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.
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:
- Are these cards real or fake? They are most decidedly real.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
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.
The next two aren’t specifically holiday-related, but you get the same vibe:
Merry Dead Bird’mas!
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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: