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Chrome Christmas Postcards: Part 2—Local Views

A number of locations have issued postcards showing off their Christmas holiday decorations. Usually these are outdoor scenes, often showing lighting displays at night.

At least four cities have had postcards describing their city as the "Christmas City."


Marion, Indiana: "Christmas City U.S.A." is a registered trademark


Bethlehem, Pennsylvania — "The Christmas City"


Minden, Nebraska — "The Christmas City"
Lights on the Kearney County Courthouse, a source of pride since 1915


Rome, New York — "The Christmas City"
65-foot giant balsam with 2,800 lights and 6-foot star

Both outdoor and indoor Christmas trees appear on postcards. Christmas Tree Lane in Altadena, California has almost two hundred deodar trees that were planted in 1885, along almost a mile of Santa Rosa Avenue. The trees have been lighted annually since 1920.


Christmas Tree Lane — Altadena, California

The National Christmas Tree is a large evergreen between the White House and the Washington Monument. It is surrounded by fifty plus smaller trees representing the states, District of Columbia, and U.S. territories. The postcard below mentions the 1969 trees in the future tense, and appears to show the 1968 tree.


National Christmas Tree — Washington, D.C.

A postcard published by Coral-Lee shows a White House Cristmas Tree with President and Mrs. Reagan. This is a 20-foot tree with decorations made of natural materials in 1984.


Christmas in the White House

The Christmas tree at the home of Rutherford B. Hayes, the 19th President of the United States, is surrounded by gifts and toys of the nineteenth century.


Rutherford B. Hayes Residence — "Spiegel Grove," Fremont Ohio

The first display of the "Educational Christmas Tree" in Cincinnati was in 1933. This undated tree was created by Park Naturalists with seedcraft ornaments and pixie figures.


Educational Christmas Tree — Eden Park Conservatory, Cincinnati, Ohio

Christmas trees at the Mitchell Park Horticultural Conservatory in Milwaukee have also been shown on postcards. The next postcard shows a Nativity scene at that conservatory.


Traditional Christmas Scene — Mitchell Park Horticultural Conservatory — Milwaukee, Wisconsin

A variety of styles of outdoor Christmas lighting can be found on postcards. Many postcards showing the colorful lighting on Denver's Civic Center city and county building have been published over the years.


Panoramic View of Denver and Rocky Mountains
Christmas Lighting on the City and County Building

The Arkansas State Capitol Building is outlined in thousands of colored lights and decorations during the Yuletide Season.


Christmas at the Arkansas State Capitol — Little Rock, Arkansas

The tall Louisiana State Capitol takes on the shape of a large ornament at night when it is decorated with lights. The center windows are lit in the shape of a candle in this view.


Louisiana State Capitol at Christmastime — Baton Rouge, Louisiana

The Electric Building in Buffalo also has special lighting and decorations at Christmas. This is a 1950s view.


The Electric Building — Buffalo, New York

The Christmas luminarios are an old Spanish custom still followed today. The luminarios are lit on Christmas Eve to light the way for the Christ Child.


Christmas Luminarios — Albuquerque, New Mexico

Ludlow Falls had Christmas lighting on the waterfalls there for many years.


Christmas Lighting — Ludlow Falls, Ohio

The Natchitoches Christmas Festival is an annual event that began in 1927. The festival includes fireworks and a parade.

 

Hollywood has had a Christmas parade since 1928. This is an old postcard showing the parade of stars along Santa Claus Lane (Hollywood Boulevard).


Christmas Parade — Hollywood, California

Rochester, Michigan's annual Christmas parade began in 1952. This postcard pictures Santa riding down Main Street in a daytime parade.


Annual Christmas Parade — Rochester, Michigan

Country Club Plaza has had spectacular Christmas lighting since 1930. this is a view from the eastern gateway to the Kansas City, Missouri shopping plaza.


Yuletide Lighting at Country Club Plaza — Kansas City, Missouri

Collecting Christmas views is challenging. Very few dealers have a separate category for non-greeting Christmas postcards. Most of these cards are filed with other state views. If you keep looking, you may find some in unexpected places.

The view of the Tonto National Forest "Season's Greetings" sign is one of my favorite finds. Not only is it unusual, but I also collect postcards showing signs.

 

Chrome Christmas Postcards: Part 1—Greetings

Chrome Christmas Postcards: Part 3 —Advertising

 

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