Christmas Frogs

6bc88add6015bd77f4714966a4cef64a

Aren’t frogs supposed to get wet?

I’m not going to pretend like I know why the Victorians liked frogs on their Christmas cards. But they did.

They liked cats more. And they liked dogs, dachsunds in particular — but who doesn’t love a good weiner dog? They also seemed to like monkeys, beetles, squirrels, rabbits, and dead birds.

But there are a surprisingly large number of cards featuring frogs.

c3e19876860842e4c795d7a4992914e7

This dignified gent is a card within a card. Fancy!

I’ve wracked my brain to figure out why frogs might be a big Christmas theme. There were certainly plenty of cards for other occasions that featured frogs, like the one below, but never in such numbers as on Christmas cards.

frog-postcard1

Not a Christmas card, but I can’t help sharing this one.

Some don’t even seem to have anything actually to do with being a frog. You could replace these guys with any other creature, and it would make just as little sense:

tumblr_ngde4cmq7f1u5yqcfo1

“If jovial froggies / a skating woudl go; / They had asked their mamma, / but she’d sternly said, “No!” / And they all came to grief in a beautiful row! / There’s a sweet Christmas moral for one not too slow! / Just go!”

Some like the next one often remind people of Over the Garden Wall, especially because of the episode with the frogs on the ferryboat. I could explain it, but I won’t try — just go watch it.

c50frog

Most likely not actually Victorian or even English.

Most of them, though, are just bizarre:

tumblr_nz0wmwerjz1u5yqcfo1

So maybe this is the one time of year when he’s not trying to eat bugs? Dunno.

Or they look like they just slapped “A jolly Christmas” on a picture of a frog:

scan0002

“Christmas is no time to croak / All the world should know it; / We mean to have our little joke, / As for care, why, blow it!”

The ones that try to give a moral seem like they’re trying to snag some Aesop’s fable vibe, but they also seem like they were dashed off so quickly that they didn’t really think about how the rhyme was supposed to match the image.

tumblr_nz0wm3hhqb1u5yqcfo1

“A goose and frog, they met in a bog. / A serenade was the reason. / And here is displayed my short serenade. / “The Compliments of the Season.”

But the last one, which has become pretty widely shared in the last few years, definitely is the summit of surrealism when it comes to these old cards. I’ve taken a stab (ha!) at making sense of it, and,  yeah, I got carried away. But, come on…what else can you do but realize that a card as odd as this one wants, no, DEMANDS to be taken as seriously as possible?

frogmurderchristmas

Have a Frog Murder Christmas, everyone!

 

 

Advertisements

One thought on “Christmas Frogs

  1. Pingback: “Over the Garden Wall” and Vintage Postcards (Part 2) | Weird Christmas

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s