. Often against the girl’s will.”
22. What a wonderful Christmas to give a Borg scale!
Well, if anyone asked for it. Otherwise, a bathroom scale gift on Christmas is a way to say to a loved one that they really need to go to the gym or change their diet. Seriously, bathroom scales make horrible Christmas gifts.
23. GE cool brights are Christmas lights cool enough to touch.
Cracked: “OK, this kid is a little too on board with whatever is going on here. In 1970, GE wanted you to know that their lights were cool to the touch, and this little kid wanted to make sure that was the most awkward thing you learned about all day. Now, it’s not this kid’s fault that she got a haircut as bowl-shaped and lopsided as one of the Three Stooges, but the look on her face says that either there is something really freaky going on off-camera to the right or she’s possessed. You can decide which is creepier.”
24. For the guy in your life, you can always give him his own Iver Johnson automatic revolver.
Yes, ladies, give your men the gift that’s a gleaming instrument of death. Let’s hope the gun isn’t hanging on the tree by the goddamned trigger while it’s loaded.
25. From Harper’s Weekly 1865: Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night.
From Cracked: “This 1865 ad is actually just Harper’s Weekly thanking its customers for their business. But studying it closely, we’ve developed a theory that the artist started drawing at the top and slowly went insane as he worked his way down. Because at a quick glance, this seems pretty standard issue old-timey Christmas, but our creep-ometer started going off when we saw Santa winking lustfully from the center, being all “Ladies … I mean … children.” But keep going down to the bottom and you’ll see that the town has gathered for the annual Christmas decapitations of their giant-headed residents, as is tradition, which has incorporated the usual Christmas tropes: swords, dwarfs, kung-fu fighting and exactly one clown. Also, the set appears to have caught fire, leaving no hope of escape for anyone in that crowded building.”
26. Christmas time is always Guinness time.
Misplaced wildlife aside, I think the Pelican might have a drinking problem. Just look how many bottles he has in its beak. That’s not a good sign.
27. A Morris car is always great for the whole family.
Don’t look now but these kids walked on their mommy kissing Santa Claus or their dad in a Santa suit. And yet, neither seem very fazed about it at all.
28. Give your child a special gift for Christmas like a puppy.
For the love of God, don’t give your kids a puppy for Christmas since dog ownership is a 10-15 year emotional commitment. Seriously, don’t do it. This ad sets a very disturbing trend because a lot of Christmas puppies end up neglected.
29. Real Silk hosiery is a great gift for anyone on your list.
Okay, this might not go well with the kids either since this well-dressed man is sitting with a Santa suit. Yeah, that might require some uncomfortable explanation.
30. Even Santa Claus himself enjoys a good smoke now and then.
Of course, remember that enjoying a good smoke will get your lungs full of tar and possibly result in a slow and painful death from lung cancer. Seriously, tobacco kills people for God’s sake.
31. This Christmas give your family the gift that keeps on giving, life insurance.
Let’s just hope this father doesn’t intend to murder his family and cash in on the money. But I wouldn’t be so sure about that.
32. Make this a Browning Christmas with a brand new arsenal.
Great for NRA members and crazy nutjobs for their survivalist bunkers. What more could they ask for?
33. There’s nothing more a woman wants from Santa than a new fur coat.
Okay, Santa, buying expensive gifts for women is one thing. Tucking a sleeping woman in a fur coat? Well, that’s just goddamn creepy.
34. Take in the aroma of the holiday season on our December 10th Open House at Sandberg Funeral and Cremation Services.
Because there’s nothing that’s in the spirit of Christmas than dwelling on the notion of your loved one’s imminent mortality. Hope they have senior discounts because funerals are expensive.
35. Nothing makes a great Christmas treat than hot Dr. Pepper.
Uh, Frosty, you know you shouldn’t be around hot drinks for obvious reasons. Also, hot soft drinks are disgusting.
36. Give your lady the best she deserves for Christmas like a Hoover.
Oh, God, please don’t. Seriously, vacuums are noise machines used for cleaning. Women will not love it. If my boyfriend gave me one, I’d seriously flip out. Great Christmas gift, you say? Hell no!
