My grandfather, Donald C. Minor, left a postcard collection, which includes a couple dozen Christmas greetings from 1906-1910. Besides gleaning genealogical clues and collecting family history snippets, I brainstorm ways to play this art forward. What a waste it would be to just file these pieces of art away in acid free sleeves! One of my favorite things to do is print out a sheet of images to be cut and used as gift tags.
Santa Images Make Great Christmas Eve Deliveries
I use Windows Photo Gallery. When I open the jpeg file for the postcard in Pictures my screen looks like this:
And I can then print out the image. I prefer using the wallet size setting.
Once printed and separated I use the reproduced postcards on gifts. With a couple of swipes from a glue stick a tag can be attached directly to the wrapped gift. Or alternatively I can punch a hole in the corner and thread the tag onto the package with ribbon. Either way the vintage image makes a terrific little decoration!
In December of 1910 my grandfather, Donald C. Minor of Greene County, Pennsylvania received another Christmas postcard from Genevia in Morgantown, West Virginia. She wrote:
“I hope Santa will bring you lots of pretty things and that you will have a Merry Xmas and Happy New year. Your friend, Genevia”
As a genealogist the card provides no clues about family threads; as a family historian I can find no details that shed light on a family story. Nor are there clues and details regarding the publisher or printer, other than this Santa message was printed in Germany, as were most cards of the era.
However, the painting is remarkable in a couple of details – Santa is dressed in a purple robe trimmed in brown fur, as opposed to the red suit trimmed in white fur seen in my other cards. This Santa also bears gifts which are wrapped and carried, not stuffed in a sack, and a decorated, potted tree.
I wonder what traditional tales this Santa is drawn from? If you know, dear Reader, I hope you will leave a comment below! Merry Christmas!
Among the postcards in my grandfather’s collection is this lovely set of bells. They look to be mounted to a doorway, to jingle merrily whenever someone comes in from the snowy cold. This card is lightly embossed to give the holly sprigs a bit of dimension. It was sent to six year old Donald Minor by his Aunt Sarah McClure from her home in Carmichaels, Pennyslvania on December 23, 1908.
One of the most fascinating designs on this card appears in the upper left hand corner – on the back. The publishers trademark of the International Art Publishing Company is itself a work of art: an eagle sits atop a globe, which is ringed by a painter’s palette and a quiver of paintbrushes.
In the words of Aunt Sarah, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
What a captivating smile this little boy has! Across the century I can still feel its warmth. Silhouetted against an embossed gold bell, the child’s Christmas outfit looks snug and warm, with a red shirt peeking from beneath the green corduroy coat. I would love to have that matching hat with its neatly trimmed brown fur.
The card was sent from a Morgantown friend or relative to my grandfather, Donald C. Minor. On December 12, 1909, Genevia B. wrote:
“Hello, Donald. This is my Merry Christmas greetings to you. I hope Santa will be good to you.”
“Hello, Donald,” says the a mysterious W.T.G. “Hope Santa will be kind to you.” This beautiful card was sent to eight year old Donald C. Minor of Carmichaels, Pennyslvania from a relative or friend in Uniontown, Fayette County, Pennsylvania on December 22, 1910. It’s a very simple card, with a silver background highlighting the embossed sprigs of holly and mistletoe, Victorian symbols of domestic happiness and affection. Wishing everyone a simple, happy Christmas holiday!