25 holiday gifts from 1958 that you just don't see these days
Lobsters were rockin' around the Christmas tree!
It was a very good Christmas in 1958. You had hot new noels like Brenda Lee's "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree," Chuck Berry's "Run Rudolph Run" and, um, the Chipmunks' "The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don't Be Late)." There were loads of great new gifts to put under the tree — which was likely made out of aluminum or some other man-made material.
The Tannenbaum may have been synthetic, but the sentiments were not. Let's look back at some popular gifts from that year, as seen in the Sears Wish Book catalogs of 1958!
Nylon Christmas Tree
Women wore far more nylons in the 1950s. Nylons were everywhere. In fact, manufacturers had so much nylon sitting around they churned out nylon Christmas trees.
Perry Como Underwear with 45 Single
You could get her some new underwear. You could get her the latest Perry Como single. Or you could get her both in the same package. [Also available with Eddie Fisher and Elvis Presley 45s.]
Every kid dreamed of being a cowboy — so much so that they even went to bed in Roy Rogers "bedtime boots."
These punny stuffed animals were meant for collectors. It was the social media of the day, but also a dachshund.
10 Lobsters in a Barrel and Sad Clown Cheese
Ten live Maine lobsters! For just a hair under $100. For a more frugal foodie gift, there was a box of cheese packaged under a crying circus performer.
You could stream music in your pocket back in '58, too.
Hey! Mom! Robot Hands
This kid looks ready to handle some toxic waste.
Wagons out the wazoo
The red Radio Flyer was the most coveted ride, but you could also trick it out with a covered Conestoga look — or get that awesome wagon roller coaster.
A very expensive typewriter
In today's money, that's more than $800. No wonder people had such nice handwriting.
Ventriloquist dolls of your favorite TV dummies
Who says being a "dummy" was a bad thing? Jerry Mahoney was a "famous TV funster." And you could have a replica of him on your knee!
Arcane exercise equipment
Those steam cabinets and vibrating belts always seemed to turn up in cartoons.
"Geriatric" pills for those over 35
People sure live longer these days. Need proof? "Geriatric" pills were for anyone over 35. Hear that, Millennials? You're about to turn geriatric!
So many saddle shoes
If you weren't wearing black or white All-Stars, you were wearing black-and-white saddles.
Toys of your favorite Westerns
Westerns dominated television — and all of pop culture. Kids could dress up just like Paladin or Matt Dillon.
Roy Rogers everything
Back to Roy Rogers for a minute. There were pages of merchandise devoted to the crooning cowboy and his partner Dale Evans.
Extravagant robes and other formal loungewear
Back then, people looked fancy when sitting around the house. Today, people look like they're sitting around the house when they're at the office.
Just once we want to watch House Hunters and hear a couple say, "What we're really looking for are pink appliances." They were the marble countertops of '58!
There were pages of electric train sets. But what made our eyes light up was the optimistic futurism of this monorail today. We all thought this would be public transportation in the 21st century.
Designer bench car seat covers
Colorful upholstery seemed more important than seat belts at the time.
Home movie equipment
Now all this gear — the camera, the lights, the projector — is in your phone and it's about the size of a dime.
One of my brothers had an autograph hound for graduation within the past decade or so. One of them also insists on tons of top-notch home movie equipment, and every other sort of electronic.
and see that and that one of the amazing experience and epic memories
The clown on the “Sad Clown Cheese”. Looks like Emmet Kelly. This was 10 years before I was born, and it wasn’t around by the time I remember it being a thing by the time I was checking out the wish books.
I wonder how Perry Como, a very modest Catholic, felt about having his record included in a deal for ladies' underwear...