15 Disturbing Vintage Holiday Cards

Ever since the Victorians invented the Christmas card, people have gotten creative—and a bit bizarre—with their holiday greetings. Forget serene woodland scenes or snapshots of a family decorating a tree beside a roaring fire. From dead birds to sinister snow people, these vintage holiday cards are more disturbing than delightful.

1. “Loving Christmas Greetings”

TuckDB // Public Domain

Because nothing puts you in the holiday spirit like staring at a dead bird.

2. “Have a Cake”

TuckDB // Public Domain

A giant dessert with a child’s face baked inside it isn’t on most holiday menus.

3. “Thoughts of You”

TuckDB // Public Domain

Being eaten by a lion will ruin even the jolliest festivities.

4. “A Happy Christmas To You”

TuckDB // Public Domain

The kids watching their snowman melt were probably not having a happy Christmas.

5. “A Happy Christmas”

TuckDB // Public Domain

No one told this Santa he’s supposed to leave presents, not take children.

6. “Merry Christmas Greetings”

TuckDB // Public Domain

A circle of beasts dancing around their icy overlord is what nightmares are made of.

7. “A Hearty Christmas Greeting”

Nova Scotia Archives, Flickr // No Known Copyright Restrictions

The Victorians were into sending morbid holiday greetings that featured dead or injured animals.

8. “A Merry Christmas”

TuckDB // Public Domain

An egg teacher threatening to strike her equally yolky students with a cane doesn’t exactly scream “Merry Christmas.”

9. “With Loving Christmas Greetings”

TuckDB // Public Domain

Anyone familiar with the tale of Hansel and Gretel knows that despite the witch’s festive attire and abundance of gingerbread, those kids were not actually in for a loving Christmas.

10. “A Happy New Year to You”

TuckDB // Public Domain

No one wants to ring in the New Year with the death of a snowman.

11. “With Merry Christmas Greetings”

TuckDB // Public Domain

As any fan of 1983’s A Christmas Story knows, watching a pack of dogs tear into your holiday dinner is a terrible experience.

12. “With Best Christmas Wishes”

TuckDB // Public Domain

It’s unclear whether these dolls plan to eat the human-like pudding.

13. “An Unwelcome Christmas Greeting”

State Library of Queensland, Flickr // No Known Copyright Restrictions

Emus are such intense birds that Australia once waged a war against them.

14. “Who’s Afraid?”

TuckDB // Public Domain

Afraid of what?

15. “A Jolly Christmas”

TuckDB // Public Domain

This looks more like a threat than a greeting card.


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