What year was it when your grandmother was your age? When my grandma was thirty, it was 1956. Just a few years before Mad Men takes place. Before Mad Men? Before Marilyn Monroe was dead? Before civil rights? She was thirty years old before nearly everything we depend on today existed like the Internet, cell phones, countertop microwaves.
The difference between getting a gift for your grandmother and getting a gift for your girlfriend is as wide as their age difference. If you get your grandma an expensive curling iron or a GoPro camera, she will most likely be thrilled and give you a big fat kiss on your cheek. The next time you come by to help her throw something out, however, it’ll be in its box under the dresser you’re helping her move. “So that’s where I put that!” she will exclaim in a perfectly practiced tone.
While she loves the thoughts you wrapped up beautifully for her, you still can’t help but feel unfulfilled, defeated, confused, probably thinking, “what the heck would grandma love?”
To figure it out, you may have to take a few steps back and think about what was most exciting during her heyday. When my grandmother was middle aged she frequented Paris; she had season tickets to the opera; she teased her hair daily; she wore kitten heels around the house instead of flip flops or Uggs; she would wrap her hair in scarves; she would sleep in curlers; she would dress up to take a flight; she watched My Fair Lady & The King & I in the cinemas.
Some of the few grand introductions made in 1956 were the first non-stick frying pans, Elvis Presley’s “Heartbreak Hotel,” the moment the Cuban revolutionaries came into spot light on the nearby tropical island of Cuba, the first half-hour television series, and much more (The Year 1956 from The People History)
Luckily, so many of the popular trends of 1956 are still popular today, or have been re-introduced as “stylish retro”(1956 Fashion, The People History). Unfortunately the retro prices didn’t come with the trends. I’ve decided this year to give to grandma according to what was popular and trendy for her, rather than for me. I think she’ll get a kick, a walk down memory lane, and, she’ll know what to do with it.
Here’s just a few of these 1956 gift ideas I researched…
The Embroidered Cardigan.
(If you’re interested & just to make things a little easier, these items are available for purchase by clicking their pics.)
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