Thank you to all the readers of this column for another year of photo mysteries! I have a holiday card for you on my Vimeo channel. You can watch this photo become a colorized greeting.
The photograph, titled “Caught in the Act”, is from the Library of Congress. It was taken in 1900. Santa’s bag of presents hasn’t changed too much—he’s carrying dolls and a sailing ship. But I think he’s a pretty scary-looking Santa.
I have a holiday habit that drives my family crazy—I take photographs of our Christmas tree. It’s a picture time capsule. And I have proof that I’m not the only person who does it: The photo of this tree predates my lifetime.
December 1954 is written in unfamiliar handwriting underneath the image. I’ll be watching for that couch and those curtains in other family pictures. This color photo is in serious need of some color correction. All the reds have taken over the image. That’s a pretty typical problem with mid-1950s images.
Cynthia Cox sent me this image from her family collection. It’s also dated 1954.
She labeled it, “Christmas morning at the Robert and Helen Cox Family Residence, Los Angeles.” It was taken on Dec. 25. The doll was her gift and the fire truck was for her brother. Thank you for your submission, Cindy!
We’ve been photographing holiday traditions for generations. Last December, I explored the tradition of posing with Santa.
You can use the comment section below to tell me what holiday traditions you photograph.