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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Quiet Christmas: 1984

Quiet Christmas: 1984

Christmas Day 1984. Or Recovery Day, after last night's big Christmas Eve dinner with my sister and her kids (well, the youngest was 19) and presents. Now it's time to relax, at least for my father and brother. Mother's probably in the kitchen preparing a dinner of yummy leftovers; this year it was prime rib. Meanwhile, there are various goodies to munch and otherwise imbibe on. I've got seasonal music playing on my system down at the other end of the room. Knowing me, it's The Nutcracker. Despite the modern lights, our tree is full of vintage ornaments, some dating back to my mother's childhood. There are also my home-made Peanuts ornaments I'd done over 20 years before. I also see that Mother still hadn't given up on African violets; as a special Christmas offering, they even seem to be blooming. Available light Kodacolor 1000 negative. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

Happy New Year, Tterrace !

Sorry, I am late wishing you a Merry Christmas - but wanted to say "thanks" for sharing your life with us, you've become part of mine for sure! I felt like I'd forgotten to call a long-lost cousin and wish him Holiday salutations ~ so from my mid-century home on the East Coast to yours in Sunny ... er .. (wherever you are now): Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

The box

That box on the ottoman sure looks like the box I've used for 25 years to hold my oldest ornaments, some Czech glass bead ones that my dad bought in 1947. I think it's from Italian Swiss Colony. That must be where all those goodies came from.

It's a Wonderful Life

was just a movie made by Hollywood, while Tterrace and his siblings actually lived the wonderful life. Thank you so much for sharing your lovely parents and childhood home with us.


What's the bottle of hooch sitting on the table between them? B&B? Maybe a chocolate liqueur? It looks full, so maybe it just got unwrapped a few hours ago.

I thought

the crossword puzzle was supposed to be saved for your mom.


What struck me most about this picture was that it was after dinner in the evening and no one is watching TV. Nowadays, people don't think twice before flicking on the TV when it's time to relax in the living room, but how I remember my own childhood in the 1970s, when evenings, particularly around Christmas, were spent curled up with a book in the living room.

This has motivated me to try and get my own family to do the same -- but it will be a challenge, my father has quite a lead hand when it comes to the remote!

Beautiful, peaceful picture. Thank you for sharing.

A Beautiful Photo

So wonderful -- I could feel the warmth and quiet affection in that room. Merry Xmas.

Match game

I count five, maybe six glass ornaments that are identical to ones that have hung on my parents' tree every year since I can remember. My parents brought boxes of beautiful Christmas decorations with them when they made the move to L.A. from Detroit in 1963, including a special ornament my mother saved from her childhood, and that only she is allowed to hang up.

There isn't a silvery cherub's head hanging around the other side of that tree, is there?

Always love the tterrace pics.

Little birds

My parents had a short string of novelty lights from the 40s that had birds, Santas, drums, and a few other things. When twinkle lights came out my dad threw them out along with the bubble lights. Big mistake.

A Christmas Story

I wish your family had adopted me, because seeing all the pictures you've shared with us over time makes me realize there WAS at least one non-dysfunctional family in the world.

Thanks so much tterrace, and Merry Christmas to you and yours.

Ah, the Holiday Wind-down

This is not too different from my family's Christmas schedule. However, we'll hang out puting the Christmas jigsaw puzzle together and there will probably be a similar cordial to be enjoyed by all.

Remember how excited we were to have such a fast film? I remember being a little disappointed of the HUGE grain in the image when it came back from the lab but now I really enjoy the artistic fuzzy dream like quality that the film imparts to warm scenes like this.

Best of the season to all!

It's a wonderful life

Wow, what a great picture, tterrace. Wasn't this your dad's last Christmas? He seems to have had a wonderful life.

My mom used to grow African violets. I can remember the special pots she had back in the '70s and '80s, that consisted of a small plastic pot that sat on a lid, atop a reservoir not unlike a margarine tub. A wick went from the pot into the reservoir, and drew a liquid plant food and water mixture into the pot with the plant.


The Christmas notion of peace on earth seems fulfilled in this slice of your American family on Christmas Day, tterrace.. The thing I've learned about you and your family tterrace from the pictures you've shared with us on Shorpy is that you truly lived the American dream as you grew up and luckily you have appreciated that.

Merry Christmas to you and my other Shorpy family friends.

I Wish

Dave, I wish I had some of the old pictures as you do, with some of the same great memories of family. This is wonderful to see. Merry Christmas to you, and the same to your great Shorpy fans. Merry Christmas, all!

Wish we all had these memory captures

What a great picture and one I'm sure you treasure. I wish I had a camera for the moments I can remember with my parents at these important times. You were blessed in having the resources to capture these moments the rest of us can visualize but not present.

This represents all of us in some small way. Thanks for sharing.

And yet another

Tear comes to my eyes as my childhood seems to mimic the wonderful life's boundaries of tterace and my family.

Merry Christmas and God speed tterace.

SHORPY HISTORICAL PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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