Christmas My Way: Day Ten (We Will Be Right Back Merrily)

Christmas has always involved the commercial, and let’s face it, the exchange of gifts has grown into a sales time that can make or brake the profit picture for a store.

Television has of course merrily joined the party and at Christmas, you are bombarded with holiday ads that want to sell you lots of potential gifts with as garish or ridiculous a premise as possible (Raise your hand if someone is getting you a Lexus this year).

But despite an onslaught of overcaffinated shoppers like TARGET’S truly terrifying Christmas Champ Lady (who didn’t even bother to celebrate Thanksgiving) to shoppers at Best Buy quite happy to piss Santa off over their shopping accumen.

However, TV can also create quite moving and lasting memories from simple adds that sell a product but don’t substitute the three of the gift hunt for the joy of the Holiday season. TV networks have done a few classic ads and promos that are charming and heartwarming. Here are just a couple of them:

This may be the most beloved Interstitial that a network ever did. During the 60’s, CBS-TV used this very simple pen and ink animation to capture the sound of Christmas.

Local stations used to do their best, as well, with spots and promotions aimed at their own audience.

One early example was a holiday special with Eugene Ormandy and the Philadelphia Orchestra perform a Christmas Concert from the Academy Of Music in 1955, sponsored by the Tasty Baking Co. (Tastykake). It was called THE TASTYKAKE CHRISTMAS HOUR. The University Of Pennsylvania has a webpage for it.

The TastyKake / Philadelphia Orchestra Christmas Hour

The simplest and most lasting memory may have been the variations on the WPIX-TV NYC Yule Log. This was broadcast Christmas morning for a few hours and consisted of a loop of a burning Yule Log coupled with Christmas music. Perfect to unwrap the presents and then fall back to sleep for a little while.

Some of the best remembered Christmas ads are for products that are not normally associated with gift giving. Snacks and beverages have long been the leader in timeless Holiday spirit. Here are just a few ads from across the years. Back soon with more Christmas blog merriment.


Christmas My Way: Day Two

A clip from an ANDY WILLIAMS CHRISTMAS circa 1965. These shows were an absolute tradition in homes every holiday for many years.

From MR. MAGOO’S CHRISTMAS CAROL, which was a TV Special, but I also saw it shown on the big screen at the TOWER THEATER in Upper Darby. For many years, syndicated TV prints of this omitted the Broadway play framing at the beginning and end, only leaving the actual Dickens adaptation. The voice of Bob Cratchett is Jack Cassidy, a Broadway star and the father of David Cassidy. Jack later married Shirley Jones, who is David’s stepmother.

A COCA-COLA Christmas as from the 70’s. Feel free to sing along. The song , I’D LIKE TO TEACH THE WORLD TO SING, was a Top Hit for the Hilltop Singers because of this ad.