Tag Archives: holidaze

The Harry and Reba Swiff Collection: Family Celebrations (1956-1958)

Watch on Texas Archive of the Moving Image

Institution: Texas Archive of the Moving Image
Collection: Harry and Reba Swiff Collection

Running time: 16m 30s
Source film:  color; silent
Year: 1956 – 1958
Camera: Harry Swiff


When I was young — particularly during adolescence — the holiday season from roughly October through January seemed to unfold as a series of discrete events, each celebration marked by its own sights, smells, sounds, and flavors. The rest periods between them (i.e., school) always crawled at a snail’s pace, allowing the anticipation for each to build to proper crescendo. In adulthood, though, that illusion has eroded with each passing year. These same holidays now occur as a blurry blob of celebratory activity, with beginnings and endings almost entirely indistinguishable if not for the correlating bank statements and smartphone images that neatly divide by monthly markers.

Continue reading The Harry and Reba Swiff Collection: Family Celebrations (1956-1958)

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Christmas Rhapsody (1948)

Watch on Archive.org

Institution: Internet Archive
Collection: Prelinger Archives

Running time: 11m 00s
Source film:  16mm; b&w; sound
Year: 1948
Production: Encyclopaedia Britannica Films; Milan Herzog
Music: Charles Henry


Loneliness, sugar crashes, and increased alcohol consumption can all exacerbate the blue feelings that many people feel during the winter holiday season. As evidenced by the sad musings of the central character in the 1948 short Christmas Rhapsody, it can also be a real thing for at least one species of evergreen tree.

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Halloween Party (1953)

Watch on Archive.org

Institution: Internet Archive
Collection: Prelinger Archives

Running Time: 06m12s
Source Film: color; sound
Year: 1953
Production: Encyclopaedia Britannica Films


While the Halloween costumes of today are often clever, shameless, or absurdly referential, their burlap and paper counterparts from last century still hold the crown for creepy (see related links below). The main character in 1953’s HALLOWEEN PARTY brandishes one such mask in a way that inadvertently sets off a chain of events which concludes with him wearing a straw hat and covered in his mother’s lipstick. I should probably explain.

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