Currier & Ives Christmas

5 years ago

Last night we were driving to have dinner at a restaurant we love on the seawall in Galveston. We drove down Broadway which is the main drag through the heart of Galveston and where many of the historic homes are lined up.

Christmas decorations are now in full-swing everywhere we go, including along Broadway. We oohed and aahed at some of the fine displays of electrical waste. The Bishop’s Palace looked especially lovely lit up in the foggy night even though it wasn’t decorated with twinkling Christmas lights.

But the one house that I loved the best and appreciated the most had the simplest of decorations. I didn’t have time to take a picture. It probably wouldn’t have turned out well anyway since it was nighttime and fog was blanketing the island for a second evening in a row. That house was a beautiful old wooden home from over a hundred years ago. It was two stories tall and painted a cream color. And on every window outside the home owners had placed an evergreen wreath with a simple red bow.

That’s it.

Just a wreath on every window. It looked perfectly beautiful and I enjoyed it far better than all the garish Christmas lights at the surrounding houses. It brought to mind a traditional Christmas like Currier & Ives would have illustrated. I’m such a sucker for those Currier & Ives pictures. And yet I have none in my possession right now. I once owned a very large old illustrated book by that company. But alas, it burned up in our house fire of 2006.

A background note about that big Currier & Ives book I once owned: about 20-something years ago I accompanied my maternal grandmother and step-grandfather to an auction. During the auction, they auctioned off boxes of household goods and lots of antiques. I was a college student at the time and did not have much money at all. But a box of curtains came up for auction and I needed some for my apartment. So I bid on them. And I got the box for a mere $5. And way in the bottom was a very large book of Currier & Ives lithographs.

I loved that big book. And I never bothered to look up the value of it until just now. And believe me, it was far more than the $5 I paid for that box at auction. Perhaps someday I will replace it. But for now, I’ll just admire the Currier & Ives Christmas pictures on-line and drive about the countryside looking for the perfect Currier & Ives setting.

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