Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Here comes Santa Claus: vintage Christmas gifs

Don't ask me to identify these. They are from an evil source. Late at night, or sometimes NOT late at night, I drag the lake bottom for videos like this. These are all black and white, and there is something just so depressing about Santa Claus videos in black and white. Spoils the effect. This guy is just creepy, as so many Santas are creepy. I don't know what he's saying to that little boy, but I'm glad it's not my kid.

This guy obviously studied at the Adolf Hitler School of Santology. Note the impassioned gestures! The menacing shaking of the beard! Mein Fatherland!!

I don't know what the hell this is, but I wish I could find the rest of it. I stole it from a site called Giphy, which I only use if I am desperate. I make almost all my own gifs now, because the ones I see on the net are pure shit: short, choppy, with no theme, no emotion, no remembrance of things past. This looks like a funeral pyre, or a whole heap of kindling waiting to be set ablaze.

This has to be seen to be believed. Must be some old European thing. Here, a Christmas frog tries to get something away from a Christmas bug, with a tiny sprig of a Christmas tree in the background.

Here, the frog appears to be in a homoerotic relationship with a tiny Santa Claus, Either that, or the frog is gigantic. Santa looks like some Russian Czar from the 1500s. This was long before that Coca -Cola ad that told us all what Santa really looked like (though I've long suspected that idea is bullshit, and that Santa just evolved over the years into the stereotype of today).

I promise you, this is the last Santa/bug gif. I share this with you only because, bizarrely, the bugs seem to be taking the ornaments OFF the tree. What they do with them next, we don't know. This is a very early stop-action movie which I don't want to research, so I won't. Figure it out for yourself. It's only six seconds.

Christmas puppet shows are a genre unto themselves, and an evil one. I may never recover from this video, in which Santa decides he's tired of delivering toys to the kiddies and hands the whole thing over to a stoned-looking cat. 

No one seems capable of producing a pleasant-looking Santa puppet, or, in fact, a Santa puppet that is anything less than terrifying. This Santa's eyes are especially horrific: they drill into the core of your black, un-toy-worthy soul.

As with the frog and Santa, there is funny business going on, this time with a dog. Interspecies romance was never my thing, but here it is, in a children's program.

Santa meets his doppelganger, presumably the cat, but we can't see it, so we don't know for sure. Is his handshake suspiciously hearty?

One of the earliest, and strangest, Christmas videos I could find, only about a minute long and made in 1898 by the Edison Corporation. In this vignette, Santa or Father Christmas descends from a bubble in the sky, wearing a sort of long monk's robe with a hood. Though I have not seen this before or since, he carries the Christmas tree around with him. He drops a small something-or-other into each of the long skinny socks hung at the foot of the bed. Batteries not included. (Watch carefully - I just saw this now - the second "toy" misses the mark and drops on the floor, but I guess in Edison's time there were no retakes.)

Maybe it's true what they say about those Coca-Cola ads, as suspicious at it sounds. Earlier Santas did look weird, and in one silent-era video he even had a spotted velvet smoking jacket with brown fur trim. 

This whole writhing display is beginning to resemble a fever-driven Walpurgisnacht. So I bid you good night. Or bad. Or however it turns out to be.

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