PHOTOS: Vintage photos from past holidays capture the timeless spirit of the season

Visitors take in the windows of Rike's department store in 1952.  Frederik Rike, owner of the Rike-Kumler Co., moved the Christmas window displays from New York City to downtown Dayton in 1945. DAYTON DAILY NEWS / WRIGHT STATE UNIVERSITY SPECIAL COLLECTIONS

Credit: Contributed photo

Combined ShapeCaption
Visitors take in the windows of Rike's department store in 1952. Frederik Rike, owner of the Rike-Kumler Co., moved the Christmas window displays from New York City to downtown Dayton in 1945. DAYTON DAILY NEWS / WRIGHT STATE UNIVERSITY SPECIAL COLLECTIONS

Credit: Contributed photo

We know that this year’s holiday celebrations may not be the same as those we remember most fondly from the past.

These vintage black-and-white photographs from our archives capture the spirit of giving and family traditions that we cherish about the holiday season.

Combined ShapeCaption
Mark and Roberta Weitz light the first candle on the menorah with their son Craig in 1979. DAYTON DAILY NEWS ARCHIVE

Mark and Roberta Weitz light the first candle on the menorah with their son Craig in 1979. DAYTON DAILY NEWS ARCHIVE

Combined ShapeCaption
Mark and Roberta Weitz light the first candle on the menorah with their son Craig in 1979. DAYTON DAILY NEWS ARCHIVE

During World War II, the citizens of Springfield were asked to drop coins into a kettle to “share your Christmas with a service man.” The generosity would be used “to send presents to the boys that have left the city.”

ExploreFind your dream Christmas tree at one of these local farms

A young boy dives into a slice of pumpkin pie at Dayton’s annual Beerman Thanksgiving dinner. The event was founded in 1969 by Arthur Beerman, the founder of Elder-Beerman Stores Corp., who believed strangers should be treated like family.

Memories are made as families gather to light the menorah each night during Hanukkah, kitchens filled with the aroma of steaming latkes and jam-filled sufganiyot.

Generations of children have dressed as shepherds and angels to gather around a manger with a baby doll tucked inside at live nativity scenes.

Combined ShapeCaption
Visiting a live nativity is a tradition for many families. In 1986 Traci Leatherman was an angel, Liesl Roeder was Mary and Richard Harpring was Joseph at One Way Farm in Fairfield. JOURNAL- NEWS ARCHIVE

Visiting a live nativity is a tradition for many families. In 1986 Traci Leatherman was an angel, Liesl Roeder was Mary and Richard Harpring was Joseph at One Way Farm in Fairfield. JOURNAL- NEWS ARCHIVE

Combined ShapeCaption
Visiting a live nativity is a tradition for many families. In 1986 Traci Leatherman was an angel, Liesl Roeder was Mary and Richard Harpring was Joseph at One Way Farm in Fairfield. JOURNAL- NEWS ARCHIVE

Thinking of others has been a tradition for the Springfield Rotary Club for nearly a century. Since 1923, the club has thrown a Christmas party for children with disabilities bringing joy – and a visit from Santa – to hundreds of local children.

Though the pandemic has changed the way we will observe the holidays, the spirit of the season endures.

ExploreWORTH THE DRIVE: Explore life-size gingerbread houses and thousands of twinkling holiday lights in Columbus

About the Author