TIME christmas

Joyful and Eerie Photos of Christmas in Black and White

TIME's photo editors select a series of joyful and mysterious photos of Christmas

Every year around Christmas time, I find myself yearning for heavy traffic in the city—to sit in a car, trailing colored lights with no end in sight. Every year around Christmas time, I don’t mind the silly displays of opulence and greed, or the flashing red and green abusing my eyes. Christmas is that special time of the year, often described with, and in color, but hardly ever in black and white.

Seeing Christmas in a black-and-white photograph feels like Christmas in a room: so constrained within a frame, within eye sight and the boundaries of belonging—so exclusive to the ugliness of the world. Whether we look at these photographs with joy, fear or plain mystery (perhaps even misery), Christmas in black and white brings haunting beauty.

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