The imagery for Christmas cards might seem like a given these days, simple & bold graphics, perhaps tending towards the nearly unidentifiable winter or generic holiday look. Don’t get me wrong, I love a pure graphic approach to a card. But there is something very engaging and fun about vintage and old-fashioned Christmas cards that really gets my attention.
From the traditional Victorian look:
To the very sweet and peaceful 1940’s style, such a contrast to the reality of that era. Don’t you want to live in that little snowy village?:
And the flowing, natural yet stylized Arts & Crafts-centric 1920s look of this beauty:
Dashing glamour, sweeping elegance and the highest of hopes translated into a party scene:
And yet, so many cards were not as soft, sweet or traditional, unlike so much of today’s Christmas cheer fare as edited and produced by (perhaps overly) PC and inoffensive greeting card companies. Prime examples of a more ironic, or bitter take on the Season:
And the of course, there is Margaret Keene (you thought it was Walter, didn’t you!) being a little creepy for Christmas:
There was even a time when Christmas celebrations were outlawed in Boston, MA the Protestant heyday. Bah Humbug!
For more vintage Christmas goodness, check out these Flickr pages and groups: Vintage Christmas: 1945-1970, profkaren’s set Vintage Greeting Cards and a lovely assortment in sakameg’s Flickr account.
While this isn’t a card, this WPA poster is just the tops.
Works Progress Administration poster for The Federal Theater for Youth’s Christmas Carol production.