Tag Archive | merry christmas

Dear Santa, Please Pause Here

This special post doesn’t have anything to do with Reed Brothers Dodge history, but it does have a lot to do with the founder’s daughter, Mary Jane (Reed) Gartner. In her younger years, Lewis Reed’s daughter (my mother) was a very talented ceramic and china painter. She painted the ceramic tray of Santa (below) for me Christmas of 2000 and entered it in the Montgomery County Agricultural Fair. Seventy-eight years old at the time, she won First Premium Prize. The tray is currently displayed in my dining room china cabinet and evokes memories of my childhood and makes me happy every time I look at it. I hope you enjoy this special post.

“Dear Santa, Please Pause Here” 2000 oil painting on ceramic tile by Mary Jane (Reed) Gartner.

Some background about the image

Have you ever heard of an artist named Haddon Sundblom? No? Well you’ve seen his work. You could say he’s one of the most famous character designers ever. He created the iconic Santa we all know and love. The image, “Santa, Please Pause Here” was originally created by Haddon Sundblom who was commissioned by Coca-Cola company to develop advertising images using Santa Claus. He may have been paid as much as $1,000 per painting—a lot of money at that time (you could buy a car for $700). Based on Clement Clark Moore’s descriptions of St. Nick in “’Twas the Night Before Christmas,” Sundblom’s Santa Claus emphasized the rosy cheeks and snow white beard along with the now familiar suit and hat. A wide leather belt and brown boots completed the look.

From 1931 to 1964, Sundblom’s creations for Coca-Cola had Santa pictured as doing everything from delivering toys (and playing with them!), pausing to read letters, visiting with children who had waited up to meet him on Christmas Eve, raiding the refrigerators of several homes, warming his feet by the fire, and other activities — always with a bottle of Coke in hand or nearby. The Sundblom Santa became so popular that the images spread from print ads onto billboards, posters, calendars, plush dolls, and more.

Below, is the original Coca-Cola Santa Claus painting and sketches by Haddon Sundblom.

In 2001, Haddon Sundblom’s Santa Claus was creatively brought to life in a Coca-Cola ad video tribute, animated by the Academy Award-winning animator Alexandre Petrov.

So the next time you envision Santa Claus and maybe even have a simultaneous unexplained craving for a Coca-Cola, please give a wink and nod to the artist Haddon Sundblom. He was instrumental in defining the image of Santa Claus for us all.

Wishing the very best of the holiday season to everyone, and of course, Merry Christmas!

Reference: Coca-Cola.com

Merry Christmas and Best Wishes for a Happy New Year!

Reed Brothers Dodge Showroom, 2007

Reed Brothers Dodge Showroom, 2007

I would like to wish everyone who finds time in their hectic schedule to visit this blog a very Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year in 2020. I appreciate all of you for your continued support and making Reed Brothers Dodge History one of the places you visit during the course of your day.

Wherever your holiday celebration takes you, I wish all of you a safe, relaxing time spent with family and friends.

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!
Jeanne Gartner
Blog Author

Merry Christmas & Best Wishes for 2019!

Reed Brothers Dodge Showroom, 2007

Reed Brothers Dodge Showroom, 2007

I would like to wish everyone who finds time in their hectic schedule to visit this blog a very happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year in 2019. I appreciate all of you for your continued support and making Reed Brothers Dodge History one of the places you visit during the course of your day.

Wherever your holiday celebration takes you, I wish all of you a safe, relaxing time spent with family and friends.

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!
~Jeanne Gartner
Blog Author

A Glimpse of Christmas Past in the Reed Family Home

Lewis Reed Family home

Lewis Reed’s craftsman-style home, looking rather solitary on a snowy day. Photo by Lewis Reed.

I am flooded today with memories of my grandparents’ house. As a kid, it was a magical place. It was not a huge house, a modest Sears and Roebuck craftsman-style home built in 1926. Some of my earliest memories are visits to this home as I spent a lot of time there during my childhood. While looking through my grandfathers Christmas photographs, I started making some notes about some of the arbitrary things I could remember about them. And eventually some of that turned into this blog post.

George Washington snowman

Snow on the ground means it’s time for building a (presidential) snowman. This photo is Lewis Reed and the snowman he built of George Washington.

The following photos from Lewis Reed’s collection are a fabulous glimpse into Christmas inside the Reed family home at 301 North Frederick Avenue in Gaithersburg, Maryland. A lot of people assume that the traditions we follow have looked pretty much the same since their inception but, in most cases, like everything else in life, Christmas has definitely changed over the years.

The trees were big back then and always fresh. They went right to the ceiling and were very wide. Early Christmas trees were generally fastened onto a flat board surrounded with fence-rails, snow villages and carpeted with cotton blankets of snow. Lots of tinsel and strings of popcorn garnish the trees.

vintage Christmas tree

A small snow scene with what appears to be a miniature church is arranged at the foot of the Christmas tree. A popcorn garland adorns the tree. Photo by Lewis Reed

vintage Christmas tree

No room for a star on the top of this tree! And just look at those big Santa and Angel dolls. A miniature church with picket fence is arranged at the base of the tree. Photo by Lewis Reed

Below are photos of Lewis Reed’s snow village set up under the Christmas tree decorated with vintage ornaments, tinsel, and lights. I used to have a ton of fun helping my grandfather set up the miniature landscapes with the varied figures, little houses, and trees at Christmastime each year. It seemed like a holiday village right out of a storybook.

1900s Christmas village

A rustic picket fence is used to set off the village display. Photo by Lewis Reed

The snow villages were set up in Lewis Reed’s basement on top of a big table beneath a small Christmas tree. He made the snow scenes entirely by hand using wire-covered cardboard and balled up paper to make hills and pathways. The little houses and figurines would fit into the landscape with cotton ‘snow’ all around; and lights would be wired underneath. It was just amazing to me.

1900s Christmas village

Little houses, churches, fences, trees, and pathways were added to the scene. Some of the houses have charming light effects in the windows. Photo by Lewis Reed

These Christmas villages were precursors of the Holiday Villages that were made popular by Dept. 56 that you see today.

1900s Christmas village

Old-fashioned lights can be seen on the tree, along with lit windows in the houses. Photo by Lewis Reed

Looking back on these memories now in my adult mind is like watching my favorite Christmas movie. They are memories of my grandparents house at Christmastime, and are ones I will always treasure.

Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays!

Merry Christmas

Reed Brothers Dodge Showroom, 2007

I would like to take this time to wish all the readers who find time in their hectic schedule to visit this blog a very Happy Holiday Season. Wherever your holiday celebration takes you, I wish all of you a safe, relaxing time spent with family and friends.

Business longevity is something to celebrate and share, and it’s an absolute honor and privilege for me to share the history of Reed Brothers Dodge with all of you!

To all of you who have stopped in to visit , whatever your faith, wherever you live – Happy Holidays,

Jeanne Gartner
Blog Author

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