Keepapitchinin, the Mormon History blog » Keepa’s Christmas Gift Giving Guide, page 3

Keepa’s Christmas Gift Giving Guide, page 3

By: Ardis E. Parshall - December 23, 2009

Nature’s best, from the Lord’s own department store — nothing says “Merry Christmas” like a cantaloupe or a jumbo stalk of celery!

from 1946:

from 1946:

from 1954:

from 1956:



  1. Actually, looks pretty good.

    Comment by Stephen Taylor — December 23, 2009 @ 10:49 am

  2. Celery???

    Comment by Eric Boysen — December 23, 2009 @ 11:01 am

  3. Yeah, “gift celery”? I guess “gift” and “celery” are two words I never thought of as going together.

    Comment by Hunter — December 23, 2009 @ 11:10 am

  4. Order by mail!

    Comment by Ugly Mahana — December 23, 2009 @ 11:45 am

  5. When my mother was in the service during World War II, she got a delivery of gift celery from her mother, which Mom shared with barracks mates from the eastern states and California. She says they could hardly believe the difference in flavor between Utah-grown celery and anything they had ever tasted.

    The Amish use celery as a wedding food, with the traditional belief that it increases fertility. Hmmm … maybe Utah celery has something to do with the Utah birth rate? 🙂

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — December 23, 2009 @ 11:51 am

  6. You had to post these when it was too late for me to use them in all my Zazzle-made gift calendars, didn’t you?

    I guess there’s always next year.

    For some reason, celery was always a mainstay at our family Christmas dinner. One plate stuffed with shrimp and other plate stuffed with Kraft spreadable sharp cheddar that came in those little jars you later used as water glasses.

    I don’t think there was anything “Utah” about the custom though.

    Comment by Mina — December 23, 2009 @ 12:54 pm

  7. I was going to say, send me the December special! …Until I saw that it was fruitcake. Er, no thanks.

    Comment by jeans — December 23, 2009 @ 1:07 pm

  8. Fear not, for behold, I have more ads to post next Christmas — including one for a department store that uses a swastika right smack in the middle of the copy. Be ye sore afraid?

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — December 23, 2009 @ 1:51 pm

  9. Well, if Utah celery is THAT good, who is willing to ship me some?

    Comment by Eric Boysen — December 23, 2009 @ 2:33 pm

  10. I suspect that all that’s available in the grocery stores here is shipped from Central America these days. But next summer when the produce stands are open, maybe I can find something local. Remind me, Eric!

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — December 23, 2009 @ 3:34 pm

  11. Ardis, swastika teasing is just not nice.

    Comment by Mina — December 23, 2009 @ 3:50 pm

  12. Well, okay, Mina, it isn’t smart getting myself put on the naughty list at this time of year, so I won’t tease. Here’s, the ad, from 1921:

    This sort of swastika was a common Indian symbol and appears in lots of pre-1930s American materials as a symbol of good luck.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — December 23, 2009 @ 4:34 pm

  13. This sort of gift-giving is still done, of course—there are citrus plantations in Florida that exist solely for the (high-profit, high-risk) mail-order fruit market. I wouldn’t be surprised if there are some Utah fruit businesses that still do a pretty good mail-order business. (What’s the one with a store in a red barn-looking structure by the south end I–15 in Utah County or the north end of Juab County, i forget which? They might.)

    Comment by David B — December 23, 2009 @ 8:01 pm

  14. My Grandmother is 97 years-old. She has everything she’s ever wanted, because her desires are low. I got her a box of citrus fruit this year because I know how much she appreciates fresh fruit.

    Comment by Floyd the Wonderdog — December 24, 2009 @ 4:39 am

  15. thanks for the Nord’s ad, Ardis. I have a minor interest in the cultural variations of that symbol and collect different examples for future possible pedagogical uses.

    I don’t know if you saw this story from a few months ago about a woman who purchased what she thought was “swastika christmas” wrapping paper at a dollar store. As later pointed out, it was likely originally intended for Diwali celebrations in India and elsewhere.

    Comment by Mina — December 24, 2009 @ 11:36 am

  16. I have a 1906 copy of The Squaw Man, the novel version adapted from Royle’s play, with a swastika on the spine. I’ll have to figure out how to get a good scan of that and send it for your collection.

    And no, I hadn’t seen that story!

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — December 24, 2009 @ 11:50 am

  17. #5 – Please do NOT send me anything that increases fertility! When you are heading down the homestretch, you don’t want to have start the race all over again.

    Comment by Ray — December 24, 2009 @ 6:40 pm

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