Mad Tidings or how to fill a stocking better than Joan Harris

As season 4 of MadMen builds towards what promises to be a thrilling climax and the festive season approaches, I find myself pondering swelegent Christmas gifts for those who’ve become irresistibly drawn to the series and who – like me – will doubtless be bereft when we’re forced to bid farewell, albeit temporarily, to the characters, wit and wisdom we’ve come to know and love since 2008.  What did we watch before?  And how to keep the Mad mood alive until the Season 5 kicks in?

Stocking fillers for the Joan Harris in your life She probably already has the pen pendant (or an approximation thereof) so No.1 on my list would be a discreet brooch; nothing too ornate or gaudy, possibly something in a matte gold or gilt – ideally a timeless starburst design to accent that navy wool dress with the 3/4 length sleeves.  Were it still open, I’d be recommending the late lamented Steinberg and Tolkien on the King’s Road, Chelsea but you can find beautiful examples across all price ranges at Alfie’s Antique Market, Northcote Road Antiques Market or in any good vintage clothing or second-hand jewellery store.

Stocking fillers for the Betty Draper in your life Neighbour Francine has been known to remark, “Oh, Betty, you have the worst luck entertaining”, so make Betty’s life easier with a cute cocktail apron in peek-a-boo chiffon or perhaps a more serviceable offering in a perky cotton print (cheery cherries are a safe bet).  For a wonderful selection available to order on line, check out Carolyn’s Kitchen, an emporium of retro delights that knows just how to put the kitsch in kitchen (and the pin-up in pinafore).   And forsaking Santa’s stocking staple the satsuma, why not brighten Betty’s day with a few fresh limes – perfect for her vodka Gimlet.   Something tells me she’ll be needing one.

Move over Malibu, here comes Madison Avenue

Stocking fillers for the Sally Draper in your life I know Sally didn’t rate the Barbie baby Gene “gave” her but has she seen the limited edition MadMen Barbies available from Vogue Collectibles?  Hmm, thought not.  Here she will find her mommy, Betty, daddy Don and that nice lady with the red hair from daddy’s office.  Oh, and uncle Roger, too.  Who could resist?  But if that doesn’t float her boat now that she’s getting to that “awkward” age, how about a totally cool Beatles’ collectable?  New York’s Fab4 Collectibles offer a dazzling array of original memorabilia from concert tickets to vintage vinyl that’s fab, gear and groovy!

Stocking fillers for the Don Draper in your life Yes, you could buy him a bottle of Bourbon to keep him in Old Fashioneds for a goodly while or perhaps a leather-bound little black book to help him keep track of his many lady friends, but maybe what Don really needs is some proper relaxation time such as he always enjoyed with Anna in California; a chance to detox from the rigours of Madison Avenue and be himself.  If the budget won’t stretch to a plane ticket to exotic climes, consider trial membership at an up-market gym or pool, or a spa day at Gentlemen’s Tonic (book signings permitting, perhaps Roger could drop by for a manicure).  Oh, the water feels good… perfect for clearing his head and getting his creative juices flowing.  Those CLIOs don’t win themselves, you know.

Stocking fillers for the Peggy Olsen in your life Poor Peggy!  She may have got where she wanted to be but it’s still very much a man’s world.  In dodging the rampant sexism she and her distaff coworkers encounter day in and day out, it’s important she doesn’t compromise her femininity in her struggle to be taken seriously in the boardroom.  I would therefore recommend a lipstick case so that she can discreetly correct confidence-sapping lippy SNAFUs prior to client presentations or, maybe now that she’s on her way, that coveted Hermès scarf…

And for MadMen aficionados everywhere, may I heartily recommend Roger Sterling’s magnum opus Sterling’s Gold – Wit & Wisdom of an Ad Man.  Available now from all good booksellers.

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3 Responses to Mad Tidings or how to fill a stocking better than Joan Harris

  1. Pingback: Stocking fillers on a budget | Stocking Fillers

  2. John says:

    Don’t know about anybody else, but maybe I need the complete set of Mad Men DVDs as my pressie! 😀

    Not that I would have the time to watch them….


  3. admin says:

    John, there’s always time for MadMen. x

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