Well, it's almost here, guys! We've almost made it to Christmas. This week on the tackboard at work, right above the daily desk schedule, three little cards of my coworkers' consistently cute children and grandchildren in either festive or non-festive settings, emblazoned with "Happy Holidays from the..." and little hollyhocks or snowmen, appeared . Family Christmas cards! I thought they were extinct!
When I was little, my mom always took a picture of Susan and me in front of the Christmas tree, but while we sent out generic cards to relatives and my parents' coworkers, there was never not once a whole family picture of my mom, dad, sister, and me, holiday appareled or otherwise, for the Christmas season! What a shame, too. Remembering that I was born in 1985, the perms and bad sweaters alone would have been worth the price of having the cards printed up.
While fiddling around with Google image search, I stumbled across a photo set on Flickr labelled "Goltermann Family Christmas Cards". GUYS. THIS IS THE COOLEST SET OF FAMILY CHRISTMAS CARDS YOU ARE GOING TO SEE THIS YEAR. PERIOD. The golden age of family Christmas cards, in one of its finest examples!
Starting in 1945, and continuing faithfully every holiday season for decades, Mr. and Mrs. Goltermann gathered their growing family for a yearly Christmas card. But not just any Christmas card! I don't know if the Mister was a photographer or just an artistic soul, but the pictures have a consistent wit and cute-factor that makes me want to run out to Olan Mills this year before it's too late. Every! One! Is an actual delight.
As is always the case in a set of photos that stretch such a long space of time, watching the children be born and grow up and have families of their own is fascinating. The first card from 1945 features a pretty dark haired woman and her husband (who looks like a handsomer Gore Vidal) and her young son--by the 1954 card above, the family's expanded to three little guys (and one little gal)! Another thought that struck me going through the pictures was how unusual it would be now for someone to have four kids-- that was about standard back in the time period (my mom was one of four siblings).
I'm not sure what's going on in this one, but look at how pretty the little girl looks in her plaid and hair bow:
Watch out! Little brother and little sister are takin' over! Watch your shoulders, older children! (Does the typography on that hanging sign not look like it was done this morning? Fresh as paint!)
Look at Pop Golterman with his empty post-Christmas-shopping pockets, Ma Golterman with her pretty brooch and pert expression, and the kids with their toys from that year. I love that the kid two from the left hasn't bothered to change out of his pajamas for the photo-- he's appropriately still clad in his Christmas morning attire! I, myself, would have been happy upon gift unwrapping to get any one of these presents-- telescope, rifle, camera, or life-size baby doll. Lucky littles!
This next color one might be my very favorite one, Xmas 1966. While the eldest child has grown and flown the nest, the sign from Xmas 1958 (above) has returned in color this time, and the rest of the family is in full effect with their gifts! Look at the daughter's hair dryer contraption! The elder redheaded child's wild expression and gee-tar! You just get the feeling that these people really had fun thinking up the picture and having it taken. Also, look at their Merry Christmas camper in the '69 picture!
1968's picture still has the second eldest child and his guitar! It's good for him to stick with it. How cute is the Mom with her bongos?
Did you take photos for a family Christmas card as a kid? Do you still take them today? What's the most hilarious photo of you-and-an-Xmas-morning-present? I think my favorite has to be me, circa 1990, in a pair of ballet slippers with the box for Tyco's My Pretty Ballerina wrapped in my little ecstastic arms. Do you understand I did not even like ballet, but omg I was excited about the best toy of that holiday season as mine, all mine. I can still remember the weird, robotic noises she made as she stiffly pliéd before my very eyes. ((misty))
Have a great holiday! I'll see you guys next Wednesday (unless I get cabin fever before then!).