Here’s a Christmas postcard from Italy:
It’s of an image from an Italian Christmas even called La Strada dei Presepi.
“Glen, I went to Padova today. I couldn’t decide which card to pick for you as most of them were quite unispiring. The answer was handed to me on my way out of a restaurant. Buone feste Glen. Hope you and your family had an amazing Chirstmas.”
Hope you’re having a wonderful Christmas. As my gift this year, here’s one of my Christmas postcards circa the turn of the last century.
If you thought bunnies were just for Easter, you’ve obviously forgot about the Christmas Bunny as pictured here:
I love how the sender wrote “You” on the nose of elf.
Here’s the back side. As usual whatever they were talking about in them old days is a complete mystery to me now:
“Hello. You certainly took a long time to answer. Well I must say I like a [unsure at this point] turnip better than a root any time. Them rats look just like you.”
Christmas is over and Grinch that I am, I say hallelujah!
I find Christmas just too much. The postcard below depicts my resulting emotional pain and rejoicing at the end of this holiday:
The angels are supposed to be singing to the glory of God, but their facial expressions suggest otherwise (particularly the two on the right).
I feel like they know truly how I feel!
Surprisingly, this is a detail from an altarpiece – the world-famous Ghent Altarpiece (which features prominently in the recent film The Monuments Men). To see the angels piece and the entire altarpiece in amazing detail, visit the site Closer to Van Eyck.
Here’s the back side of the postcard sent to Canada from Germany.
Postcard caption (translated):
Jan Van Eyck (from 1390-1440), The Singing Angels (detail), Ghent, Ghent Altarpiece.
“Dear X. We wish you and your beloved a most joyous Christmas and a very prosperous and blessed new year. Are you planning on coming to G again? We are well so far. My mother-in-law is living with us now. Our children are growing. I am the smallest in the family now. Love Y.”
Merry Christmas, or Fröhliche Weihnachten as they say in Germany. Yesterday, I posted one of the few English Christmas postcards I have.
During the golden age of postcards, around the turn of the last century to the end of World War 1, Christmas postcards were very popular in Canada, the U.K., and U.S.A. (Read about their history at the Washington Post and Collectors Weekly). Gradually, the Christmas greeting card sealed in an envelope that are today’s mainstay replaced the Christmas postcard.
The only place where I still encounter Christmas postcards is from Germany. This is appropriate as German lithographers helped start our tradition by their compelling designs.
I am not sure how common the tradition of sending Christmas postcard is in Germany nowadays, but I still get some every now and then from my German friends or in-laws. Such as this one:
Die besten Weihnachtsgrüße (The best Christmas greetings)
This postcard was unsent but is dated on the back from 1974.
If anyone knows about contemporary Christmas postcard practices in Germany – or anywhere else – please share your experience.
Santa was good to me today as I got a lot of cool, new postcards. I’ll be displaying them here soon.
In the meantime, have a great Christmas!
I don’t like sending Christmas cards. Receiving them is okay. But I LOVE Christmas postcards! Christmas postcards used to be more common around the turn of the last century, but I almost never get or even see ones today.
So here’s a particularly awesome postcard from my great-grandfather’s collection, below. It was never mailed, but it is likely from his time in Buxton, England during World War 1 (here’s others from his time stationed in Buxton).
Caption: “With hearty Christmas greetings from our hotel at Buxton”
I love such antique postcards, but I love this one particularly as it has such a great gimmick. The postman’s satchel opens up to reveal a series of photos of Buxton:
This is the only postcard that I have seen that has this type of gimmick and its so clever – it’s an amazing Christmas gift!
Last weekend, I went for the first time to Toronto’s Christmas Market. It’s held in our Distillery District, which is the largest collection of Victorian-era industrial architecture in North America. Christmas markets are a European tradition, so the Distillery District is the perfect old world type setting for the yuletide festivities.
Here’s a postcard from the Collection of another Christmas market – in Alsace, France:
The postcard’s Christmas market scenes are pretty, but it’s the festively adorned kittens that makes this postcard such a wonderful Christmas gift.
Here’s the back of the postcard.
“Images d’Alsace… marché de Noel en Alsace”
“Dear Glen. We are in a beautiful town called Strasbourg and are about to go ice skating. X is very excited about when she is going to next see you. Merry Christmas.”
Here’s a Christmas greeting you just wouldn’t see anymore. It’s from my great-grandfather’s collection – which I estimate is circa 1910-1920.
I’d had to look up what the bird was saying – apparently “Aw Nerts” is a 1920s slang term for ah nuts, or ah nonsense. I have no idea why a bird would say this – humour often does not date well.
But this is clearly a Christmas gift anyway, so have a good one!