Congratulations to Alison (agboss) who won Susanne Dietze's The Reluctant Guardian!

Monday, December 19, 2016

Going Retro! Christmas When We Were Young

What do authors do when they should be writing a book but feel like procrastinating?

For me, possible answers include browsing online for free downloads so I can make memes. Meme-making is a pseudo serious author job, by the way. We make memes to help spread the word about our books. Like this little shameless plug here:

I was Christmas meme-making when I got sucked into the vortex of vintage Christmas cards on Pinterest. Holly Hobbie popped up and boom! I was back in the 1970s, a little girl looking at Christmas with childlike wonder.
Holly Hobbie Christmas:
Holly Hobbie rocked!
I know I'm weird, but I loved looking at the Christmas cards my family received when I was a kid. After my parents read the news handwritten inside, we used the pretty fronts of the cards for crafts and gift tags. They were far more than mail. They were decorations, used and enjoyed.

No wonder Christmas cards influenced my young view of what an idealized Christmas looked like. And judging by the cards sold in the 1970s, an idealized Christmas at that time was pretty groovy (aside from the Little House on the Prairie Vibe of Holly Hobbie).

Few Christmas cards, even today, are what I'd call realistic. We tend to like idealized Christmases in our cards, What that looks like changes with the years, but 1970s Christmas cards tells us that 40 years ago, our society had a thing for color, unrealistic female forms, nostalgia, and swingin' Christmas celebrations.

Vintage Christmas card:
Who wouldn't want that hair? Seriously! Or that present?
Vintage 1960's 1970's Christmas Greeting Card Little Lady Girl Doorway Never Used Mod Mid Century:
I would have LOVED this card. The fur dress alone makes 4-yr-old me happy.
Many 60's/70's Christmas cards were in colors that demanded attention, but they hearkened back to Dickens-like celebrations, albeit in a "new old fashioned way" (to quote "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree"). People wore 1850s dress but the ladies sported bouffant hairdos.
1960's Christmas Card  Inspired? More Merry Christmas Darling at #christmasmusic:
Poodles are the popular pet of choice in many mid-century cards.

Vintage Christmas Card:
Come skate with me, Bob Cratchitt.
Santa was popular and looked old-timey--although not quite as old as Dickens.
Vintage Christmas Card Santa Claus in Model T Car 1972 Antique Auto Automobile | eBay:
Speedy delivery!
Then, as now, some cards showcased community scenes with an old-fashioned feel.
My parents might well have sent out this card because of the trolley.
Occasionally, though, the card takes you right to the present. We had a stereo just like this:
1971 Christmas card from poshtottydesignz on etsy:
What's playing on the record player?
Oddly, I don't remember my mom ever sending or receiving many religious Christmas cards, but that might be because they might not have made as many as they do now. The ones I've found online are far and few between, but naturally groovy.
Vintage Christmas Card:
Mod Madonna

Christmas •~• vintage blue, green, pink, and purple nativity greeting card:
Jesus resting on pink poinsettias.
Then there were the best kinds of all...the cards where a great aunt or grandma put money in them. Did you ever receive one of these?
Christmas Day.  I'd forgotten about the dimes on cards!:
A dollar's worth of dimes!!! Yeah!
Then, as now, Christmas cards reflect our preferences and values...or the layout that works best with our family photo at But it's fun to look back at where we have been as a card-sending culture and remember times gone by. 

Nostalgia is a Christmassy past time, isn't it?


Susanne Dietze began writing love stories in high school, casting her friends in the starring roles. Today, she's the award-winning author of almost a dozen historical romances who's seen her work on the ECPA and Publisher's Weekly Bestseller Lists for Inspirational Fiction. Married to a pastor and the mom of two, Susanne lives in California and enjoys fancy-schmancy tea parties, genealogy, the beach, and curling up on the couch with a costume drama and a plate of nachos. You can find her online at


  1. LOL--that was my grandparents' tree. Very groovy!

  2. Love this post, Susie, albeit I'm visiting a few days late. Great shameless plug for The American Heiress Brides. Very nice meme. :)

  3. Thanks, Anita! Well, I'm coming by even later, haha! What a busy few weeks this has been. Thanks for visiting and for saying something nice about the meme! I am not great at memes but they are fun to make anyway. :)