This article was assisted in part by AI
I grew up in the 1960s and lived the Charlie Brown life. Large snowfalls in December, snowball fights, dogs running with the neighborhood kids like Snoopy, church, and school Christmas pageants, plus chopping down your own tree, and exchanging gifts. As I cannot recall all the details of holidays past I thought I would allow AI to assist with what I forgot or customs I was not aware of. I hope this article brings back fond memories for the readers.
Do you remember
Christmas traditions in the 1960s were shaped by a combination of longstanding customs and the cultural influences of the time. Here are some notable Christmas traditions from that era:
Tinsel and aluminum Christmas trees:
Aluminum Christmas trees gained popularity in the 1960s, often adorned with colorful rotating lights and surrounded by a sea of tinsel.
Bubble lights: These were a popular choice for Christmas tree lights. They contained a liquid that bubbled when heated.
Classic Christmas Music:
Many of the beloved Christmas songs we know today were already popular in the 1960s, and artists like Bing Crosby, Nat King Cole, and the Supremes released iconic holiday albums. it was just revealed that Rockin Around the Christmas Tree by Brenda Lee finally made it to Billboard's number 1 spot for the holidays 65 years after it was first recorded. This song is truly a holiday staple and brings back fond memories.
"A Charlie Brown Christmas" (1965): This classic animated TV special made its debut in the 1960s and has since become a beloved holiday tradition.
"Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" (1964): Another animated special that premiered in the 1960s, telling the story of Rudolph and his journey to becoming a hero.
There were also variety shows where celebrities sang popular Christmas carols that put you in the holiday mood.
Traditional gifts: Popular gifts included dolls, toy cars, board games, and other classic toys of the time.
DIY gifts: Handmade gifts were often more common, reflecting a simpler and more personalized approach to gift-giving.
Do you recall exchanging gifts with family, friends, classmates and boyfriends? What a special time it was.
Sending and receiving Christmas cards was a widespread tradition. Families often displayed the cards they received on their mantelpieces or walls.
I had a cousin who was my age whose family put the Christmas cards all over the living room wall and front door. They always seemed to have so many and one year I found out they were keeping cards from the previous year and hanging them up with the new ones.
Traditional holiday meals: Christmas dinners typically included roast turkey, ham, or roast beef, accompanied by sides like mashed potatoes, stuffing, and cranberry sauce.
Community and Neighborhood Celebrations:
Caroling: Going door-to-door singing Christmas carols was a common practice, fostering a sense of community and holiday spirit. I went carolling once and ti was so much fun.
Neighborhood decorations: Communities often came together to decorate streets with festive lights and decorations.
Christmas Eve services: Attending a church service on Christmas Eve was a common tradition for many families. My church used Luke chapter 2 every year and eventually, I memorized it. I now say it along with Linus Vanpelt when he quotes it on A Charlie Brown Christmas.
Santa Claus and Parades:
Visiting Santa: Children would often visit department stores or community events to meet Santa Claus and share their Christmas wishes.
Christmas parades: Many towns and cities held Christmas parades, featuring festive floats, marching bands, and, of course, Santa Claus.
Do you remember when Santa was at the end of the parade and children were squealing with glee and waving at him? These traditions reflected the values and cultural norms of the 1960s, creating a sense of warmth, togetherness, and celebration during the holiday season.