For some families, the holiday season means sharing meals, exchanging gifts and holiday cards, celebrating time together, and taking a break from a rigorous schedule. Even in the early 20th century, vintage Christmas images reveal families who posed with Santa Claus, decorated their trees together, and indulged in a holiday feast. For those who do celebrate Christmas, vintage Santa photos appear quite similar to photos of children posing with Santa today - except for the creepy Santa Claus costumes of Christmas past.
Santa's costume is not the only tradition that's evolved, and creepy Christmas images from history suggest the holiday has become ever more cheery with time. It's not all holiday horrors, of course; in fact, the most disturbing Christmas photos capture families frowning under the tree or children absently playing with their toys. Still, there's something haunting about seasonal traditions when they're captured on film.
1. The Mari Llwyd At Llangynwyd, C. 1910
2. Two Young Girls With Santa, Unknown Year
3. Santa Claus In Chicago, 1902
4. An Ominous Reflection On Christmas Night, Unknown Year
5. An Erroneous Christmas Photo, 1936
6. Santa Claus Visiting A Woman, 1958