Route 66 #1

Route 66 #1
Route 66 Museum

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Steaming Through Christmas Cards

Well it looks like we are getting into that time of the holiday season when we have to waste a night at a desk or table scribbling out Christmas cards till our hands are soar. It’s not one of my favorite tasks, which is probably why we always end up doing it at last minute in my house. 

In a way it is nice to send Christmas cards out though since its this connection to the past when folks would once communicate via actual letters, and actual mail, and when seeing words written to you in ink meant something. That and I guess I do enjoy getting cards to because it’s a meter of what friends you have gained and lost over the year, which is food for thought as the new year approaches. But, my absolute favorite part about Christmas cards is the images on them, pictures of everything from the Holy Family and Nativity, to cartoon characters, to landscapes, but by far though my favorite Christmas card images are those of trains in the winter. 

I don’t know what it is that makes trains and winter pair so well. It seems as if artist, both in the painted and photographic mediums have had an obsession with it for a long time though. I think in the steam era it was the contrast of the jet black engine against the white snow, or in those night time shots the way the light and snow, and steam all played off of each other to present an air of mystery and power. So it only seems right that such images would appear on Christmas cards, at a time of year that already conjures up imagery of snow, and trains separately. 

Outside of images I have seen depicting trains waiting in various yards around Chicago to make their outbound trips into the snowbound land, I have also found a few of the Super Chief, and other Santa Fe passenger trains I love passing through the snow covered lands of the Southwest. As awesome as the contrast is between a black steam engine and the white snow there is nothing as unique and dare I say it cozy looking as one of the Santa Fe’s polished aluminum engines float through the snow surrounded by snow topped red cliffs. There is a sense of coming home in these images that just makes those viewing them delve into it for a while and live there filled with holiday cheer, as the mind visits Gallup and Flagstaff. 

Here are some links to look at these images for yourself an maybe buy a few cards if you like them. Keep in mind I’m not affiliated with any of these vendors so in now way and I endorsing there product or selling it.


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