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The Journal Gazette

  • File This December 1979 photo illustrated the “Jessica Doehrrman's Hand-in-Mouth Carry” of Christmas shopping.

  • File This December 1979 photo illustrated "The Caped Shopper Hold" of Christmas shopping.

  • File This December 1979 photo illustrated "The Famed Football Carry" of Christmas shopping.

  • File This December 1979 photo illustrated "The Teddy Bear Hold" of Christmas shopping.

  • File This December 1979 photo illustrated the "Over the Shoulder Santa Hold" of Christmas shopping.

Thursday, November 30, 2017 1:00 am

Throwback Thursday

Throwback Thursday: Santas hope to overlook worst gifts

This feature by Kathy Hoch Beau and Barbara Olenyik Morrow ran in the Dec. 20, 1979, edition of The Journal Gazette.

Dear Santa,

Get this and get it straight.

Forget the whiskey-flavored toothpaste.

Scratch the earrings shaped like poodles.

Hold the mushroom salt and pepper shakers.

And please, please, no more USA Olympic Loving Team keychains.

It's not that we're ungrateful. Or that we don't look forward to seeing you each year.

But some of your presents are ... er ... well, embarrassing. No, make that tacky.

No, they stink!

Listen, Santa. We know you have to drum up gift ideas for thousands of people each year and that you're bound to hit on a dud or two.

For instance, the Ben Hur perfume – at 99 cents an ounce – isn't bad. But, hey, why not go all the way with a family-size bottle of Scope?

And we know you're getting old.

So it's understandable that sometimes you forget and send the same gift year after year – such as the wine decanters you regularly deliver to Anne Shina, a Woodburn resident.

She thought the first two were nice, but the rest never made it out of the box.

She's got a point, Santa. “You only have so much room to put that stuff.”

We know you can't be responsible for faulty merchandise.

How were you supposed to know that the chocolate candy Cheryl Hodge got last Christmas had worms in it?

Even Hodge, a cook in the City-County Building's canteen, didn't see the slithering little critters until she took a few bites.

And Santa, far be it from us to accuse you of having conventional, middle-class taste.

We know that the fancy tapered dress shirts you send Jack Summe one year came straight from Chicago and cost a pretty penny.

But – doggone it – somebody forgot to tell you that Summe, a manufacturer's representative from Warsaw, weighed 285 pounds at the time.

He had not yet trimmed down to his svelte 235.

Even when you've bombed, Santa, it's obvious you have a sense of humor.

Elizabeth Sonier, a 64-year-old Beacon Heights resident, had little use for the plastic yellow peanut that opened to reveal a nude male figurine.

But she giggled a lot when a certain part of his anatomy flipped out.

Of course, Santa, our complaint isn't always with you. It's often with all those well-meaning relatives and colleagues.

For instance, Versa Jordan, a factory assembler at General Electric Co., said a friend's gift – a “hideous scarf of about 25 different colors” – made her Christmas a little flashier but not necessarily brighter.

Adam Bojrab, an 18-year-old student at Indiana-Purdue Fort Wayne, loves his sister. But the gray tie with the pink owls – the one she made him last Christmas – never got a public workout. It's buried in dad's closet.

And Israel Quiroz, another local college student, wishes his mom hadn't gone to all the trouble.

The ceramic purple-and-white clock – in the shape of a football – was OK.

But he probably would have settled for a Mickey Mouse watch.

We hope your feelings aren't hurt. We're only thinking of you. In these harrowing days of inflation, we want you to get the best buy for your money.

So cheer up. See you soon.

And, by the way, the sales clerks around town at the gift return counters send season's greetings.

Throwback Thursday appears the last week of the month. To see more archive photos throughout the month, follow @JGFeatures on Twitter. To suggest a date or event to be featured, email Corey McMaken at or call 461-8475.