Forget sugar plums! Here's a pleasant vision, indeed! Less doleful by far than our Christmas Eve item but also by Thomas Nast, from the December 23, 1882, Supplement to Harper's Weekly comes a dash of "Christmas Flirtation."
Still, although I do so with regret, I am compelled in the interests of historical accuracy to report that a somewhat disheartening story goes with this picture, as we learn from the Macculloch Hall Historical Museum of Morristown, New Jersey:
In Christmas Flirtation Nast portrayed his eldest child, Julia, as a sensual Victorian woman standing suggestively beneath mistletoe. Nast hoped that an advantageous marriage for Julia would secure his social standing in America. Sadly, Julia never married and died an alcoholic spinster in her father’s home.
Notwithstanding this world's sadnesses large and small, this Fool wishes you and yours a most Merry and Festive Christmas. And, because this year the occasions coincide at sundown, he wishes any number of others of you -- and most particularly the families Coencas and Hoch -- a Happy Hanukkah. And look! With thanks to Google Images and the White House, I have even found an illustration of . . . The National Hanukkah Bush!