Archive for the ‘Christmas’ Category

The Advent calendar is used to count down the days of Advent (the period of preparation for the celebration of the nativity of Jesus) in anticipation of Christmas.  Its use was a practice started by German Lutherans as early as the beginning of the 19th century.

As a German Lutheran, I would like to continue this practice.  Starting December 1st I will be activating a link each day, thru December 25th, on the below advent calendar of Santa Claus.  When you click on the link, you will be taken to an antique or vintage Christmas postcard I have listed in my store, Remember When Vintage Postcards.  Purchase is nice, but not required.  I only ask that you enjoy each Christmas postcard as it is revealed.  (intro courtesy of my ‘2009 advent calendar blog post)

Dec. 01
Dec. 02
Dec. 03 Dec. 04          
Dec. 05 Dec. 06 Dec. 07        
  Dec. 08 Dec. 09      
    Dec. 10 Dec. 11 Dec. 12  
    Dec. 13 Dec. 14 Dec. 15  
    Dec. 16 Dec. 17 Dec. 18  
  XXXXXXX Dec. 19   Dec. 20 XXXXXXX
  XXXXXXX Dec. 22 Dec. 23 Dec. 24 XXXXXXX

Merry Christmas (and Happy Holidays) from Remember When Vintage Postcards!

If you want to return to this Advent Calendar to reveal the antique or vintage postcards behind the remaining days counting down to Christmas, please bookmark this blog post.

** Be sure to stop by the blog, The Best Hearts Are Crunchy, to view the many postcards shared on Postcard Friendship Friday.

I also wouldn’t mind your sharing this blog post with friends and family; especially those interested in antiques and collectibles (hint).  If you repost/mention it on your blog or other social bookmarking platform, please remember to give me credit as all images/text are copyrighted.

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I found this antique postcard message funny as it’s a question I’ve asked a few of my immediate relatives a time or two over the years (and them of me).


German made antique Christmas postcard of the nativity postmarked 1910

“Dear Emma
are you dead or alive I would like to hear from you or see you if you are alive how are all the folks come down when you can
Alice McEwans”

It’s a safe bet Alice’s English teachers would have a field day with this message.

The above message was rather blunt.  Apparently, this approach was necessary in order to get Emma’s attention.  It can therefore be assumed it’s been awhile since Alice’s heard from Emma.


If Emma is dead, I somehow don’t think Alice would like to experience a paranormal event by hearing from Emma.  I also don’t believe Alice would like Emma to “come down when you can”.  I certainly wouldn’t like a visit from a ghost.  Would you?

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It’s again Postcard Friendship Fridays at The French Factrice blog.  This is an event, hosted by Marie, where postcard collectors share an example of what they feel is “postcard perfect”.  It’s a great way to show why this hobby is so fun.  This week, I’m sharing two postcards featuring the children’s toy, the Jack-In-The-Box.

Jack In The Box Postcard of Santa Claus

Christmas postcard of girl enjoying a toy Santa-In-The-Box from series 288

Box Toy’s Origins
The first wind-up toys were made in Grecian times.  The art of making this type mechanical toy was revived in the 1400’s by watch and clock makers, with versions based on clocks which had a bird “popping” out.
 Another theory regarding this wind-up toy’s origins has it evolving from captured runaway black slaves, or “Jacks”, put in wooden boxes.  Children playing around these boxes, would poke sharpened wooden sticks though the knotholes.  The Jack inside would yelp, often busting through the box’s top.  If this theory were true, it makes me wonder how many parents would have let their children play with such a toy had they known it was based on mistreatment of a human being.
Cat curious about Jack-in-the-Box toy

Christmas postcard published by Davidson Bros. no. 761-4


** Remember to hop on over to Marie’s and check out all the postcard enthusiasts sharing this week. 

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It has occured to me that many of my posts on antique and vintage postcards, while informative, have been a little too factual and “dry”.  This resulted in a slight detour from why I personally collect postcards – more the enjoyment of the postcard images themselves than the details and history behind them.  Below you will find a few of the many postcards I’ve sold in my web store, whose images I’ve found very beautiful.  Enjoy! 

I almost kept this one.

I find all BW Angel Postcards soooo darling.

