December 04, 2020

These vintage photos show San Antonio's Christmas spirit

San Antonio loves the holiday season — and from what we can see in these historic photos, it has for a long time. Here's a look at how the Alamo City celebrated Christmas back in the day.

Photos courtesy of UTSA Libraries Digital Collections.
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While this photo is undated, you can see the city's official Christmas tree on display in Alamo Plaza.
While this photo is undated, you can see the city's official Christmas tree on display in Alamo Plaza.
Rudolph Gras decorates a 50 year old cedar tree near the zoo for the holiday season. The best part? He planted the tree himself in 1917.
Rudolph Gras decorates a 50 year old cedar tree near the zoo for the holiday season. The best part? He planted the tree himself in 1917.
Shirley Ann George showed off her missing two front teeth — just like the song! — for the San Antonio Light in 1948. According to the paper, she was '"practicing the song for Santa Claus' visit."
Shirley Ann George showed off her missing two front teeth — just like the song! — for the San Antonio Light in 1948. According to the paper, she was '"practicing the song for Santa Claus' visit."
Joske's didn't play around with its holiday decorations. Just take this giant Santa Claus display as proof.
Joske's didn't play around with its holiday decorations. Just take this giant Santa Claus display as proof.
Ca. 1940 - Christmas at La Villita entrance gate at Villta Street and S. Presa. (UTSA Special Collections)
Ca. 1940 - Christmas at La Villita entrance gate at Villta Street and S. Presa. (UTSA Special Collections)
Maria Moreno was photographed carrying armloads of corn shucks by the San Antonio Light in 1948. No doubt preparing for an epic tamalada!
Maria Moreno was photographed carrying armloads of corn shucks by the San Antonio Light in 1948. No doubt preparing for an epic tamalada!
Dec 23, 1936 - 79 years ago today in the San Antonio Light. Photo shows A. G. Sherrer, 1235 Highland Blvd., with elaborate Christmas scene he constructed in his home for his son Jerry. Three electric trains and a complete station help make up this scene.(UTSA Special Collection)
Dec 23, 1936 - 79 years ago today in the San Antonio Light. Photo shows A. G. Sherrer, 1235 Highland Blvd., with elaborate Christmas scene he constructed in his home for his son Jerry. Three electric trains and a complete station help make up this scene.(UTSA Special Collection)
The Texas Top Hands and Santa Claus provided the entertainment for the annual Newsboys' Christmas Dinner in Crystal Ballroom of the Gunter Hotel in 1948.
The Texas Top Hands and Santa Claus provided the entertainment for the annual Newsboys' Christmas Dinner in Crystal Ballroom of the Gunter Hotel in 1948.
Santa made the rounds at the Newsboys' Christmas Dinner, probably finding out just what everyone wanted to find under the tree on Christmas morning!
Santa made the rounds at the Newsboys' Christmas Dinner, probably finding out just what everyone wanted to find under the tree on Christmas morning!
Turns out Santa Claus can rock out on the drums, too!
Turns out Santa Claus can rock out on the drums, too!