37. Mackintosh’s Quality Street sweets are enough to even tempt Santa.
Then again, Santa is overweight and prefers baked goods so it’s not too much of a stretch. However, he should beware of Bo Peep and the giant toy soldier behind him.
38. Kids, how about give your dad a Zippo lighter for Christmas this year?
Let’s hope the kid on the right doesn’t accidentally light himself on fire with one of those near his ass. Because that would cause a major disaster.
39. This Christmas, introduce your wife to the joys of canning.
Uh, seriously? Unless she runs her own cottage business, I’m not sure if a bottling outfit is even necessary. I mean this is wrong on so many levels.
40. Men, need a last minute gift for the women in your life? Go with Pyrex.
Because nothing says “I didn’t put any thought in your Christmas gift and put off my shopping till the last minute” like Pyrex. Yeah, Pyrex, what a way to promote yourself.
41. More Santas want Fruit of the Loom underwear for Christmas than any other brand.
Because we all know how men proudly hang out on Christmas in their undies isn’t very unusual at all. Still, this is pretty awkward.
42. Doubl-Glo icicles always deck the best dressed Christmas trees.
I don’t know about you. But I wouldn’t trust that Santa if I were you. He doesn’t seem like himself lately.
43. Ann Page foods are of Christmas quality.
Uh, Santa, we know you like food and all. But I suggest you might want to take it down a notch. You’re scaring the children.
44. Nothing makes a great Christmas eggnog like Bacardi.
Still, you may not want the eggnog making duties to fall on Santa’s elves. Because who knows what else is in their recipe.
45. Please, Santa, can you give Mommy a Hoover!
If she were my daughter, I would say, “You better not ask Santa for a Hoover, young lady!” Because I hate vacuums.
46. At Singer, you can always find the best gifts for your family.
Notice in this ad that the son has a Singer record player while the daughter has a toy sewing machine. Sexist? I’ll say. Besides, in those days, I’d rather have the record player or the typewriter.
47. Remember, guys, ladies always love a man who’d give them a new fur coat. Just ask Santa.
Santa, I don’t think Mrs. Claus will approve of you being between these two lovely women. Please, I don’t know how she puts up with you being such a perv.
48. Give year round pleasure this Christmas with ice buckets.
“Just think, in 50 years, our grandkids will use these to dump ice on themselves for ALS donations. You know that disease that killed Lou Gehrig? Is that cool or what?”
49. Santa says that nothing makes a more ideal Christmas gift than weapons.
Using Santa to sell guns and archery equipment, that’s just crazy. Then again, deer hunting season is usually over by this point anyway.
50. Murad cigarettes: The great Christmas present for grown-ups.
Yes, this smoking Santa ad has him encouraging kids to buy cigarettes for their parents. Because that’s what adults want. Let alone that tobacco kills 1 out of 3 of its users worldwide.
51. The results are in, everyone wants Mrs. Claus’s ironing table.
What Mrs. Claus needs is a desk to answer all those letters. Also, what good is having all those elves around if they won’t do the ironing for you?
52. What she’s dreaming for this Christmas is a White sewing machine.
From Buzzfeed: “I’m positive this is not the “white Christmas” she was dreaming about.” I kind of agree.
53. Santa’s future is still in the bag with Mutual Life Insurance.
I don’t know about you. But I don’t know why Santa would need life insurance exactly. I mean it’s widely said he goes on forever. This doesn’t make sense.
54. Have all your gifts initialed with Seagram’s V.O.
From Flashbak: “The 1965 Class of Alcoholics Anonymous. Perhaps, the choice of graduation gifts could’ve been more thought through.”
55. Ladies, give him the best with Max Factor aftershave.
I understand this is for family. But the fact a young girl has her lips pursed like she expects to be kissed is a pretty disturbing.
56. Which of these watches will bring you the best kisses this Christmas morning?
From Flashbak: “Which one’s the best? Hmmm. The “extra hug” and and “kiss for every jewel” (and she’ll call you “sir” watches are nice. But, I’ll have the “one [censored] coming right up” watch instead.”
