Tag: Santa Claus

Thanksgiving, the Incredible Shrinking Holiday

Thanksgiving, the Incredible Shrinking Holiday

Rants
For those not familiar with the term Christmas Creep -- and no, I'm not referring to the skeevy dude dressed as Santa Claus at the mall who looks way too excited to have little kids sitting on his lap -- it refers to the ever-widening window stores use to stock their shelves with gift items and bombard us with advertisements. While some people still debate whether or not climate change is a real thing, there can be no debate that Santa and his multi-billion dollar operation have inched further and further outside the traditionally defined Christmas shopping season barrier of Black Friday. It has become more and more common to see Christmas store displays and ads not only well before Thanksgiving, but now just after Halloween. Hell, I even spotted displays in places like Home Depot and L...
Vintage Photo Wednesday, Vol. 21: New York Santa & Mobile Xmas Post Office

Vintage Photo Wednesday, Vol. 21: New York Santa & Mobile Xmas Post Office

Vintage Photo Wednesday
Sorry for the dearth of activity around these parts lately, it's been a hectic holiday season. To make it up to you I'm doubling your vintage photograph pleasure this week! Up first is a familiar site -- Santa Claus collecting donations for the less fortunate on a street corner, circa the early 1910s. This is from the Library of Congress's Bain News Service collection. Click for a larger version. The sign on the faux chimney reads, in part, "Volunteers of America -- Ballington Booth Christmas Dinners." According to Wikipedia, Ballington Booth was an officer in the Salvation Army. His parents, William and Catherine Booth, founded the Salvation Army in 1865. Booth and his wife Maud left the Salvation Army in the late 19th century and started their own charity organization -- God
Vintage Soviet Union (USSR) New Year’s Postcards, Vol. 2 (1960s)

Vintage Soviet Union (USSR) New Year’s Postcards, Vol. 2 (1960s)

Ephemera
I hope you enjoyed the first set of New Year's cards from the USSR of the 1950s, because we're moving on to the '60s. And while most of the imagery found in the '50s was brought over into the next decade, you can definitely see some more of the Space Age creeping in as well. As with the first set, all card scans courtesy Flickr user katya. Enjoy, and С Новым годом! (Happy New Year!) 1960 1961 1962 1963 1964 1965 1966 1967 1968 1969
Vintage Soviet Union (USSR) New Year’s Postcards, Vol. 1 (1950s)

Vintage Soviet Union (USSR) New Year’s Postcards, Vol. 1 (1950s)

Ephemera
I guess I just always assumed that once the Communists came to power in Russia and the rest of what became the USSR, any holiday not linked directly to the Communist Party ceased to exist. But lo and behold, I stumbled upon a Flickr set of postcards from the Soviet Union celebrating New Year's, some of them dating back to the 1930s. What I find most fascinating about these cards is how for the most part they look like they could have come from the West. Most of them feature images of idyllic forest scenes, cityscapes, and smiling children. The more overt Soviet stuff pops up in the cards from the '60s, which I'll feature in the next post on this series. Let's look at some cards, and as they say in Russia, С Новым годом! (Happy New Year!) 1953 1954 (more…)
Vintage Photo Wednesday, Vol. 20: Santa and Swimmers on the Beach, Los Angeles 1927

Vintage Photo Wednesday, Vol. 20: Santa and Swimmers on the Beach, Los Angeles 1927

Vintage Photo Wednesday
Christmas photos aren't quite the same without all the color and richness in them, but if we're going to go vintage let's go all the way! Here's an odd specimen from the Roaring '20s. It features Santa Claus and a host of bathing suit-clad swimmers lying around a Christmas Tree on a Los Angeles beach. Click for a larger version. I like this because it's unlike just about every traditionally staged holiday photo I've seen. I like how Santa couldn't even be bothered to wear pants but he still went with the coat and hat. Man Californians can be an odd bunch. (No offense.) (Image courtesy The Smithsonian.) Related articles Vintage Photo Wednesday, Vol. 14: The Kitchen of Tomorrow (Life, 1943) (grayflannelsuit.net) Vintage Photo Wednesday, Vol. 15: Vintage Halloween Costumes...
This Christmas, let Lawrence Welk show you the true meaning of horror

This Christmas, let Lawrence Welk show you the true meaning of horror

Album Cover of the Week, Music
The name Lawrence Welk usually conjures up images of pretty, slightly bland music being played by (sometimes) pretty, slightly bland people. Welk was, after all, the host of a hugely successful, long-running variety show named after himself. This clip of "Do You Know the Way to San Jose" from 1971 is fairly representative of the type of music and vibe viewers saw: This is how I've always viewed the man and his show, so imagine my surprise when I stumbled across Welk's malevolent visage staring at me from the album cover from the Christmas Memories holiday collection: Yikes! Now I know why children instinctively fear Santa Claus. I don't know who thought this photo was a good idea, but Welk looks like he's sneaking up behind somebody to snap their neck. I think with a slight r...
Album Cover of the Week: Space Age Santa Claus

Album Cover of the Week: Space Age Santa Claus

Album Cover of the Week, Music
This cover has made the rounds for at least a few years, but I just stumbled upon it this year. It's a delicious slice of mid-century Christmas cheer called Space Age Santa Claus. According to the entry on this 45 rpm single (on a FaLaLaLaLa.com post that is now only available through Google cache), "Space Age Santa Claus" is the A-side of this single (from Delhi Records, 1961), and the B-side is "When Christmas Bells Are Ringing." Both tunes were written by Ross Christman -- which sure sounds like a pseudonym to me -- and performed by the Hal Bradley Orchestra with Patty Marie Jay on vocals. I'm a little confused as to the perspective in this drawing. Is that a regular-sized Santa holding a really small tree? Or is the tree normal and Santa is just colossal? Because if it's the