A pen knife for the kids and 12 umbrellas for a forgetful mother: gift ideas from 1964

Real fur slippers and plastic flowers are among contributors’ Christmas present suggestions

Given the cover image of the Observer Magazine of 6 December 1964 (‘The Christmas Predicament’), I foresaw some hand-wringing about the ethics of buying animal fur, but, of course, this was the 60s and instead we had present suggestions of fur-lined ‘trapper’ slippers and a rabbit-fur bedspread.

But before we got to the contributors’ choices of presents for ‘husbands, wives, children, parents and others’, we had a brilliantly baroque takedown of Christmas from Robert Robinson, of Call My Bluff fame. ‘Christmas a predicament?’ he asked rhetorically. ‘It’s more like a jail sentence – in a jail, moreover, where the prisoners are supposed to like it.

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