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Mind flex: Yuletide time machine

Join us as we travel back in time to the holiday seasons of yesteryear. We’ll explore what holiday-themed items were the most popular of each decade.

1950s

Fun fact: Aluminum Christmas trees made their debut in 1955.

Songs

  • “Frosty the Snowman” by Gene Autry and the Cass County Boys

  • “Santa Baby” by Eartha Kitt

  • “Jingle Bell Rock” by Bobby Helms

Toys

  • Barbie dolls

  • Mr. Potato Head

  • LEGOs

Movies/TV specials

  • “A Christmas Carol”

  • “White Christmas”


1960s

Fun fact: Animated Christmas movies started with “Mr. Magoo’s Christmas Carol,” airing on December 18, 1962.

Songs

  • “Do you hear what I hear?” by Noël Regney and Gloria Shayne

  • “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” by Darlene Love

  • “A Charlie Brown Christmas” album by the Vince Guaraldi Trio

Toys

  • G.I. Joe

  • Etch A Sketch

  • Easy-Bake Oven

Movies/TV specials

  • “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer”

  • “How the Grinch Stole Christmas!”


1970s 

Fun fact: Hallmark Keepsake Ornaments sprang on the holiday scene in 1973. 

Songs 

  • “Feliz Navidad” by José Feliciano 

  • “Happy Xmas (War Is Over)” by John Lennon and Yoko Ono 

  • “Step into Christmas” by Elton John 

Toys 

  • Weebles 

  • Stretch Armstrong 

  • Speak & Spell 

Movies/TV specials 

  • Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town” 

  • “The Year Without a Santa Claus” 


1980s 

Fun fact: While ugly Christmas sweaters weren’t new, they became mainstream in the 1980s due to the character of Clark Griswold. 

Songs 

  • “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” by Band Aid 

  • “Last Christmas” by Wham! 

  • “Christmas in Hollis” by Run-D.M.C. 

Toys 

  • Cabbage Patch Kids 

  • Rubik’s Cube 

  • Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) 

Movies/TV specials 

  • “A Christmas Story” 

  • “Scrooged” 

  • “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” 


1990s 

Fun fact: The 24-hour “A Christmas Story” marathon started on Christmas Eve 1997 on TNT. 

Songs 

  • “All I Want for Christmas Is You” by Mariah Carey 

  • “Christmas Eve/Sarajevo 12/24” by Trans-Siberian Orchestra 

Toys 

  • Tamagotchi 

  • Tickle Me Elmo 

  • Beanie Babies 

Movies/TV specials 

  • “Home Alone” 

  • “The Muppet Christmas Carol” 

  • “The Santa Clause” 


2000s 

Fun fact: The Elf on the Shelf began reporting children’s behavior to Santa in 2005. 

Songs 

  • “Where are you Christmas?” by Faith Hill 

  • “Believe” by Josh Groban 

Toys 

  • Bratz Dolls 

  • Nintendo Wii 

  • Webkinz 

Movies/TV specials 

  • “Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas” 

  • “Elf” 

  • “The Polar Express” 


2010s 

Fun fact: The residents of Bogotá, Colombia, set a record in 2014 by building the largest number of snowmen ever constructed in one place. With the absence of snow, over 11,000 snowmen were made from Styrofoam. 

Songs 

  • “Mistletoe” by Justin Bieber 

  • “That’s Christmas To Me” by Pentatonix 

Toys 

  • Hatchimals 

  • Paw Patrol 

  • L.O.L. Surprise! Dolls 

Movies/TV specials 

  • “Arthur Christmas” 

  • “The Christmas Chronicles” 


2020s 

Fun fact: Primarily due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many families started celebrating Christmas virtually, including family members from all over the globe in one “virtual” place. 

Songs 

  • “Merry Christmas” by Ed Sheeran and Elton John 

Toys 

  • Baby Yoda 

  • LEGO Super Mario Adventures 

  • Barbie Color Reveal 

Movies/TV specials 

  • “Holidate” 

  • “A Christmas Story Christmas”

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