The Gift That Keeps on Giving

You hear a lot of people talking about how they long for a simpler Christmas. A time when we were not so materialistic. A time when we understood the true meaning of the holiday. A time when you could hand out cigarettes as gifts.

I once watched my wife’s dad give his son-in-law (not me!) a carton of cigarettes on Christmas Day. I was astounded —but the truth is that everybody used to give cigarettes on Christmas. Just look at the magazine ads.

Cigarettes were the sort of useful gift that these days would be like giving a bottle of wine or a Starbucks card. And a carton of cigarettes would fit perfectly in a Christmas stocking.

Big tobacco used to embrace the season and deck the cartons in festive holiday graphics. Imagine what would happen if cigarette makers did that today?

In 1961, the year that Barack Obama and I were born, a gallon of gas was $.31, a loaf of bread went for $.21, and a carton of cigarettes was $2.50.

This year giving a carton of cigarettes would mark you as a big spender. Just remember that it might not go over so well with the non-smokers in the crowd on Christmas morning.

2 thoughts on “The Gift That Keeps on Giving

  1. Cigarettes or no cigarettes, there’s no doubt in mind that life was better and simpler in those days. Oh to go back…

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