Saturday, November 6, 2010

That Vintage Chanukah Feeling

I have a real problem this time of year. I admit it - I have Xmas envy.

It's a graphic design thing. I love all the cozy vintage imagery that seems to go along with the holiday.

There just isn't a lot of "vintage" in Chanukah, or Judaism in general for that matter. Jews in general seem to gravitate toward modern design, from what I can see. You don't see a lot of "shabby chic" Judaica - and don't think I haven't looked. Of course this is probably because the concept would be in direct opposition to the idea of Hiddur Mitzvah - although, I ask you, wouldn't cabbage roses enhance any mitzvah?

Every year I scour the web by searching for "vintage Jewish" to see if anything turns up and there is precious little out there. I have found some vintage illustration - mostly early Zionist posters - and this great collection of Rosh Hashana cards. In fact, Rosh Hashana cards seem to be the only place I can find that Victorian style of overly precious, slightly demented illustration that I enjoy and KosherCook loathes so much (so much that I made him a Valentine's Day card last year that bore the disclaimer "This card was made with a refreshing lack of Victorian imagery. No Cupids were harmed in the making of this card"). You can read a little about the history of these cards here. In fact I was delighted by the discovery of these antique cards because KosherCook has been arguing for years that Victoriana is inherently non-Jewish - because he had only seen it for Christmas and Valentine's Day decorations. But, if I remember correctly, it was actually the same German cardmakers that made Valentines that produced these high holiday cards.

In any case, Xmas gets that vintage look and Chanukah doesn't.
I also object to being locked into the whole blue, white, silver and gold color scheme, which is ironic as you will see in a moment. 

Download Your Free Hanukkah Card!
Anyway, I decided if there was no such thing as Vintage Hanukkah I would create it myself. So I set out to make a vintage Hanukkah card that all you nice people could download for free, print out and send to your friends. Which I did. And you can. And guess what color it is? That's right - blue and gold.

Perhaps the next one will have lots of demented-looking Victorian children on it (or as KosherCop calls them, "Aaah! Scary babies!")


  1. Since you brought this topic up, I figured I'd chime in since this exact topic frustrates me every. single. year. I hate that every card I pick up is bland, looks like clip art and is blue/white/silver. Granted, I grew up in a Catholic family so I'm used to a much bigger selection. As result of the lack of worthy cards Dr.J and I usually resort to e-cards. I also pick a very "holiday" (not christmas and not chanukah) themed one and just change the damn words.

    I once came across some decent cards and they were EXPENSIVE. Probably because they're the only card maker a) using decent paper and b) trying to appeal to more design oriented Jews.

    I hate shopping for chanukah cards, along with cards for just about any major life cycle event. They all have a tendency to be rather horrible.

  2. Hi Drew,
    Welcome to Kosher Whine! Thanks for stopping by.
    Yeah, not sure how my card ended up those colors despite my best intentions. In my defense I was home sick when I designed it. ;-)

  3. oh my goodness, I could have written this post!!!! In my defense, I grew up with a Christian mother and a Jewish father (I did convert) and I am very used to a HUGE choice! I still LOVE making Christmas cards and altered items for my Christian friends and family, pretty much because I can get my "vintage fix". Thanks for the card! I love it,,,,,,,,even if it is blue and gold LOL. It will actually grace the top of an altered tin to hold some candy for Hanukkah!

  4. Hi Holly,
    I'm so glad you found the site and have a use for the card! I took a quick peek at your blog and really like your altered work. If you end up posting a picture of the altered candy tin you're making, maybe you could shoot me the link - I'd love to see it.



Blog Widget by LinkWithin