Do you remember back when you were little, standing in front of the Christmas tree for the annual holiday family photo? Or in front of the house after your dad proudly displayed his decorating with lights? We thought we were special because we had a giant Santa Claus sitting on our front porch. It was a magical time.
We used the family photo to insert into our Christmas cards. That is, back when we mailed at least a hundred cards to our friends and family. I would love to unearth a photo of our family for your hearty laughter- with our bangs cut just an inch below our hairline and out patent leather Mary Janes. Gone are those days!
If you happen to be visiting New York City, you can revisit the Christmas cards of old at the Bard Graduate Center: Decorative Arts, Design History, Material Culture on West 86th Street. The Center is a graduate research institute committed to studying the cultural history of the material world. Between September 21 and December 31, 2011, they are hosting en exhibition of vintage Christmas cards from the late nineteenth century to the end of the 1950s. It is organized by Kenneth L. Ames, a member of the BGC faculty and graduate students at the center.
The accompanying book, American Christmas Cards 1900-1960, is available to purchase
If I find a family holiday photo from my youngest days, I'll post it. In the meantime, I would love to hear about your holiday memories!