Vintage Christmas cards are nuts, as anyone who’s ever gone down that particular Kafka-esque rabbit hole will tell you. If you do a simple Google image search, you can see that our supposedly dignified forebears evidently toked up a lot around the holidays, whether it was on opium or bathtub gin or cocaine-fueled Coca-Cola or sassafras or whatever.
This might be the weirdest one yet. The card below dates from 1912, and actually features a handwritten, rhyming poem –a lot of these antique holiday cards feature short, peculiar, rhyming poems; it was almost a folk-art genre unto itself.
Anyway, you’ll see that the poem below describes a woolly mammoth being excavated, and then … resurrecting or something. (Or is this its ghost?) The prehistoric animal has a creepy (though quaint and nicely vivid poem) addressing his saviors. I’m pretty sure it’s about women’s suffrage, though I’m not sure whether it’s for or against. I’m leaning toward the latter. The poem gets harder to read toward the end, but … does it describe the female animals leading the males “meekly” to their long-ago death and entombment in the ice? (And the author’s position is sort of implied by the one-word query, “Suffragette?” circled and written in blood-red letters.)
There are two cupids endeavoring to kill this unholy animal; you can find them in the top corners. Because it’s a zombie, they are wisely aiming for its head.
“Merry Christmas,” in other words.
What is sassafras, exactly, anyway? I can honestly you that I do not know for sure.