My Doyle Dane Christmas story didn’t occur in the 1960’s or even the 70’s or 80’s. It happened last year.
My wife and I don’t exchange gifts anymore. Apathy has replaced Christmas morning excitement. If we see something during the year, we buy it and call it a Christmas present. No pomp and certainly no circumstance.
But last year something out of the ordinary took place.
In my living room, at Christmas time, sits a 14″ hollow ceramic tree which serves as proxy for a real tree. The hollow tree has a secret. It hides a single 10 watt light bulb illuminating tiny holes where clear plastic ornaments fit, about 30 in all, each ornament about 1/4″ long and 1/16″ wide. The phony ornaments sit in small holes strategically located around the tree and light generated from the single bulb shines through brilliantly. The real miracle of Christmas, as far as I can tell, is that we haven’t lost a single one of those 30 tiny pieces of plastic in over 20 years of packing and unpacking every year! But I’ll save that miracle for another Christmas story.
It was under the little ceramic tree perched upon on a table that I noticed something very unusual.
I noticed a present from my wife.
It was the last present to be opened. For the first time in 45 years my curiosity was actually getting the better of me. As I picked up the package I had no idea of the contents. It was fairly heavy, about 9″ x 12″, but only a couple of inches thick. Umm, what could it be? As I unwrapped the package the anticipation began to grow, almost as much as the time I had hoped and prayed for “Fort Apache” in 1955, or in 1956 when a Schwinn 3 speed race bike appeared under the Christmas tree. My heart was now beginning to race as fast as that old Schwinn. Had the excitement of Christmas unexpectedly returned?
As I recklessly tore the last remnants of the wrapping paper away, I saw it.
A book. Not just any book. The book!
The big, bold, black and gray font that took up 80% of the cover read, “Bill Bernbach’s Book: A History of Advertising That Changed the History of Advertising”.
It was right then I knew I married the right woman, and that there really is a Santa Claus.
DDB Art Director