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Every postcard collector has a topical interest that spurs their interest in this great hobby.  I’ve already posted about one of my favorites, Santa Claus.  I’d now like to post about another, children in footed pajamas (or pyjamas- originally from the Persian word “payjama” meaning leg garment).

The Butt Flap

I noticed many of the postcards in my collection showed flaps in back.  According to the blanket sleeper section on Wikipedia, the flap in back was called the drop seat, trap door, or butt flap.  This flap allowed the wearer to use the toilet without removing the sleeper, and was traditionally closed with buttons.  OK, then how does the wearer open the flap, then re-button when done if it’s in back?  MOMMY!! 

In some US states, laws were passed preventing zippers or buttons in back as it was considered abusive (the wearer being forced to ask for assistance when using the bathroom).  This puzzled me.  The footed pajama was worn mainly by infants (who didn’t know how to dress/undress themselves and used a diaper), and toddlers (who probably didn’t know how to dress/undress themselves, thus needing to ask for assistance any place).  Some laws go just a teeny bit too far.

Another Footed Pajama Feature

The elastic back waist was a band around the rear half of the waist in larger sleepers designed to give a better fit.  In many of the postcards in my collection, this is shown as a buttoned strip of cloth.

No matter what the specific pajama feature is, the children wearing footed pajamas on antique and vintage postcards are still darling.

Note:  Marie over at The French Factrice blog is hosting Postcard Friendship Fridays.  Hop on over to Marie’s and check out all the postcard enthusiasts sharing this week. 

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Okla.  Dec 27th  1922

“All are well here.  having nice weather.  Got home all right.  found everything all right but the wheat.  had to sow it over.  To Emma and ?     Lew”

1922 Vintage Christmas Postcard

When I first read this vintage postcard message, I thought “that’s odd, why would Lew sow (plant) wheat in December?”  OK farmers, go ahead and groan.  So, I looked up the planting and harvest time for wheat.  I found out winter wheat (Oklahoma’s number one crop) is planted in September and harvested in summer.

Oklahoma farmers actually want complete snow cover as it benefits wheat by being warmer underneath the snow than on top.  This might explain why Lew had to “sow it over”.  He might not have had the protective snow cover and had to replant as a result.  I’m not a farmer, so there could be other explanations.  After all, he did say the weather was nice.  I still think it’s odd to plant in December as I’m from WI where NOONE farms in winter.

A Bit of Ephemera Trivia: 

It takes less than ten seconds for a combine to harvest enough wheat for 70 loaves of bread. And one acre will produce enough wheat for 2 thousand five hundred loaves.     (courtesy of America’s Heartland)

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1909 Antique Christmas Postcard published by B.W., no. 370

 The mother on this antique postcard is making the traditional dessert served on Christmas Day, Christmas Pudding or Plum Pudding.  It is a dark, steamed pudding, with sweet spices, dried fruit and nuts, and usually made with suet that originated in England.  This pudding is definitely not for those on a diet. 

History of Christmas Pudding 

Christmas Pudding can be traced back to the 1420s.  Back then, it was not a confection or dessert, but a way to preserve meat (dried fruits acted as the preservative).  I wonder how long this preservation method lasted.  

The ancestor of the modern pudding was the pottage, a meat and vegetable concoction.  During Queen Elizabeth 1’s reign, plums were added (a popular ingredient).  As the sweet content of the Plum Pottage increased, it became increasingly known as Plum Pudding.  Around the 1830’s, it became more and more linked with Christmas. 

Christmas Pudding Traditions 

Traditionally, Plum Puddings were made four to five weeks prior to Christmas (usually the last Sunday before Advent) as they needed to age in the traditional pudding cloth.  The household members (at least the children, see pictured antique postcard) took turns making a wish while stirring the concoction.  This is why the day became known as Stir-up Sunday. 

Tokens (initially a silver coin) were included in the pudding.  Whomever’s serving included it, kept the token. 

The Christmas Pudding is ceremoniously brought to the table after being doused in brandy and flamed.  It was greeted with applause. 

This Week’s Bit of Ephemera Trivia: 

The Plum Pudding was originally eaten at the Harvest Festival, not Christmas. 

Note:  Marie over at The French Factrice blog is hosting Postcard Friendship Fridays.  Hop on over to Marie’s and check out all the postcard enthusiasts sharing this week. 

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