1930’s Christmas Traditions with Georgie Lee
Thank you Luscious Literaries for having me here today, and thanks to everyone for stopping by. It’s the holiday season and as you bake cookies, shop for gifts and get ready for Santa, I want you to take a moment to stop and think about the 1930’s.
Yes, the 1930s, the decade of the Great Depression, the start of World War II and the golden age of Hollywood. It was also the decade that gave us many of the Christmas traditions and images that we hold dear today. To celebrate the release of my novel Studio Relations, a love story set in 1935 Hollywood, I want to share with you some of the Christmas traditions we have the 1930s to thank for.
Santa Claus – Santa Claus wasn’t invented in the 1930s, but the image of him as a fat man in a red suit that we all know and love was. In 1930, Coca-Cola’s advertising firm hired artist Haddom Sundblom to create an image of Santa Clause to hock the soda in its holiday ads. Drawing his inspiration from the classic poem ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas, Sundblom created the jolly elf with the belly like a bowl full of jelly and the red and white suit. The ad campaign was a success and his image of Santa Claus was forever cemented in our minds.
Christmas Cookies – Although the tradition of baking and giving Christmas cookies can be traced back centuries, the idea of leaving cookies out for Santa started in the 1930s. During the Great Depression, when it seemed like everyone didn’t have enough, leaving cookies was a good way for parents to encourage their children to share with others. It is a tradition that has stuck, even if some kids view the cookies as more of a bribe than a thank you for Santa.
Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer got his first shot at being Santa’s lead reindeer in 1939. The iconic reindeer with the light up nose was created by Robert L. May as part of a promotion for Montgomery Wards. Like the Coca-Cola Santa image, Rudolph went down in history.
Monopoly – Although the game isn’t exclusive to Christmas, I remember playing it with my cousins on many Christmas Eves and it is still a favorite gift to give and receive. Although different versions of the iconic game had been around since the turn of the 20th century, the final form we have all come to know and love was released by Parker Brother in 1935.
1935 is also the year my latest novel, Studio Relations is set. It is the story of Vivien Howard, a vivacious female director and Weston Holmes, a handsome studio executive who must overcome their professional differences to find love during Hollywood’s golden age. So, on Christmas Day, when Santa’s cookies are long gone, your marathon game of Monopoly is over and Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer is drifting out of the stereo for the last time, please consider curling up with a story set in the decade that brought us these wonderful Christmas traditions.
A dedicated history and film buff, Georgie Lee loves combining her passion for Hollywood, history and storytelling through romantic fiction. She began writing professionally at a small TV station in San Diego before moving to Los Angeles to work in the interesting but strange world of the entertainment industry.
Her traditional Regency, Lady’s Wager and her contemporary novella Rock ‘n’ Roll Reunion are both available from Ellora’s Cave Blush. Labor Relations, a contemporary romance of Hollywood is currently available from Montlake Romance. Mask of the Gladiator, a novella of ancient Rome is now available from Carina Press.
When not writing, Georgie enjoys reading non-fiction history and watching any movie with a costume and an accent. Please visit www.georgie-lee.com for more information about Georgie and her novels.
Buy link for Studio Relations – http://www.amazon.com/Studio-Relations-ebook/dp/B008RBSNYY/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1354680230&sr=8-2&keywords=studio+relations
By Georgie Lee
Vivien Howard hasn’t forgiven Weston Holmes for almost derailing her career five years ago. Female directors in 1930s Hollywood are few and far between, and a man who coasts by on his good looks and family connections can’t possibly appreciate what it took for her to get to where she is. But when the studio head puts Weston in charge of overseeing Vivien’s ambitious Civil War film, she realizes she has a choice: make nice with her charismatic new boss or watch a replacement director destroy her dream.
Weston Holmes doesn’t know much about making movies, but he knows plenty about money. And thanks to the Depression, ticket sales are dangerously low. The studio can’t afford a flop—or bad press, which is exactly what threatens to unfold when an innocent encounter between Weston and Vivien is misconstrued by the gossip rags. The only solution? A marriage of convenience that will force the bickering duo into an unlikely alliance—and guide them to their own happy Hollywood ending.