In my experience, Christmas cards with photos usually depict parents and children, or just the children in the household. This is only the second one I’ve seen showing an older woman alone. I discovered it on the Digital Public Library of America, which linked to the local archive in South Carolina where the photo is held. The record included a lot of information about Birdie L. Parsons (1873-1958), and it was easy to find more about her family on line.
Birdie was a widow living in the small South Carolina town of Andrews. Her husband, Arthur King Parsons, was a local business man who had died several years before this photo was taken.
On the back of the card she wrote “taken on my 71st birthday.” The card has no date, but since she was born in mid October of 1873, simple arithmetic gives us the year 1944. She dressed up for her birthday, with a hat and a corsage. However, her coat was not the fashionable knee length of the war years. Either she was very thrifty or uninterested in current styles. But if she kept the coat just a few years longer, the length would have been in fashion again!
Today in the United States some conservative Christian commentators oppose the use of “Season’s Greetings” or “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas.” But this card shows that Season’s Greetings has been in use for quite some time. (Birdie, by the way, was a Methodist.)
Let me offer Season’s Greetings to all of you!