Around this time of year, people enjoy the classic tradition of sending holiday greeting cards to one another. The LEGO Group, too, has dabbled in making Christmas cards over the years. Naturally, they’re LEGO-themed. From the 1980s through the 1990s, the UK LEGO Club mailed out Christmas cards to each of their members. The LEGO Group has also issued holiday greeting cards for its employees. For at least the past two decades, LEGO has included a card with each annual employee gift building set. They even designed cards for employees back in the 1980s. These cards often featured elaborate models designed by LEGO master builders that are quite interesting. Suit up and hop into our sleigh, because we are taking you on a nostalgia-filled trip through some of LEGO’s most memorable “Brickmas” cards.
Early Employee Christmas Cards:
To celebrate the LEGO Group’s 50th anniversary in 1982, the company designed a card paying tribute to the company’s history (below, left). It features early wooden and plastic LEGO toys along with more contemporary LEGO building sets. The photographs on the card were also prominently featured in the books World of LEGO Toys and 50 Years of Play. The card on the right was released in 1986 and features brick-built a Madonna and Child church window mosaic. Framed within a window with pointed arch, transparent colored bricks are used to great effect.
UK LEGO Club Christmas Cards:
A snowy day in LEGOLAND sounds like a dream come true. The LEGO Club members are wished a merry Christmas with an image of snow-covered models in LEGOLAND Billund’s Miniland. Taking into account scale and the depth of snow, if this were a life-size depiction, it would likely be a contender for snowstorm of the century!
A festive-looking elf watches over his flock of birds. Even by today’s standards, those are shining examples of LEGO birds using only simple elements. The entire scene feels magical thanks to the added realism of a pine tree, snow, and starlit night. If you look closely at the elf, he appears to be wearing a pair of Dutch clogs.
A group of eager children peer into the window of toy shop in this massive brick-built scene. While not obvious right away, many of the brick-built toys represent LEGO’s early wooden toys. The sailboat and yellow convertible were available in the late 1940s; meanwhile, the toy soldiers likely represent the wooden stacking soldiers LEGO produced in the 1950s. The soldier on the left is frowning, saddened that no one has purchased him yet.
This card gives “Elf on a Shelf” a whole new meaning. As the squad of elves line the fireplace with gifts, the flame gives off a warm glow. All of the elves are sporting clogs, just like their bird-loving friend from 1983.
When they aren’t making toys, elves enjoy partaking in other wintry pastimes like ice skating, skiing off of rooftops, and building snowmen that look they are being robbed? (Seriously, what is it doing?) The building itself is fairly basic by today’s standard but looks nice within the context of this scene. The frozen pond is a mirror, which helps catch the one elf’s reflection.
Here’s a card with some great composition. Forced perspective is used to great effect, with large models of snow-covered trees and rabbits in the foreground and minifigure-scale buildings placed directly behind them. Santa and his reindeer look just as whimsical.
Here’s a tree I wouldn’t mind putting in my living room, and its brick-built branches are adorned with adorable LEGO Christmas ornaments! Even the garland is strung with LEGO pieces, including several trans-clear Technic pulleys. Trans-clear pulleys would have been hard to find back then; up until that point, they had only appeared in two sets.
We finish things off with an artistic rendering of LEGO Santa and his sleigh full of toys flying through the city. This particular card is not dated, but I would guess it is from the mid to late-1990s. The first set to include a similar looking Santa figure was the Santa Claus & Sleigh polybag, released in 1995. Who remembers having one of those?
Images from the collection of the author, Matthew Hocker