It’s Christmas season, and if you had been in Sun Valley sixty years ago, you might have been invited to sing Christmas carols out of one of these booklets. The inside front cover says, “Wishing You A Merry Christmas/May Good Health and Happiness/Be With You/Throughout the New Year, Compliments of Union Pacific Railroad.”
Other than the beautiful front cover photo and inside front cover greeting, there is absolutely nothing in this booklet to connect it with the Union Pacific Railroad. The first page with a Christmas carol says the booklet was published by Garrison House, a calendar maker of that era. The inside back cover has the words to Clement Moore’s Night Before Christmas. The booklets were obviously published to Union Pacific’s order by Garrison House, and no doubt other companies issued similar booklets with different covers.
Except for the inside and outside covers, this booklet of Christmas carols is identical to the previous one. Instead of the Night Before Christmas, the inside back cover republishes the famous “Yes, Virginia” letter. It seems likely that these two booklets were published in successive years and, despite the Sun Valley covers, they were probably given to shippers and agents throughout the UP system, not just to Sun Valley guests.
Note that the second cover simply shows the same scene on front and back but one of them is flipped. There are so many possible landscape photos that could have been used of Sun Valley in the winter that this one seems to lack creativity. But maybe someone thought that flipping a photo was cute. I’m guessing that the first one shown above came first as the cover is much nicer and my experience is that people put the most effort into the first of a series. But I could be wrong about that.