Sunday, December 12, 2010

Holiday Book Recommendation: Christmas Curiosities

I am a Halloween person. There is no use in trying to fight or argue with that. I think about Halloween & spooky related content almost year round. But what about Christmas? I loved Christmas when I was a kid. It was great. Fun times!! But in the past 10 years or so, Christmas became an aggravation to me, as I hated going into a store the last week of October, and seeing Christmas merchandise. Past few years it's been mid-October. Can't even let the Halloween corpse die, before ushering in the new holiday.

But surely there are some Christmas things out there that a girl like me can relate to right? Well, yes, in fact there are. So I thought I would post a few things over the next couple of weeks that make this jolly holiday interesting to me.

Last year I picked up this book, 'Christmas Curiosities: Odd, Dark, and Forgotten Christmas' by John Grossman. I LOVE this book. This is a fine collection of strange vintage illustrations. I don't have a scanner, so I photographed a few pages just to give you an idea of the book's content.

The actual book in hand! Small in size, big on seasonal strange.

What the heck is wrong with that kid?

Witches at Christmas? Yes, witches!!

Christmas dinner would be way more entertaining if this happened.

I love the bat jockeys. And I really love this art. Apart from the bat jockeys themselves, I love the bare tree and the mountains with that orange setting sun. It has almost a Halloween feeling about it.

Kids might act better today if there was a threat of being tied to a tree & lashed by 'Ol St. Nick.

Speaking of beatings, It's Krampus! I've been a big Krampus fan for many years now, and he seems to be getting more popular every year. More about him later, but if you want to read up on him you can do so here.

Another favorite. Something about the strangeness of it I adore.

A snowman & Christmas tree make out.

A moth goes on a killing spree.

And nothing says 'Merry Christmas' like dead bird.

These are just a few of the many wonderfully strange images this book has to offer. This book is available at Amazon, but it looks like it's only available through Amazon Marketplace sellers. Maybe it's no longer in print? If that's the case, I highly encourage you to order this now before it is out of print & the price skyrockets.


  1. Oh...WOW! I HAVE to own this book!!! Thanks so much for hipping me to it!

  2. Looks perfect for me! Thanks for the recommendation. It took me a long time to reembrace Christmas as an adult, but I still get on my soapbox (and so do my kids) about the same things that get your dander up when it comes to Christmas nudging Halloween out of the aisles by mid October. This is doubly frustrating because they certainly don't rush the back to school supplies out to make room for Halloween. Often the Christmas stuff is out first. See, there I go again ranting like a lunatic and all I wanted to do is thank you for letting me look inside that cool book.

  3. Yes! This book is a must.

    John, I'm just now kind of getting to a place where I am finally warming back up to Christmas. Discovering things like the Krampus and books like this one, shed new light and interest on a holiday that I just thought of as an inconvenience.

  4. Awesome post, thanks for sharing this... I NEED this book myself....

  5. I am reading it at the moment. Fascinating.