9 Delightfully Bizarre Christmas Cards from the 1800s

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After the first Christmas card was sent in 1843, Victorians eagerly embraced the new tradition. Here are just a few of the wonderfully weird cards we tracked down.

1. Walking Robins

This card, circa 1870, shows "The Robin family" taking a stroll on Christmas morning. Victorians associated robins with Christmas, and often put them on their cards.

2. Snowball Fight

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Why is Father Christmas in a giant snowball on this 1879 card? There's no telling, but it doesn't look like it's going to end well.

3. Race to the Finish

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The Victorians loved natural history, which might explain why a mouse rides a lobster on this 1880 card, which wishes the recipient "Paix, Joie, Sante, Bonheur," or "Peace, Joy, Health and Happiness."

4. First Flight

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Just a child riding on a butterfly in this card, circa 1883. (In 2011, The Rock would reenact this scene in Journey 2: The Mysterious Island.)

5. The Cat's Meow

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This 1885 card shows that the trend of festive animal attire isn't a new thing. (Although I bet my cats wish the only thing I made them wear was a ribbon).

6. O Christmas Tree

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Father Christmas gets an especially creepy rendering in this card, also from 1885.

7. Woof

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This disembodied dog head, delivering a goodwill message in 1899, is totally not weird at all.

8. So Foxy

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Foxes were cool way before The Fantastic Mr. Fox—at least if you're judging from this card, circa 1900.

9. Big Bird

Photo Courtesy of the State Library of Queensland's Flickr.

There's no date on this card, but we just had to include it anyway. Seems like Christmas in Australia could be very unpleasant—at least if there were emus running loose.

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December 17, 2012 - 3:00am
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