Sunday, December 9, 2012

Greetings!


A few months ago, when I was visiting my mom, I asked her about my great-great grandfather Abbott who made his way to the US from Scotland. Before the conversation ended, my mom pulled out a box of mementos that belonged to my Grammy, Grandpa Abbott’s granddaughter. Among the ephemera we discovered a few Christmas cards.  They dated from the 1920s and were just beautiful. I am a crafter, and I studied digital design so I appreciate the graphics and fonts on the old-fashioned cards. I also enjoyed seeing my great-grandmother’s signature and greeting.

Happy Christmas!
The old cards made me wonder when the tradition of greeting cards started. Henry Cole commissioned J.C. Horsley to paint the first printed Christmas card in 1843 in England. Then in the 1860s when color printing made the greetings more affordable, the Victorians shared cards with family and friends. In the United States, Louis Prang began printing cards in 1874 using eight to twenty colors. The heart-warming tradition caught on and now almost two and a half billion Christmas cards are printed in America. (Jock Elliot, Inventing Christmas, How our Holiday Came to Be)

Personally, I’ve had a love/hate relationship with Christmas cards. I love to receive them, but I haven’t always enjoyed sending them. In lean years, they were an added expense. Some years the time just got away from me. But in recent years, I’ve made an effort to not only send, but to create the image on the front. By designing my own card, with the help of my talented daughter, I feel that I’m sending a small gift-from-the-heart to every recipient, and now I enjoy the whole process of sending cards. I’ve also gotten onto the habit of praying for the person or family who receives my greeting. What was once a chore has become a joy.

What is your take on Christmas cards?

11 comments:

  1. I, too, have a love/hate relationship with them--for much the same reasons! They are a nice way to keep in contact with the wider circle of family and friends.

    It's interesting, sometimes I can pick personalities and how close we are just by the style of card and number of words within the card, all without seeing a signature or postmark.

    Thanks for sharing this snippet of history. Very interesting. :) All the best as you write for His glory.

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    1. Thank you. I enjoy Christmas history. That is funny how you can tell who the card is from before you read the signature. I think I can do that, too.

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    2. Hope you have a wonderful Christmas!

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  2. Hi Penny,
    I send out some 60-odd Christmas cards every year. Lately, I haven't been getting them out until right before Christmas because a lot has been going on in my household.

    I have to send a form letter with news for the year, as much as I hate the form letter, because I have a spinal cord injury and my ability to write by hand is limited.

    My husband and I do sign each card. But again I have to use pre-printed return labels and address labels. I do the address labels using mail merge in Word.

    I have reached that point in life where more relatives are gone than are left. We were unable to have children so I feel it is important to stay in touch with those we love, as well as old friends, even if it is only once a year.

    I don't like electronic Christmas cards either. It's better than nothing.

    For What It's Worth.

    Carolyn

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    1. Hi Carolyn-I use pre-printed return labels, too. I agree, it is a good way to contact people at least once a year. My best friend from high school and I keep in touch that way. Have a Merry Christmas.

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  3. I have some 50s cards I love and keep.

    Wonderful article.

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    1. Thanks, Nike. I just love the old cards. They have so much style that we don't see anymore. Hope you have a wonderful Christmas!

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  4. i really enjoy the ones that i know are made by the person who sent them. but i also appreciate the thought that someone would include me on their list. i enjoy sending them, but i can't do it without writing a personal note in each, so it is a time consuming task, but i think it is a worthwile.

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    1. I loved your card this year and I always enjoy your notes. :)

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  5. Thanks, Penny. I dread having to address about 60 cards every year. I used printed return addresses. For awhile, I got them signed but I found I still felt it important to put a personal touch on it, so I quit that. I LOVE, LOVE going to the mail box each day and finding something besides bills & junk. Nice post.

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    1. I agree, a personal touch is nice. It is great to get a card in the mail. I love that, too.

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