Sears Wishbook, 1965
The early years of the outdoor decoration derby, as illustrated in these pages from the 1965 Sears Wishbook, were charmingly simple. You could put Santa and his reindeer up on the rooftop of your ranch-style home, or you can mount a colorful panel on your front door, ideally flanked with garlands and candles. I particularly love the large Santa portrait that attaches to the garage door (for a one-car garage only in those days.)
Plus there were a few hollow light-up tchotkes to go on your front lawn. Add one extension cord. Boom. Done.
And once again, the movie “The Graduate” echoes in our ears with the immortal line “One word: Plastics.” The 1960s were SO about plastic. Decorations were advertised as vinyl, polyethylene, plastic-impregnated paper, and just plain plastic — all positives, not pejoratives. It was the look of the decade.
And these days? Do you think inflatable Minions, LEDs, and laser lights will date any less in 50 years?
Next time we'll go back to the early 20th century to look at early holiday gift-giving.