In America during the 1950s, a special kind of Christmas card became quite popular as a representation of the holiday spirit as well as family values. The cards featured housewives preparing food, shopping, nurturing children, and other household affairs, giving praise to the “all-American spouse”.
The pin-up fashion of the time allowed these quirky illustrations to become the embodiment of the white picket fence ideal, representing the American dream ― one that includes a happy family living in a safe and loving community.
The 1950s brought a rather conservative outlook on how society should look. It also contributed to the uptight image of the American white-collar class of the period.
Judging by these photos, however, it seems as though not everything was so crude and traditional.
Christmas holidays are a season well known for family customs and rituals, with taking pictures being one of them. No better time to fill up the family album then Christmas, but in this case, the photographs are reserved for the lady of the house, or better yet ― ladies.
Just like the vintage postcards, giving praise to the housewives of the hour ― who are responsible for everything from decorations to the feast ― these women take pride next to their Christmas trees after a job well done.
Apart from celebrating the woman of the hour, this snapshot selection also serves as an incredible time-capsule of everyday life in 1950s and 1960s America. From fashion to decorations, and of course, the shining Christmas trees, the photos offer us a vivid glimpse into an era before Instagram and Facebook.
Striking a pose in an attempt to look as natural as possible, wasn’t so easy back then as it is today, in the time of selfies. However, these middle-aged women seem confident enough, whether in their sleeping gowns, church dresses, or sporting their casual clothes.