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32 Vintage Photos of People Having a Merry Christmas

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From a few famous faces to adorable animals and kids under the tree to soldiers in wartime, here's how we've had a Merry Christmas through the years.


1889: Three children gathered around Christmas tree with toys.

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1896: Two little girls in bed, playing with Japanese dolls; a little boy with a drum stands at the bedside. Stockings hang from the mantel behind them.

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1897: Grandpa's visit.

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1900: Remount Depot De Aar-Christmas group in the Boer War.

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1902: Robert Falcon Scott's sledge party, which reached the furthest southern latitude on his national Antarctic expedition, celebrating Christmas. Lieutenant Ernest Shackleton, left, Captain Robert Falcon Scott, center, and Dr Edward Adrian Wilson, right.

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1902: Girl seated in bed with roomful of toys.

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1909: Elderly man seated, holding toy horse, facing right, with arm around young boy.

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1912: British sailors celebrating Christmas onboard the festively decorated HMS Mermaid.

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1914: A British Army medical post on Christmas Day at the front in 1914.

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1916: Christmas time in a ward at King George's Military Hospital. Walking patients decorate the wall by a patient whose bed had been donated by 'Charles Wingfield Esq.'

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1918: At a hospital children's Christmas party, Santa arrives in a bon-bon watched by a crowd of children.

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1921: Members of the Plymouth Ladies and 7 o'clock Regulars Swimming Club arrive on motorbikes for their swim on Christmas morning.

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1922: From left to right, Mr Wheeler, Mr Green, Mrs Savage, Mr Arundel, Colonel Harvey and Mr Savage line up with Father Christmas on the Cunard liner Berengaria (former Hamburg America Line vessel Imperator).

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1925: A happy boy in bed on Christmas morning with toys he has received.

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1925: A woman's head popping out of a parcel.

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1925: American author F Scott Fitzgerald (1896 - 1940) dances with his wife Zelda Fitzgerald (nee Sayre) (1900 - 1948) and daughter Frances (aka 'Scottie') in front of the Christmas tree in Paris.

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1925: A little girl hammers up a request to Father Christmas above her bed at the Brecknock Blind School for Children.

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1926: Father Christmas with six babies born on Christmas Day at the City of London Maternity home.

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1929: A sailor peers from the mouth of a gun holding two Christmas puddings in his hands, Christmas festivities on board HMS Rodney.

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1930: Children welcome Santa Claus as he leaves his plane.

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1935: Christmas cheer at the greyhound stables.

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1936: American child actor Shirley Temple sitting by her decorated Christmas tree with presents from 20th Century Fox, 1936. Stockings are hung from the mantel behind her.

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1937: Christmas proved to be happy but tiring for this youngster, worn out after the day's events.

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1939: The London ice hockey team the Earl's Court Rangers having their Christmas lunch served on the ice; the goalkeeper looks at the turkey.

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1940: A young lady is delighted to find her dog dressed in a Santa Claus hat at Christmas.

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1940: Wartime shelter festively decorated for the sleeping child's Christmas.

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1947: Babe Ruth is dressed as Santa Claus with 3 year old Jimmy McCall on his knee and Jane Greenfield at his side during a Christmas Party for 65 young Poliomyelitis victims given by the Sister Elizabeth Kenny Foundation in the Hotel Astor in New York City.

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1955: A young boy rides the tricycle that he has just received for Christmas while a puppy sits in his lap.

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1955: Minnie and Jane, two of London Zoo's chimpanzees, pulling a cracker at their Christmas party.

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1956: Radio and television announcer Frank Blair helps his son with a brand new model train set on Christmas morning.

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1962: Jacqueline Kennedy and her husband, President John F. Kennedy, attend a White House staff Christmas Party December 1962 in Washington.

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1964: Comic actor Charlie Chaplin (1889 - 1977), his wife Oona O'Neill (1925 - 1991) and their children read copies of his autobiography in various languages, in a pose for their 1964 Christmas card picture, December 1964. On sofa, left to right: Christopher, Oona, and Chaplin. Back, left to right: Annette, Jane, Eugene, Victoria and Josephine.

Most images and original captions via Getty. This post first appeared last Christmas.

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Smart Shopping
11 Posters Worth Gifting This Holiday Season
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A good poster can make all the difference when it comes to decor. Posters are a cost-effective and fun way to add color, tie together a room, and show off the owner’s personality. If you want to help a loved one track down a poster that doesn’t look like it’s straight out of a college dorm room, here are 11 prints we suggest gifting:

1. 100 ESSENTIAL FILMS SCRATCH-OFF CHART; $35


Pop Chart Lab

Pop Chart Lab’s scratch-off prints are a fun way to put a personal touch on a room. The Essential Films edition serves as a ready-made must-watch list, with 100 incredible films—new and old. As your loved one watches, they can scratch off the gray squares of the poster to reveal the illustrations below. Once they're done, they’ve got a checkerboard visualization of great movies from Casablanca to Mad Max: Fury Road.

Find It: Pop Chart Lab

2. RETRO PATENTS; $33 AND UP

A framed patent of the Nintendo Game Boy sits against a wall.
Retro Patents

Gadget-lovers will swoon over these patent illustration posters, which feature the original patent drawings submitted for now-familiar technology like handheld cameras, record players, Tamagotchi, Game Boys, and more. The black-and-white drawings are accompanied by the name of the inventor and the date of the patent. Many of them are limited editions, so make sure to grab ‘em before they’re gone.

