Thursday, December 18, 2014

What Makes a Holiday Icon?

Just a quick thought today: how DO they decide what becomes a holiday icon? Is it a ballot? That's an election I want to participate in. Can I mail it in?

Some possible questions and choices:

  1. Santa:  Jolly or Vain? Smoking a pipe or curling his beard?
  2. Snowman, Pinkman or Rainman?  Frosty, Bad Business Partner or Mathematical Wapner Watcher? 
  3. Holly, Pinecones or Snowcones?
  4. Festive Elf, Troubled Troll or Frozen Fairy?
  5. Give presents to the birthday child...or have the child be the gift to everyone.
The Christmas holiday will have a few short posts as I spend a whole lot of time away from the computer screen!

But, don't forget, we want to hear your favorite Christmas memory!:


  1. Good morning, dear Cherdo! Shady Del Knight here - the jolly, vain, pipe smoking, beard curling, troubled troll of blogging. I'm still hung over after a long day of travel and excitement (aka stress) so please forgive me if I got nuthin'.

    If you will allow it, I would like to make an observation that I have introduced on other blogs over the years. I have noticed significant differences in the way Christmas icons, including elves, angels and cherubs, were drawn and painted 60 or more years ago compared to the way they are rendered in artwork since then. This also holds true for other iconic figures such as the Easter Bunny along with children, dogs, cats, birds and other animals. If you look at vintage greeting cards produced in the first half of the 20th century, you will noticed that many of these characters appear almost disturbing when compared to the warm, fuzzy, benign, whimsical creatures in modern commercial artwork. Look how much dolls have changed in a similar manner. Look at how the cartoon character Woody Woodpecker morphed over the decades. I would appreciate it if you and other readers would address this topic because I find it fascinating. What is behind this movement away from realism and toward whimsy over the last 60 years?

    Happy Thursday, dear friend Cherdo!

    1. Good morning, brother-from-another-mother!

      What a good observation!! It's so true!

      Of course, I can't answer with any authority, but I believe that a hundred years ago the push was for art's sake and detail added to realism. Part of the allure seemed to be that each of these characters were a bit of a wild card: Santa was nice - but he could find you "naughty" and give you coal. No sure thing there. Elves could be helpful - or ornery.

      Or maybe it was the commercialism of it all. I remember my grandmother (b. 1916) telling me about cards she saved in a cedar box she got for her 16th birthday. She treasured three or four printed cards; they were beautiful and artistic renderings of Santa, cupid, etc.

      Now, we buy hundreds of cards in a year and the bulk of them at Christmas time. There are hundreds of cards to choose from! Once received and read, you may save a few - but most end up in the trash.

      Fuzzy, cute and "feel good" may be more marketable, especially in a "throw away" society.

      Or, perhaps, art has gotten lazy. No one wants to work for hours, days or months on a piece (this from the gal who does my blog pics in about 15 minutes...)

      Like you, I'd love to hear others chime in on the topic.

      Have a great day, Shadeeeeeeeee!

    2. SDK. why are you not on the Bloghop, dear? You, of ALL people, need to be on the bloghop of Cherdo & Janie!!

    3. He doesn't hop. As for the change toward the warm fuzzies, I attribute it to the Great Depression, which wasn't limited to the U.S., and World War II, which also was not limited to the U.S. People who grew up during that time or were young adults didn't want their children to experience frightening, unpleasant things. They went for a big Christmas tree with lots of presents around it, even if they couldn't afford it. Santa became someone sweet. You could take your kids to sit on his lap in the mall--something I never did with my children. My answer is a generalization, but I believe quite strongly that certain seminal events in history have changed the way we raise children. Warm fuzzies also sell well.

    4. Excellent info, dear Janie. Thank you!

  2. CHERDO ~

    If we could vote, I would go with...
    Santa: Vain and Smoking a pipe.

    A snowman dressed like Batman.

    Snowcones, of course! Preferably grape or cherry flavored. (Unless beer flavored is an option.)

    Troubled Troll because his computer Froze.

    Give presents to the birthday child...or have the child be the gift to everyone. (Neither. Give presents to ME!)

    Cherdo, after much thought, I have decided how to deal with the Christmas story situation for the Dec. 22nd blogfest. As you probably expected, I'm not going to play entirely by the rules, BUT... I still think you'll like what I come up with. If not, I'll send your money back with no questions axed.

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

    1. You just gave me a new idea for tomorrow's post... I'm ditching the previous plan...

      I knew I could count on you to come through for the Blogfest!! Yay!! I promise I will embrace and celebrate your traditional or non-traditional submission with equal appreciation.

    2. >>... I knew I could count on you to come through for the Blogfest!!

      And can I count on you to submit a vote on my current 'BATTLE OF THE BANDS' blog bit before time expires?

      My Blogfest post is not going to be MY most memorable Christmas Day memory that I can remember... [Hmmm... seemed like an awful lot of "mem"s in that sentence.] It's going to be the most memorable Christmas Day memory of a person I once knew. But I knew him, and if I didn't, I never would have learned the story behind his most memorable Christmas Day memory. And believe me, this one is Absolutely A-list when it comes to memorable Christmas Day memories remembered by people who... uh... remember 'em.

      I'm going to post a fantastic post if I reMEMber to. And if I don't remember, I will post a post-Blogfest memory.

      Please remind me to remember to post my post, OK?

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American... uhm... Under... Under-something-or-other'

    3. I voted! I figured out why I missed my has to do with stupidity. You'll have to read my response.

      Can't wait to see your post...I'm intrigued.

  3. Santa is Jolly and smoking a pipe. He can't be vain he eats too many cookies:) Snowman all the way as I have no idea who pinkman is but i am glad snowman is not yellowman. I choose pinecones since my mom loved collecting them(tothe tune of over 11 big grocery boxes of them and I am not kidding. I would choose a frozen fairy and then place her beside a nice fire to warm up. I would rather give gifts to my doggie...I am that kind of gal. I know what I will write about and post this Monday:)

    1. Pinkman....Jess Pinkman from the series "Breaking Bad." There's only so many "- mans" I know, ha ha.

  4. I vote for Jesse Pinkman. He did some horrible things at the urging of his father figure, Walter White, but Jesse loved children and always took care of them. Remember when the meth heads managed to steal an ATM machine? Jesse didn't leave without making sure that the police were on the way to get their child. Uh . . . what was the question again?


    1. I've forgotten it, too. Have yourself a very Jesse Christmas, Janeroonie!

      My Hubzam never watch the series and is just getting around to the Netflix version of "Breaking Bad." So, it's on my brain.

  5. I wrote a post on my favorite Christmas memory. Thanks for the idea.


Thanks for your personal yada, yada, yada,
Love, Cherdo