At the New York Public Library’s Map Division, they have several Christmas related map-related “cartifacts”–ephemera imbued with the essence of maps. Many of the cartifacts are duplicates. Some of them are lame and some of them off reflect cultural issues of their time.
“Visually the cards fall into a few broad categories, such as Santa plotting his route or pictorial maps of fantastical festive places. (Greetings from Toddysboro, Wreathsville, and Giftport.) “A whole lot of them are boring,” Cordes says, including bland facsimiles or generic, ’70s-era examples featuring kids hamming it up next to maps. But some cards depict motifs that are reflections of their time. One from the ’60s shows Santa jetting off to deliver presents on a rocket, a nod to an age captivated by Sputnik, the Moon landing, and the space race. Another batch, spanning the late ’60s through the ’80s, testifies to swelling interest in globalization. In these, wreaths encircle globes, greetings come in multiple languages, and a genial handshake bridges continents.”