One question we often receive this time of year at the Church History Library is whether we have any items related to Christmas in our collections. And, of course, we have many, many collections related to Christmas in our archives—from missionaries’ Christmas letters home to First Presidency Christmas devotionals to Christmas cookie recipes. In fact, a simple catalog search for “Christmas” returns no fewer than 11,870 results.
This year, we wanted to profile some of the vintage Christmas cards in the CHL. Many of these come from the collection of Edward F. Clark, who sent or received the cards while serving as a missionary from 1912 to 1914. They also come from the personal papers of Susa Young Gates, among other places. Because many Christmas postcards appear in the Church History Catalog as simply “Christmas postcard,” the postcards below have been labeled with the text that appears on them.
It is interesting to note the imagery that was once used in Christmas cards. Consider the Star of David, which appears prominently in one card, a symbol not typically used in conjunction with Christmas today. In another card, the jack-in-the-box that Santa delivers looks a little scary for a young child’s toy.
All of the postcards featured here are over 100 years old, so their artwork falls under public domain—feel free to use them for your own holiday projects.
On behalf of the Church History Library, please have a very merry Christmas and happy New Year!
Top image: “Loving Christmas Token,” found in Netherlands–Belgium Mission photographs, 1912–1914 (PH 7400).