Christmas: An Annual of Christmas Literature and Art

Recently we had a researcher ask if we had any copies of the annual publication “Christmas” in our collections.  “Christmas:  An Annual of Christmas Literature and Art” was published between 1931 and 1997 by the Augsburg Publishing House, now Augsburg Fortress (neither of which is related to Augsburg College).   The publication’s relationship to Morrison County is through artist Lee Mero, whose brother, Dr. Frank Mero, was a dentist in Little Falls, MN.  Lee produced illustrations for “Christmas.”

In checking our collections, we found that we have three copies of “Christmas,” one each from 1937, 1972 and 1974.  I got to wondering if Augsburg Fortress or maybe Augsburg College (before I knew there was no connection) had issues available for researchers to use, so I sent emails to both.  Bill Wittenbreer, Reference Librarian at Augsburg College, replied and told me that the publishing house and college are separate entities.  He said that there are a few of the “Christmas” annuals within the college’s collection, but “no duplicates to share.”  Kathleen Myers, Worship Arts Specialist of Augsburg Fortress, replied as well, saying, “The Christmas Annuals are now out of print.  We do not have any library that would be available to your researchers.”  She suggested checking eBay and other online sources for past issues.

This goes to show that sometimes items from popular culture can disappear quickly and may not even be available through an archive.  If any of our blog readers have past issues of “Christmas” that include illustrations by Lee Mero, we’d gladly take them for our collections.

Thanks to Bill and Kathleen for their speedy responses to my inquiries.

42 Replies to “Christmas: An Annual of Christmas Literature and Art”

  1. I have a 1938 Copy of “Christmas an annual of Christmas Literature & Art” in excellent condidtion with the exception of a slight musty smell, which I’m letting air out. There is
    a story illustated by Lee Mero in it.

    1. At Trinity Lutheran in Hovland,Mn. we are developing an archival locus for Christmas Annuals.We hope it will be a cache as well as a research treasure trove. We do not have the 1938 edition and would be pleased to acquire it.Could you help connect? Gratefully…Pr.Ham Muus

    2. We have found Vol 25 of An American Annual of Christmas Literature and Art. Lee Mero illustrated a map of Mary and Joseph’s journey to Egypt and back. Wondering what we can do with this and if it is of significance?

      1. Tan-

        We have a copy of this volume already, otherwise we would have suggested donating to us. There are plenty of collectors out there that may be interested in this volume–they are a beautiful find, to be sure! An antiques dealer or other secondhand shop may be able to find a good home for it if you can’t find one otherwise.

        Best of luck!

        Grace Duxbury
        Museum Assistant

  2. We would be most interested in seeing your copy of “Christmas,” J. S. Are you located close to the Weyerhaeuser Museum so that you could drop in and show us? If not, would you be willing to send us a photocopy of the article illustrated by Lee Mero? Our mailing address is PO Box 239, Little Falls, MN 56345.

    Thanks for letting us know that there are issues of “Christmas” still floating around out there.

    1. I just found around 100 different copies at a resale shop for $10. I think I got a pretty good deal

  3. I have a friend that asked me to look up 2 of these books that she happen to come by at a flea market.
    1. Volume eight,2nd edition dated 1938. Lee Mero helped with the Cover illustration.
    2. Volume thirty-six, 2nd edition dated 1966. Lee Mero illustrated “Christmas is for Collectors, too ( picture story) is in this one.
    Both books are in excellent condition with the exception of a slight musty smell as well and being aired out…
    This friend of mine is wondering about how much they would be valued at

  4. I have a friend that asked me to look up 2 of these books that she happen to come by at a flea market.
    1. Volume eight,2nd edition dated 1938. Lee Mero helped with the Cover illustration.
    2. Volume thirty-six, 2nd edition dated 1966. Lee Mero illustrated “Christmas is for Collectors, too ( picture story) is in this one.
    Both books are in excellent condition.
    This friend of mine is wondering about how much they would be valued at

  5. Hi, Shari – Unfortunately, we can’t provide appraisals on historic items due to IRS regulations and the nature of museums. If you’d like your books appraised, you will need to find a certified appraiser. We’ve got a webpage that lists a variety of organizations that will help you in this:

    Thanks for leaving a comment and letting us know about other Lee Mero artifacts out in the wide world.

    -Mary Warner

  6. I have Volumes 16 – 20, 33, and Yuletide (1949) all in very good condition. All have Mero illustrations (except for Yuletide) which are exquisite. I am willing to donate them for museum use if you can pay for the postage to send them to you.

  7. Hi, Dorothy – We’re interested in the magazines for our collection. We’ll contact you privately to make further arrangements. Thanks!

    Mary Warner

  8. I have volumes 19-21, dated 1949-1951. They are all # in real good shape. Would like to know the value of these how can i find out?