57. Give the kids a Christmas they’ll never forget with Bell & Howell.
From Flashbak: “Kids – look away! There is a Santa Claus… despite how this irresponsible 1944 advert looks. Bell and Howell are dicks.”
58. This Christmas treat your car to some roller bearings.
From Flashbak: “1946 Ad Bower Roller Bearings advert…. strange that there would even be an advert for roller bearings in the first place. Even stranger it would feature girls in sexy Christmas costumes.”
59. This year make it a family Christmas with Weldon pajamas.
Because nothing says Christmas like wearing matching pink and red pajamas for the whole family. It’s amazing if Sonny won’t look back at this moment with embarrassment years later.
60. Who needs mistletoe when you have Johnny Walker Red?
Okay, this is a very troubling ad since it hints Christmas date rape. A present no young woman wants period.
61. A boy becomes a man on Christmas when he receives his first typewriter.
From Flashbak: “Yes, since Biblical days, the rite of manhood has been the sacred Gifting of the Typewriter. This advert is from 1976 – it wouldn’t be long before the typewriter would go the way of the abacus and daguerreotype.”
62. When Santa relaxes, he always has his elves tending to his every need.
So Santa gets to relax with the elves who do everything for him for who who knows what. Also, Santa usually drinks Coca Cola from the bottle. An elf shouldn’t pour a glass for him.
63. This Christmas Santa Claus has a sack filled with Chesterfield cigarettes.
Yes, nothing says Christmas like the gift of lung cancer. Santa, you really want us to smoke? God almighty!
64. Santa Claus knows that Westinghouse fridges don’t freeze.
Yet, did he really have to have Inuit children help him? I mean he has elves and I know that’s not a great depiction of Native Americans.
65. Nothing makes Frosty feel at home than a basement freezer.
Looks like Frosty the Snowman is now sleeping with the fish sticks. Guess global warming has really got to him these days.
66. Rest your head this Christmas with a Koolfoam pillow.
From Bob Canada: “This poor family of wretches has apparently been without proper head support for a very long time. Dad’s positively in ecstasy as he paws at that new pillow. Little Suzie is even ignoring her brand new doll so that she can cop a feel off of that stuffed sack of Nirvana.”
67. A Schwinn bike makes a perfect Christmas gift for a kid.
From Retail Hell Underground: “Look at that kid’s eyes. He is absolutely planning to murder you with his shiny new Schwinn. It doesn’t matter that bikes are made of smooth metal and squishy rubber and luxurious pleather — he will find a way to butcher you with it, probably after practicing on no less than five neighborhood pets. And check out that drawn-out “O-OH-H.” Not only is he getting his first Schwinn, he’s also experiencing his first orgasm. The first ones are so easy, aren’t they? But soon you get jaded, and the only way you can get your rocks off is by watching a prostitute choke to death on a bicycle bell, her death rattle accompanied by plaintive ringing.”
68. Santa always knows that a boy wants his own Stevens rifle for Christmas.
From Retail Hell Underground: “We can’t emphasize enough that this 1906 ad is for real guns. Not cork guns or BB guns — actual, “hunt your own food and shoot a man down in cold blood” guns. And this one is being placed beside a sleeping child by a visibly conniving Santa, as if he’s preparing the kid for some Christmas morning Hunger Games in which only the sole survivor gets the stocking.”
69. When Santa sees you when you’re sleeping, he sometimes even films it.
From Retail Hell Underground: “He sees you when you’re sleeping. He also films you when you’re sleeping. Then he shows everybody in a seedy, poorly lit theater. We really wish we could see those people’s hands … Wait, no! We take that back.”
70. There’s nothing better on Christmas than getting drunk on Kinsey with a ghost.
From Retail Hell Underground: “Easily the best part of any Christmas gathering is when you sit down with your buddy for a nice toast with Kinsey Whiskey and fucking drunken ghosts show up to party. Also, does that guy have a framed photo of himself on the table? Your holiday parties may be painfully awkward, but at least they’re not whiskey-fueled ghost keggers with unrepentant narcissists.”