I like to think about how TV shows were initially produced just to sell advertising. Okay, that’s glossing over the story a bit, but in general, it’s so. Well, it began with radio, of course. Advertisers wanted to sell Lux soap flakes or whatever, so they’d put on a 15 minute show for you, and in the middle of it, the star of the show would glorify suds.
I mean, in case you never really got it, that’s why Fred Flintstone told your parents which cigarettes to buy. Winston was paying for a very big chunk of the show.
This is from the Dec. 4, 1964 edition of LIFE magazine. Isn’t it fun to think of Donna Reed giving out sewing machines and transistor radios and phonographs for Christmas? They’d all be wrapped in the same exact shiny, shiny paper, with big beautiful bows attached at the gift wrap department, of course.
Do you remember the gift wrap department? But I assure you, there was such a thing. You’d bring the things you bought from various departments at Macy’s or other stores up to this room near customer service and the bathrooms, and they’d wrap em all there for you. You could come back later for them if you wanted to. All year round. I mean, sure, you can still have your purchases wrapped at many stores. But it isn’t at all the same thing.
There are still Singer stores, here and about. But they’re not the same thing at all these days, either. Nothing is. Maybe that’s why every time someone produces a “new” Christmas song it’s such a lame or tortured failure.
When this song was written in 1950, sure, it was idealistic. However. It was rooted in a very different reality than the one we now share.
And now, boys and girls, you know why old people act a little bitter sometimes. But we should all understand that statement, “There is nothing new under the sun,” was written 3,000 years ago. :-)