All the Dead Birdies for Christmas

It’s been a year chock full of more dead bird cards! And since they’re so popular, it’s time to put them all in one place.

In case you can’t see, the caption says “With Best Wishes for a Merry Christmas.” Nice.

And I should repeat some of the most common questions. I never thought I’d be writing a post that would have a “dead bird FAQ” but here we are:

  1. Are these cards real or fake? They are most decidedly real.
  2. Was this common or one freakish artist? Since I’m now on my fifth post about dead bird cards, and only two seem to come from the same series, it’s safe to say it was more than common.
  3. Then WHAT THE HELL, MAN!?!?!? I’m glad you asked. Click here for the longer version. But the short version is probably one of two stories. Here’s the most common version you’ll find in the words of John Grossman, from whose book Christmas Curiosities I saw my first one:

A dead European robin frozen from the cold was bound to elicit Victorian sympathy and pity and may reference common stories of poor children freezing to death at Christmas. The 1880s card may have invoked one’s own good fortune and that of the card’s recipient during the holidays.

John Grossman, Christmas Curiosities: Odd, Dark, and Forgotten Christmas (Stewart, Tabori and Chang, 2008), 214.
Even if you’re gonna eat them….really?

Personally, I think it’s more likely a nod to a somewhat forgotten tradition called Wren Day. You can read my case for that by clicking here.

Joyful. Peaceful. Dead. Is there a difference?

But what I know for certain is that I keep finding more and more. And since they’re some of the most asked about things, apart from Frog Murder Christmas (TM), I had to get them all together, just like your awful family at the holidays.

I’m looking for a clean version without the watermarks. For now, tho, this is what we’ve got.
“Loving.”
To what “pleasures” are they referring?
Technically, it’s just a recolored version of one up above, but still…
May the New Year not BREAK YOUR NECK!
“Joyful,” again. This time hanging by a string.
This one’s lying in the snow at their feet…dear god.

The next two aren’t specifically holiday-related, but you get the same vibe:

Merry Dead Bird’mas!

And if you don’t want to off yourself after seeing that, but you enjoy what I do, please consider helping out. You can buy me a “coffee” at Ko-Fi.com (click here), which lets you give small $3 donations to sites like mine.

Or, for a really horrible and draining long term committment, Become a Patron!

If you like the cards and the podcasts, consider subscribing on Patreon. I’m putting out podcasts all year round, most with Christmas info but also major and weirder holiday stuff throughout the year. There are also other treats like real postcards sent you throughout the year and other treats. Go to Patreon and search for Weird Christmas or just click here:

https://www.patreon.com/weirdchristmas

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