    1. April – We have volumes 19 and 20 in the museum collections. They are fabulous publications. We do not put monetary values on items in the collections. You could try contacting a local antique dealer or bookseller to see if they would do an appraisal for you. Good luck! Ann Marie

  9. I have volume 17 of Christmas copyright 1947. It is a second edition with Lee Mero illustrtions.ts

  10. Thank you for all the information you have here on Augsburg Publishing House. Yesterday, while browsing the “take it or leave it” table at the local town dump I picked up “Christmas, An American Annual of Christmas Literature and Art”, Vol.5, First Edition, number 295, (pristine condition) but unfortunately found no illustrations by Lee Mero. This has to be one of my best finds.

      1. I have quite a nice collection and some duplicates which I may be willing to sell. Let me know if you are interested.I dearly love these books and found the last copy 1997 for 25 cents in a local thrift shop in great condition. Will look through for Lee Mero illustrations. So few that I know are aware of these jewels. My sister has a collection also.

        1. Ellie, Thanks for thinking of us. Our collection is pretty full and we do not typically purchase items for the collections. They are beautiful publications. We hope you can find them a good home. Ann Marie

          1. I love them and would only think of parting with those that I have duplicates of… truly a best kept secret! So glad I started collecting them years ago when a friend gifted me with one. Thanks for your reply and the interest in preserving the anthologies

        2. Ellie, my mother has begun collecting these, and would love to speak to you about any extras you may have.

    1. Karen, We do already have the 1958 edition (volume 28) in the collection. Thank you for checking with us. MCHS Staff

    1. Hank, we would be happy to add the copies from 1952, 1955 and 1967 to our collection. Thank you for thinking of us! Staff at MCHS.

    2. Hank, if it is appropriate to mention here, I would be interested in the other issues you have that the museum isn’t interested in. We dig mid century stuff and love the 1961 issue we own.

    3. Hank, if you have any copies that have not been claimed please let me know. We were gifted several copies in the 70’s and 80’s and I treasure them every year. I was hoping to begin gifting them to others. I am sad to discover that they are no longer published and would be glad to collect any copies of this lovely publication.

  11. We have Volume 31, 1961. Bought it for $9.50 in an antique store in recent years. We love it; matches our mid century modern style we try to emulate. There is a picture story illustrated by Lee Mero, “Around the Glowing Hearth at Christmastime”, 8 pages worth of illustrations. We don’t want to part with the issue, but it’s in good condition and you had mentioned an interest in Lee Mero content. I guess I mainly wanted you to know it exists.

  12. We have Volumes 21, 24, 33, 35, and 47. If you do not have any of these volumes, I would be happy to send them. Since it would be a donation, I could always write it off if it was worth my time.

  13. I recently recieved a 1941 11th edition from my uncle that I think came from my grandparents house. It has a story by the name of “happiness for sale” illustrated by Lee Mero. I am not sure I want to part with it but am considering it. Are you still in need of this edition? And if I do decide to donate it where would I send it?

    1. Jennifer, We do already have the 1941 11th edition. They are a great publication. Thank you for thinking of us! MCHS Staff

  14. I realize this is a older post, but I thought I would comment that I have a Christmas annual Volume seven. Second edition. It’s really in remarkable condition other then a corner a little bent. Please let me know if this is something you would be interested in thanks.

    1. Thank you for your comment. We do not have Volume 7 and would be interested in adding it to our collection. If you would like to donate the volume and are unable to visit the museum yourself, you can send it to our mailing
      address (Morrison County Historical Society; The Charles A. Weyerhaeuser Memorial Museum; PO Box 239; Little Falls, MN 56345-0239). We would then
      send you a donation form to sign and return.
      If you have any questions or would like further information, let us know. Thank you for your interest!
      Staff at MCHS

      1. I just came across this site. I have issues of “Christmas”: 1932, 1934 – 1947. Some are in matching boxes. I am looking for someone who would like these in their library as they are too nice just to be thrown away. If you know of someone or organization that would like to have them, please let me know.
        Jimmy Lisle
        Roanoke, VA

        1. Hi Mr. Lisle,
          I would like to buy your 1932 and 1934 copy, if you are willing to sell them, as I have all but the 1932, 1933, and 1934 “Christmas.” Please let me know if this is something you would like to do. My email is
          Peace of Christ,
          Mrs. Irick

  15. I just found this treasure today. It was in the original gift box with the ribbon intact.
    It’s 1943. It’s truly in amazing condition -tiny fold in on front almost unnoticeable, looks
    Originally shipped that way.

    It does have Lee Mero as the Illustrator.
    I wish I could post pics and I even have a video of opening the packaging which is in a Red Cover With.
    Christmas tag (original on the cover!)

    1. How very appropriate, Andrea! An unboxing of a Christmas Annual in a gift box! Love it! Thanks for sharing your story!

      Mary Warner
      Executive Director

  16. I have a collection ranging from Volume XXII to what is labeled Fifty one. I hate to throw them away but have no time to auction. Happy to Donate if you pay for shipping. I live in New York and this came from my husbands home in Illinois.

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