Seattle Culture

Poodles, Bears, Tattoos

A most unusual gift guide

By Rob Smith December 25, 2023

Seattle magazine 12_1969-min

This article originally appeared in the November/December 2023 issue of Seattle magazine.

Back in December 1969, Seattle magazine’s “gift guide” was nothing short of goofy.

How about a 9-foot ceramic polar bear that comes only in “Christmas white?” Cost was $1,600, or $900 “if you supply the bear.” It was available at a store off 12th Avenue called Jonas Brothers. Or a poodle stud service? You could even order a package from The Universal Life Church that would ordain your friends by mail for free, allowing them to perform legal marriages and preside over funerals. For only $50, you could snap up “the last remnant of Rainier’s hard-nosed advertising campaign,” a bust of Lenin that “makes an excellent toupee rack.”

More “sensible” gifts included a Ferrari (only $14,000 then, compared to around $350,0000 now) or a tattoo from master tattoo artist “Zeke” for “the gift that will be remembered.”

“Christmas gifts that boggle the mind,” the cover screamed. Indeed. 

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