Christmas postcard, 1919
The card above was sent to the Lees in 1919 and is a fairly typical example of a Christmas postcard of the era. The designs like this one that have a window box showing a winter scene, a tree or other decoration at the front, outside the frame, and a message of the season at the bottom can be found on many cards from about 1915 and into the 1920s. Another popular custom of the 1910s to 1920s was handmade cards that also had ribbon or foil decorations. Those cards were generally delivered by hand rather than mailed due to their delicate construction.
Snow scenes seem logical on Christmas cards in the northern hemisphere since it is winter here in December and Santa Claus is said to live at the North Pole where it is always snowy but the first winter scenes on cards appeared in England as a remembrance of a particularly hard winter in 1836.
Norwegian Christmas postcard, 1939
This second card, sent to Petra Lee in 1939 by her friends, Inger, Kaisa and Jenny who lived in Bergen, Norway shows a girl in folk costume carrying a lantern in one hand and what looks like a pail in the other as she walks toward the brightly lit houses. The artist, Nilly Heegaard, has signed the picture at the lower left. I tried to see if there was any biographical information about Heegaard but was unable to find anything. Perhaps some of the Norwegian cousins are familiar with her work and will let us know more about her.
Norwegian 20 øre lion stamp
It is a little hard to believe that postcards took a one-cent stamp in the United States and were an inexpensive way to send a greeting while today stamps are nearing 50 cents and boxed cards can cost several dollars.