Monday, December 12, 2011

COLLECTION #117: Vintage Give-Away Christmas Carol Booklets

Back in the days before Political Correctness reared its ugly anti-Chrismas head, communities rallied around the Christmas Tree. Literally and figuratively. Part of the spirit of the Christmas season, were the little Christmas Carol booklets that were given away by many commercial and community organizations. Mortuaries, banks, churches, insurance agencies, gas stations. They were bulk purchased, and the company or organization could add their own name and important information. Some companies did print their own booklets, and they could then add special touches that would make their little booklets unique.

Booklets distributed by the Richfield Oil company, our favorite gas station.

Some booklets had modern illustrations

...and some had more traditional artwork

I've been picking up these little booklets for many years. I have quite a few duplicates, since multiple merchants might use the same designs. I was lucky enough to find a nice size cache of them in my Mother-in-law's things when she passed away, so that greatly enhanced my modest collection.  These booklets are all from the late '40s through the 1950s. You will see several different styles: old fashioned artwork and photographs evocative of the Victorian era, elegant pieces that gave a classic and special look, and fun and modern booklets, that show the fun, graphic mid-century style of illustration and design, and of course, religious artwork that bring to mind the traditional Biblical Christmas imagery.

Some of the booklets contained other interesting Christmas information other than just Carols.
This unique booklet distributed by JW Robinson Co. a California department store, contained the Night Before Christmas, and was published in 1946.
This 1953 booklet distributed by Richfield Oil, had a calendar of community Christmas events all over the western part of the United States.

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