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A running theme for Galaxy Science Fiction Magazine was having Ed Emsh paint a thematic holiday cover for the December issue. The only two years this tradition was skipped were 1952 and 1955. Galaxy was the most steadfast in its covers; Astounding did several during the ’50s from artists Kelly Freas and H.R. van Dongen’s covers for January issues, and F&SF had a few in the early ’60s. Given the time of year, it seemed properly thematic to showcase these.