Find It: Retro Patents

3. DINOSAURIA; $37


Pop Chart Lab

Your favorite paleontology fan will love diving into this encyclopedic poster of dinosaur types, which catalogs more than 100 types of dinos in hand-drawn illustrations. Painstakingly researched, the work classifies 700 genera of prehistoric creatures into a taxonomy that’s sure to make your beloved science nerd’s heart beat faster.

Find It: Pop Chart Lab

4. REALLY BIG COLORING POSTER; $40

Two children lay on a giant coloring-book-style map of America
Great2bColorful, Amazon

Coloring books make great gifts for all ages, but coloring posters make even better ones. This giant, 5-foot-by-3-foot poster will keep your favorite young artist busy for hours filling in notable icons of all 50 states, from the Hollywood sign to the Statue of Liberty. And once they’re done, they have a colorful mural to put up in their room.

Find It: Amazon

5. SPACE GRAND TOUR; $22

Eight vintage-style travel posters advertising space destinations
JPL/NASA

Get excited for the future. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory designed these out-of-this-world prints, creating futuristic tourism posters for celestial destinations that, for the most part, humans have yet to reach.They’re part science geekery, part vintage travel homage, and the poster versions are the perfect gift for any future astronaut. Of course, they’re so pretty that even the least physics-inclined people on your gift list will still appreciate them.

Find It: Amazon

6. BETWEEN THE WORDS; $63

A spiral of punctuation on a poster that reads ‘Moby Dick; Or, The Whale.’
Nicholas Rougeux

Nicholas Rougeux’s Between the Words posters are minimalist takes on visualizing classic literature. Instead of trying to encapsulate the story, he focuses on what’s between the words: the punctuation. Each poster depicts every punctuation mark—in order—used in well-known books like Moby Dick, Jane Eyre, and The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Separated only by chapter markers, the punctuation marks spiral around a central illustration. Sticklers for good grammar will love exploring the dense punctuation patterns of books like A Tale of Two Cities and Ulysses, designs that provide a whole new insight into the writing techniques of famous authors.

Find It: Zazzle

7. “I LOVE” CITY MAPS; $21 AND UP


Jordan Sondler

Help your favorite urbanite show their city pride with New York-based illustrator Jordan Sondler’s whimsical maps of places like Boston, Chicago, and Seattle. Available in several different base colors, they divide major American metropolises into neighborhoods dotted with illustrated versions of iconic local architecture.

Find It: Minted

8. SKIES ABOVE CUSTOM STAR CHART; $130

A framed poster that reads 'Natalie and Morgan' with a star chart above in dark blue
Asterism Labs, Etsy

Baltimore-based data designer and former astrophysicist Katie Peek specializes in custom star charts that put a unique spin on a special day. They can highlight what the night sky looked like on the day of a wedding, a birthday, or during the last solar eclipse, customized to where the event took place. You can also ask her to commemorate the celestial view from any other time and place using her custom algorithms.

Find It: Etsy

9. PLEATINGS PRINT; $53

A graphic print shows gray shapes with lines running through them
Dry Studios

These abstract posters from the Stockholm-based Dry Studios are designed to create art using natural light in your house. The folded paper casts shadows when the sunlight hits them, turning the poster into changing graphic scenes throughout the day. They come in two different color schemes, one warm and one cold, to mimic the color change between day and night.

Find It: Dry Studios

10. LAW & MOORE MOVIE POSTERS; $12 AND UP

Three framed posters sitting on a table
Law & Moore, Etsy

The designers at Law & More specialize in pop culture posters that put a unique spin on beloved movies and TV shows from all genres, from Rocky to Stranger Things to Mary Poppins. Designed like vintage book covers, each features a minimalist illustration of the film along with the name of its creators. Whether you’re shopping for a James Bond aficionado or a Game of Thrones fan, you’ll be able to find a classy poster to show off their entertainment tastes.

Find It: Etsy

11. CONSTITUTIONS OF CLASSIC COCKTAILS; $37

A beige poster features a circular visualization of cocktail ingredients
Pop Chart Lab

Perfect for in the kitchen or near the bar cart, this infographic is a cheat sheet for becoming a mixology master. It illustrates how to throw together 60 different classic cocktails, organizing them by the type of liquor used to make them. Your favorite cocktail party host can use it to learn how to make a proper Rob Roy or Old Fashioned, or to help guests decide what they want to drink: just pick a base alcohol and go from there.

Find It: Pop Chart Lab

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This Just In
Kentucky City Lets Residents Pay Parking Tickets With Canned Goods
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Racking up parking fines? If you live in Lexington, Kentucky, you can pay off your tickets with canned food donations.

ABC 36 reports that, for the fourth year in a row, the city's “Food for Fines” program will help stock the shelves of God’s Pantry Food Bank—a member of Feeding America—throughout the holiday season. Beginning today, the city’s local parking authority is allowing residents with outstanding citations to donate preserved goods in lieu of cash through December 15.

Ten cans will get residents a $15 credit on any parking citation. And for drivers with a drawer-full of tickets, they can bring as many cans as they can carry to earn a $15 credit per 10-can donation. (Yes, even past due citations are eligible.)

"During the previous three years we have collected 24,500 cans of food, which is the equivalent of 12 tons or 16,000 meals,” Parking Authority executive director Gary Means said in a press release.

If you're planning on donating, make sure to check the date: Expired items won't be accepted.

[h/t ABC 36]  

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