Monday, December 28, 2009

Christmas Curiosities

As we searched for Christmas images and folk tales this last month, we came upon a book that shows that Christmas  has not always been the kind and gentle season of "goodwill toward men"!  Christmas Curiosities by John Grossman has some incredible illustrations! 

An overview of the book:  Welcome to Christmas, circa 1800's. Yes, the season of light, joy and gift-giving was once regarded as a time of darkness, danger, and dissipation - and celebrated with all-too-public displays of noise-making, inebriation, and gluttonous overeating.  And though we tend to imagine Victorian- era Christmases as sentimental gatherings around the candlelit tree, blazing hearth and festive punchbowl, the 19th century evidence tells us quite otherwise.

Drawing from his extensive collection of antique postcards, greeting cards, advertising giveaways, and other ephemera, author John Grossman presents a picture of Christmas Past that, frankly looks a lot more like Halloween. Broomstick-riding witches, vampire bat-borne cupids deliver New Year's greetings. Fur-clad fairies gather'round a campfire to roast their Christmas dinner - a huge dead rat.  And Saint Nicholas? He's that skinny guy in the bishop robes who arrives with his dark companion, the Devil-like Krampus brandishing  switches to punish the badly behaved!

Witching you a Merry Christmas!

Glad Tidings to you and yours!  And so's your old man!

There's very little to say about Krampus - here punishing bad children with a switch!  Puts that lump of coal in perspective, doesn't it?

Now, is this guy LEAVING things, or filling his sack?  Santa?  Is that you?

We'll be gone from December 28th to January 4th!  We have family to visit and a New Year to ring in!  You can still order items from our website, and we will fill orders when we return!

Happy New Year to you and yours!

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