Xmas prep 1961 style

Yes, it’s that time of year again: the run-up to Christmas! This post is a christmassy peek back in time – 60 years ago to be exact. Although not that different from now: Crafting, entertaining, and consumerism. But it seems so much more colourful (even with black and white images) and somehow, innocent. Grab a drink, sit down and check out:

December 1961 cover of Honey - a teen magazine. Shadows of man and woman kissing under a mistletoe are reflected in a giant red bauble
All images and text are from the December 1961 issue of ‘Honey‘ (April 1960 – September 1986)

Sewing, knitting and crafting

double page spread from 1961 December issue of Honey: photo on the left showing people dancing against a blue background and information and buying coupon for a date and dance dress pattern
single page from December 1961 issue of Honey magazine - black and white photo of model in knitted sweater with instructions underneath
this style is never out of fashion!
single page from December 1961 issue of Honey magazine - black and white , mainly text and some images of self-made Christmas cards
Very now – make your own cards!
photo of a page from December 1961 issue of Honey magazine -4 self-made Christmas cards on blue background. also showing some of the implements needed to make them, eg. scissor and thread
Yeah, I might attempt the hip chick card – I think it’s fabulous
Black and white  text - part of a page from December 1961 issue of 'Honey magazine - giving tips on what materials to use to make one's own Christmas cards
simple instructions
Colour double page spread from December 1961 issue of 'Honey magazine - illustrating and describing how to wrap Christmas presents in different ways
Ribbons and bows are still a thing….

And here are some tips on how to prepare for the day:

Black and white double page spreadfrom December 1961 issue of 'Honey magazine - photo of a family celebrating Christmas day on the left, and text including suggestions on how to make punch and table decorations on the right
During the day
Colour pagefrom December 1961 issue of 'Honey magazine - showing couples dancing in evening dress - illustrating an article on how to prepare for a party
and later on…
Black and white page 37 from December 1961 issue of 'Honey magazine - illustrating party games such a 'What's my Line or a Balloon Game'
I guess ‘groovy’ had a different meaning then..

Let’s not forget that this magazine is there to sell so here are adverts and advertorials for gift ideas, all quite ‘Mad Men’, and I think they’re fab!

Full page colour advert found in December 1961 issue of 'Honey magazine - for 'Jane Seymour' 
beauty gift sets
neither the actress nor the Queen – if you know anything about this ‘Jane Seymour’ please let me know!
Full page colour advert found in December 1961 issue of 'Honey magazine - for Barratts shoes - showing a brown court shoe against white background
the name still exists but sadly, the company doesn’t (1903 – 2013)
double page spread from Honey magazine, issue December 1961 with gift ideas (mainly perfume sets and bottles) - in black and white
I’ll have the cat and the poodle, please
double page spread of 1961 advert for Tricel - as easy care material for dresses
plastic – fantastic (at least then..)
1961 advert for perfume gift sets by GOYA - illustrated with photos of various gift sets an an image of a man holding parcels for a lady in a fur coat
my absolute fave – on the back cover – I want them all!

There is a fascinating article about the history of ‘Goya’ at the Amersham museum site – do check it out!

I hope you feel inspired to try your hand at card-making or gift packaging – or maybe you have some tips that you’d like to share?
Happy ‘Vorweihnachtszeit’ (Pre-Christmas period)! I’ll leave you with a song from the same era that those young, gay and get-ahead readers might have listened to (it’s by Burt Bacharach, so just sit back and enjoy)


  1. Great share, Wibi. That issue of Honey is just packed with goodness! All of the photos are a treat to see, especially the dancing ones and the Christmas morning family. Love the Jane Seymour and Goya adverts! I might be having some similar early 60s magazines coming my way soon (I hope) 😎😍😊

  2. What a fantastic post Wibi !

    Wonderful pics & oddities from another time… Would definitely take one of those talc sets – too old to worry about the health risks now haha – & balloons 🎈!! Had forgotten they used to be a Christmas essential – will look for some over the weekend!

    Thanks !

    PS sure you are a hip chick !

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