Eve Babitz, Eve’s Hollywood
“Hollywood, the master of spun-out fantasies, gave up on Christmas with hardly a shrug. A 70 degree Christmas morning put us out of sorts; try saying ‘Merry Christmas’ to someone watering his lawn in shorts. Hollywood has attempted and even succeeded with the impossible many times, but Christmas has never been one of them.”
Eve Babitz, Eve’s Hollywood
Image Credit: Naked Hollywood
“[Andy Warhol would ask] ‘Brig, when is your mother going to have her portrait done by me?’ And I’d say, ‘Andy, my mother would never have her portrait done by you. I don’t want a portrait by you. I can’t stand them. I wouldn’t have one of your portraits hanging on my wall if you paid me a million dollars!’ Maybe that’s why we were so close, because I used to tell him the truth. I never liked his art! He used to offer me his art for Christmas, and I told him I’d rather he get me a washing machine and dryer. And he did! Wasn’t I a fool?”
Brigid Berlin, via Kevin Sessums, I Left It on the Mountain
“One Christmas, David O. Selznick’s present to me was a set of imported Lowestoft, a two-hundred-fifty-piece set from Carole Stupell in New York. In disfavor the next year, I received a five-dollar geranium plant. The price tag still on it.”
Joan Fontaine, No Bed of Roses: An Autobiography
See also: "Simon Says ... Merry Christmas"
Image Credit: Confessions of a Window Dresser
“Just when we were ready to begin lunch, she went and stood by the long sunny window. ‘Do you think we could draw the curtains and light the candles?’ she asked. Was she joking? Of all the outrageous, spoiled, childish requests, I thought. ‘Of course!’ I said, to conceal my irritation. I shut out my precious New York winter sunshine and proceeded to light all the candles on the mantel, on the table, and in the chandelier. Because of Greta Garbo, we had our caviar and vodka and cold-turkey Christmas lunch by candlelight in the middle of a brilliant Christmas Day.”
Billy Baldwin, Billy Baldwin Remembers
Image Credit: Persona Grata
“Anybody who talks about California hedonism has never spent a Christmas in Sacramento.”
Joan Didion, “Staking Out California,” New York Times, June 10, 1979
Image Credit: Private, Photographs by Alison Jackson
The Duke and Duchess of Windsor sent out an annual personalized holiday card. The above example featured two of their beloved dogs, both of whom are occasionally referenced in their correspondence to each other. See The Secret File on the Duke of Windsor by Michael Bloch. Other years featured illustrations of their famous homes. Some examples are located here and here.
“I never understood why anybody would want to be an artist when they could be a window dresser."
Wit and irony take a holiday during the Holidays, even in New York. However, beyond the Rockettes ... beyond the inflatable cartoon characters of the Macy's Parade ... beyond the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree ... lurk the droll, often sarcastic, Barney's Christmas windows. Many from the 1980s and 1990s, the work of Barney's Creative Director Simon Doonan, are depicted in his excellent illustrated memoir, Confessions of a Window Dresser.