As Christmas winds down and the ornaments get put back in their boxes for next year, HN historian Lorraine Jackson takes one last look at horsey holiday cheer.
I’m dreaming of a black-and-white Christmas. The kind that’s scratched and faded and filled with historic horsey goodness. I’m not ready for Christmas to be over, and hopefully you’re not either. Here are 10 amazing photographs of how horses have infiltrated our holidays for eons, and given Christmas that crisp nostalgic sparkle and charm of another era. Of a sweeter, simpler life.
1. Father and Mother Christmas riding astride in a parade in 1939 Bradford England. Mother Christmas never looked so good! Photo Courtesy of Bradford Museums, Galleries, and Heritage.
2. A Horse Christmas in Washington, D.C., 1919. Sign reads “Free Christmas Dinner for Horses. Hot Coffee for Drivers. 12th and Little B Streets. All Welcome”. The tree is decorated with cobs of corn, apples and carrots.
3. A mule-pulled sleigh ride in New Jersey on Christmas Morning, 1896. Photo Courtesy of the New Jersey Historical Society.
4. Boys of Ardingly Boarding School headed home for the holidays with their trunks, en route to the train depot in a suburb of London, England, 1926. Courtesy of Pinterest User Renee Staren.
5. Horses hauling in a load of Christmas Trees to New York City between 1910-1915. Courtesy of Library of Congress.
6. Sleigh Riding in Vermont, circa 1960. courtesy of Eventer Danny Emerson and Eventing Nation.
7. Paso Robles, California Christmas Parade featuring Santa on a one horse open sleigh, 1963. Courtesy of the San Luis Obispo Tribune.
8. Children bringing home tree with horse and sled. Courtesy of Pinterest user Stemby.
9. Boy receives horse for Christmas, Bavaria, 1931. Public photo courtesy of Charles Forker.
10. Boston Animal Rescue League puts on 6th Annual “Christmas for the Horses” event for the working horses of Boston, 1919.