Thursday 17 December 2015

Giving Annuals and Yearbooks as gifts: a Christmas tradition

I remember as a child looking forward to receiving an annual book at Christmas. I think my favourites were from Twinkle closely followed by my beloved My Little Pony. I also loved reading my brother's annuals from the Beano and Dandy. Reading about Dennis the Menace and Desperate Dan's exploits became an important part of my Christmas. I'm not sure if my brother was as keen on reading Twinkle...he might have had a sneaky peek when noone was looking.

I bought these Tiger Tim Annuals at a jumble sale a little while ago. One dates from 1924 and the other from 1954. It goes to show that giving Annuals as a gift at Christmas is nothing new.

tiger tim, annual, gift, chiristmas, tradition, 1924, front cover

tiger tim, annual, christmas, 1954, tradition, gift, yearbook, festive

It's amazing to think that over 90 years ago a child unwrapped the 1924 annual on Christmas Day morning. Because I purchased the two Annuals together at the jumble sale, they may have come from the same house. So there's a possibility the 1924 child grew up and maybe had a child of their own. In a bid to instill a love for Tiger Tim, they may have bought the 1954 Annual for their offspring. When you're a collector of vintage items, you often can't be sure of the back story, but I like to think this scenario could have been a possibility. After all, that's how most Christmas traditions are kept alive, by family members passing them down through the generations.

I think getting an Annual as a gift was seen as a special event for most children. You would see and read things in these books that didn't appear in the weekly comic. There was also something lovely about holding a hard backed version of your favourite comic too.

The 1924 Tiger Tim Annual is still bearing up pretty well, despite its age. I particularly like the colour illustrated plates dotted through the book. This endearing image of three children dressed as rabbits on their way to the Bunnies Ball in the snow is really lovely. I would love to have this as a framed print, but I would never tear a page out of this Annual!

tiger tim, annual, colour plate, illustration, snow, bunnies, bunnies ball

Most of the characters who appear in the Tiger Tim Annual are way before my time. But I'm sure children of that era loved "Peter and Olliboo" and the "Brownie Boys" to name just a couple...I'm sure they were the Peppa Pig or Bob the Builder of their day.

brownie boys, tiger tim, annual, 1924, gift, christmas, festive, tradition

peter, olliboo, tiger tim, annual, gift, christmas, tradition

The other thing I love about these vintage annuals is the adverts on the back and inside the book. There is one for Green's cake mix and Green's is still going strong today. There is also a Cadburys Car Race for children to play in the back of the Annual.

green's sponge mixture, advert, 1924, tiger tim, annual, back cover

cadburys car race, tiger tim, annual, christmas, gift

There is also an advert for the weekly "Playbox" and "Rainbow" comic books. The publisher obviously needed to engage young readers in Tiger Tim's adventures on a more regular basis.

playbox, rainbow, comic, advert, tiger tim, annual, christmas, 1924, sonny bear

Finally I love the little letter from Tiger Tim to his readers. I believe that Fleetway House on Farringdon Street in London has been a centre for book and magazine publishing for many decades.

Even in our technology saturated world, you can still buy annuals featuring today's generation of favourite characters. A quick search online reveals that most major retailers have Annuals in stock this year. I have seen Annuals for Peppa Pig, Ben and Holly, Match Football and even Strictly Come Dancing. It goes to show that some Christmas Traditions never go out of date...

This week I'm linking up with:

Share with Me over on

Pick 'N' Mix over on and


Anonymous said...

This is so cool, I love vintage children's books! I bought an old Enid Blighton 'big story book' recently from a charity shop, and I think I'm going to enjoy reading it to my daughter more than she will! #sharewithme


Jessica Powell said...

It's so great to find someone else who loves vintage annuals! I collect mostly teen annuals, so primarily 60s / 70s / 80s, but I do have lots of children's annuals too. The illustrations are so sweet in them. My baby daughter is obsessed with the old TV show Rainbow so I've bought a few annuals for her birthday. I can't wait to see her face when she sees the characters on a book. :D #picknmix

Happy Homebird said...

Adorable! I have a vintage book collection so I loved seeing these and the bunny ball illustration made me squeal. I must share some of my old books on my blog next year. I think my earliest annual was Twinkle and I had a Rupert the Bear one too. I have to say, I don't like the modern day ones as much at all, gone are the traditional illustrations.

Unknown said...

I used to love getting my Twinkle annual too and was heartbroken when I realised my parents had thrown out my collection of Twinkle comics and annuals! I didn't realise that annuals were around as early as this though, love that it's for girls AND. Boys! :) x

Me, You and Magoo said...

I'm glad it's not just me who loves Annuals! I think we all have a lot of affection for characters from our childhood. I think giving the Rainbow Annuals as a gift is such a lovely idea. I bought another two Annuals yesterday from my local charity was a Mandy Annual from 1970. I had completely forgotten about Mandy comic. My brother used to get Beano & Dandy from the newsagent & I would get Mandy & Bunty comic. Think I graduated from Twinkle to Mandy...

Stevie - A Cornish Mum said...

I used to love getting my annual every year as well, I have no idea which ones they were now though! :)

Thanks for linking up to #PicknMix and have a great Christmas!

Stevie x

Let's Talk Mommy said...

Oh I love a good vintage story book. We have lots at my parents house for the kids. Way better stories. Thanks for linking up to Share WIth Me. #sharewithme


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