Friday, December 21, 2012

Photo Friday: Vintage Family Xmas Cards Edition

Good morning!

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?





As I could tell, the dad was still taking his famous xmas cards all the way through 2010! Click on the link at the top of this post to see the family's whole set, it's really just a heartwarming little hoot for the holidays. Vive los Goltermanns!

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 pliƩd before my very eyes. ((misty))

Have a great holiday! I'll see you guys next Wednesday (unless I get cabin fever before then!).

16 comments:

  1. It's really great to see the kids grow and change right before our eyes. It's really sad to see that Christmas cards aren't as unique and fun as they used to be.

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    1. Right? I love that they chose something goofy and sweet EVERY. YEAR.

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  2. This made my entire day...I looked through them all and couldn't stop smiling! I love this family. We do the same thing with Christmas photos every year so maybe one day...

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    1. Can't you tell how much fun they must have been in real life? I'm going to have to start doing Christmas cards with a seriousness when Matthew and I finally get hitched...

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  3. This is so precious and adorable! What an amazing tradition. I visited the 2010 card and was just blown away by. It's really touching.

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    1. I love them. I couldn't believe me luck when I came across the whole set!

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  4. So sweet and nostalgic. Many thanks for sharing.
    Happy Christmas from New Hampshire~
    Mary
    http://anhistoricallady.blogspot.com

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  5. Wow these are terrific! They were a family well ahead of the trends in family photo cards! Really TERRIFIC! I went to look at all of them and got sad when there was a gap in the years and noticed a new wife. Mom was no longer there! Sad for the family but then happy again when "Pop" was happy with "Shirley"! Thanks for finding these and sharing them with us! Have a wonderful Christmas and New Year Lisa, enjoy great happiness and well being! Your blog is a gift to us year round!

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    1. Isn't it amazing to have this entire online photo archive of a complete stranger's family? I know I should feel kind of "Rear Window"-y for getting so into it, but they're so dear. And thank you for all your kind words and for reading! Merry Christmas! :)

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  6. I think the Goltermann kids grew up to be the most well-adjusted people in the history of the world...that or serial killers. The Mr. & Mrs. must have been the best and most fun parents on the block. Next year, I will definitely be recreating the hand puppet photo. All of these are incredible!!

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    1. I hope they were the former rather than the latter! There's a photo in another folder on the same flickr of all the brothers and the dad visiting at someone's house in 2010, and they all have guitars and smiles on...I thought, YES! They're all ok! The hand puppet photo is one of the best, for sure!

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  7. oh my GOD!!! this is like a perfect christmas gift to me. finding even ONE of those cards would be thrilling but look at that set! I agree with Mr. Tiny, those have got to be great parents! i can't pick a favorite, but the one with the kids swinging from the bells, and the one where they are a band are up there!

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    1. The internet is amazing. I think I searched "xmas 62" on Google images and found the one above the camper van photo, and when I clicked through to the actual flickr page it came from, it was ALLLL over. SO. COOL. I'm so glad the eldest son (I think it's the eldest son) took the time to share all these!

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  8. These are absolutely adorable!! What an awesome family...clicking through to see the rest...

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