SEASON’S GREETINGS, READERS!
It has been forever since Alisha and I had time to put together a proper, mildly-entertaining Off the Rails post. In all honesty, Alisha comes up with great ideas on the regular, but I usually have something like this happening in my house:
…and don’t have much time to write. But we did it – we wrote a post just in time for Christmas!
So, anyway. Alisha and I have both looking for some last-minute inspiration for Christmas cards this week. Because we’re bad planners. We thought about taking a few design cues from those charming holiday greetings from the Victorian era. You know:
The timeless joy of family togetherness.
HB: I need to teleport these industrious folk into 2016. My tree still isn’t decorated.
Alisha: Look at them decking the halls and making happy memories! Awww!!
Greetings proclaimed by angelic host.
HB: This is the card I would send if people were less judgy about getting Christmas cards in March.
Alisha: So beautiful and sweet!
Whimsical, jauntily-clad animal families? Sure!
Alisha: Even the birds are in their holiday finest. And that stroller is great!!
HB: Spoiler alert: things don’t work out so well for birds later on in this post.
And Christmas just isn’t complete without a visit from Old Saint Nick and ALL THE TOYS:
HB: Aww, Santa’s giving this little girl a dollhouse. Santa is awesome.
Alisha: Santa is almost as awesome as that carpet!
Alisha: This brings a whole new meaning to “fast food.” Yo, kid! If your mom says don’t run with scissors, I’m sure the same goes for that nice knife you’re wielding! SAFETY FIRST!
HB: Well, that seems a little materialistic, but fine: toys = joy.
HB: Wait. Your materialism is making Santa kind of dour.
Alisha: This must be one of the last houses Santa has to visit. He looks pretty done. Or maybe he’s not very thrilled about all that snow on the roof. “Crap. I forgot my non-slip boots!”
HB: SANTA, NO!!
Alisha: When Santa runs out of coal and you’re acting up in public. Actually, I’m pretty sure this is supposed to be Father Whipper. Some people know useful things. I know weird things. You’re welcome for random, obscure factoids. Now you have extra info to use as a distraction during the holidays.
Yeah. Things kind of took a turn after that. And we went straight down the rabbit-hole like the easily distracted puppies we are.
HB: I’m missing the “merry” element here.
Alisha: If Eeyore was a Yeti. Or this could be a random person waiting at the bus stop in Cleveland this week.
Krampus got involved:
Alisha: The girl with the blue bow is a side-eye master. “I told you to be good! Don’t even think about taking me with you, buddy-boy!” I will say from the parental perspective, if my kids were given a horn, I would be ready to kick the Krampus right in the junk. Thanks a lot, jerk-face.
HB: Wait. So Krampus gives the horn to the child, then takes the child away for being loud and naughty with the horn? That’s messed up. Also, I’m putting horns under the tree this year.
Animals became menacing and downright murderous:
HB: No, I think you need to sit, “master.”
Alisha: Now that dog is TRAINED! So it’s for assault, but he’s trained!
HB: Because nothing spreads holiday cheer or excites a curious child’s fancy and wonder quite like a disembodied goat head.
Alisha: I think this is Victorian documentation of an alien sighting. “I have come to greet you” sounds an awful lot like “Take me to your leader.”
HB: The Coca-Cola bear advises you not to bring Pepsi on your Arctic adventure.
Alisha: So is this the Victorian version of that Star Wars scene when Luke is captured by the Wampa? Did George Lucas find this card in his great-great-great grandma’s trunk and it inspired him? The world may never know.
HB: Alternate ending to Frog and Toad All Year.
Alisha: Nothing says “Merry Christmas” like murder and thievery! OOOO! Maybe this was Black Friday!
HB: What did the Victorians have against frogs? Geez.
Alisha: I just have no words. I’m pretty sure some of these people were partaking of the opium.
HB: Why are all the animals such menacing little dicks?
Alisha: LOOK!!!! Negan’s cats!! AND they’re going to Alexandria!!
HB: That’s pretty grim for a holiday card. And why should I feel seasonally complimented by a dead cat? Is it because the cats from the last card had it coming?
Alisha: I am impressed with mice having a platter that size. And I guess they’re ensuring they have a great new year.
Alisha: Because we all know, nothing says love like a dead bird.
HB: If cats gave Christmas cards.
HB: What is this? At least they’re alive? Are they wreaking their tiny, adorable vengeance to avenge their buddies up there? How do marauding torch-bearing birds lighten anybody’s Christmas hours?
Alisha: Can’t you just hear them with little mobster voices? “You took out Sonny and I know you’re feeling bad about that, so we’re gonna lighten the mood. And by lighten the mood, I mean burn down your house.”
Anthropomorphic foodstuffs wish you a happy holiday season.
HB: You guys, I don’t know either. But his holiday finery can’t be beet.
Alisha: This is just disturbing! And what it up with the square monocle??
HB: This friendly fellow is rootin’ for a happy new year. Also, I love puns.
Alisha: And I wish them a new bra because the lopsidedness is FIERCE!!
HB: Sure. Why not. I guess mollusks are just as entitled to a Merry Christmas as anyone else.
HB: The less said about this, the better.
Alisha: I’m just going to pretend I didn’t see this one. whistles and scrolls
Before Hatchimals turned Christmas shopping into an epic quest and ensured hours of electronic Christmas-morning misery for parents everywhere, Victorian folk had to make do with terrifying holiday cards:
HB: Um, please don’t.
Alisha: This is TOTALLY Hatchimals!! See?! It’s true! Nothing is new!! The good thing? Hatchimals don’t poop all over you. A definite plus.
HB: But why? Why is the baby hatching? Why is it missing a sock? How did it get a sock from inside the egg, anyway? Or an envelope? WHERE IS ITS HEAD OMG WHAT IS HAPPENING TO THIS POOR BABY
Alisha: It’s just getting AHEAD with mailing its cards!! Ok. Sorry. That was bad.
HB: YOU PUT THE BABY’S HEAD IN A PIE YOU MONSTERS
Alisha: I… I just don’t know! OPIUM!!! And why do the berries on its head look like boobs??? OPIUM!!!
Then there’s the apparent Great Meatball Menace of Victorian England
Yeah, I think they’re supposed to be puddings. Meatballs are funnier.
HB: When a giant meatball shows up and anthropomorphic medication makes a house call, it could be time to cut back on the holiday cheer. #notjudgingtho
Alisha: I like to call this “James and the Giant WTF.” Roald Dahl would be proud.
HB: I guess you are? If you say so? I’ll take your word for it. WHAT IS GOING ON
Alisha: Um… Is that a threat? It kinda sounds threatening. Are you fixed up with bodies in the basement? I’m going to try not to think about that.
HB: I AM THE GHOST OF MEATBALL PAST COME TO DESTROY YOU
Alisha: This really reminds me of Mayor McCheese. I will say, the holly branch font is AWESOME!
Because 2016 didn’t come with enough creepy clowns:
HB: See what happens when you brag about being “all fixed up”, meatballs?
Alisha: You’re going to have a Merry Christmas or ELSE!
HB: This is actually a pretty honest portrayal of a typical day at my house.
Alisha: I am so going to start asking people, “How are you tomorrow?” This will be fun. rubs hands together
Although we could keep going with literally hundreds more images, I think you’ve had enough torment for one day.
But you guys. Victorian New Year’s cards?
ARE EVEN WEIRDER.
Alisha: Well, I totally agree with boiling the heck out of 2016. It asked for it.
HB: Agreed. This is like 1890’s answer to this year’s Dumpster fire.