Kodak Moments Pictures of Holiday Perfection

Call me the odd duck, but I love the yearly deluge of holiday cards, especially those that include a photo or , my very favorite, a catch up letter.

I can’t find any history on the tradition of the photo card, but Kodak appears to be the innovator of the template.
My collection of mid-century photo greeting cards are charming and hilarious. The cards themselves are in pristine condition, despite the years since first printed. What’s still to be known is whether in fifty+ years, our digitized picture cards will bode as well.

The holiday photos of some fifty years ago are not so different from those we take today. It’s the style of dress, hair and decor that age the greetings. Here, a sampling from my collection that proves the point.
Little Mister Handsome – looking just like the adult men of the era – suited up, hair neatly parted and shiny with Bryl Creme, his pose very formal. This could be Bill Gates or Steve Jobs.

I especially love photo cards that include the whole family. I imagine this Kodak moment was snapped at Thanksgiving by a camera toting guest or by Santa on Christmas eve of the previous year. Either way, the entire roll of film had to be developed, the picture for the card chosen, the cards ordered and delivered; then she, the mom, had to sign, stamp, lick the envelope and get ’em mailed. From the look on this woman’s face, she’s likely running all that through her mind.

Oh, boy, Junior’s now taller than dad! That’s what a yearly family photo was all about – showing the changes of the past year without displaying any dirty laundry.
While I enjoy seeing the documentation of our friends’ children, I think we all secretly adore cards that include the whole family, just so we can see how our friends have fared!

Pets-as-the-kids is nothing new. I wonder if these dogs first appeared on the yearly holiday card as cute little puppies, their maturation thereafter chronicled by loving master/parents and shared to one and all on the mailing list.
Or perhaps the dogs were more fun than the children or photographed better or the owners simply liked their pets better than their kids.

There isn’t anything Christmas-y about this photo – not a wreath on the door, no placard Santa and reindeer in the front yard, chosen perhaps to show friends and relatives far away the porch furniture, which looks very inviting…the purpose, maybe of the card in the first place!

I love a surprise, and the house card proved to be just that! It’s the only photo greeting in my collection that was mailed without an envelope, the address appearing on the backside. And it’s there you can see the postal cancellation stamp and the date, 1948. So, three years after World War II ended, the Clark’s Christmas card featured their new home, where I hope they lived

a very happy life.

xxea
Tie One On…an apron, of course!

3 comments

  1. I found your site because I love vintage things. Looking through your picture card collection, I noticed the house picture. It wasn’t the house as much as the place that drew my attention. My husband and I were stationed at Sheppard AFB in Wichita Falls, TX almost 10 years ago now. It was a very cute little town. I don’t remember that street specifically, but it would have been fun to see how well the house has fared over the years! I have really enjoyed your site.

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