Sunday, 4 December 2016

Sod the charity adverts, send a dead bird

Another of those Victorian Christmas Cards.

And a tale from my past.

I went to primary school with a girl named Claire, she was born in London but her mum and dad were Welsh, born and bred. I would go around her house on a regular basis (it was the first place I was introduced to the joys of Dr Pepper). Come Christmastime her home, same as ours, would be awash with cards, hung from swags of wool. Except every other card would have a hole in it. Some big, some small. These holes had originally been the image of a robin; realistic, cartoon, it didn't matter. No robins were allowed in the house for fear of bad luck.

I wonder if Mrs Jones would have approved of this card from those cute and fluffy Victorians.

“May yours be a Joyful Christmas” (via Tea Tree Gully Library)
Image from ttglibrary

I found this card in an interesting article from the City of Tea tree Guly library's blog on a book called "Christmas curiosities: odd, dark, and forgotten Christmas by John Grossman. Both scources speculate that "a picture of a dead robin or wren (both bird species were beloved and considered sacred in British folklore) were “bound to elicit Victorian sympathy and may reference common stories of poor children freezing to death at Christmas”. Was this a genuine attempt to raise awareness of social injustice and change society?"

All I know, is that in Mrs Jones' house in the 1970s this card would have had a bloody great hole in it, social commentary or not.