Wednesday, December 4, 2013

What a Christmas Card Means

Peter Bruegel the Elder

I just ordered my holiday cards yesterday. The last few years I have ordered from Minted, a Northern California company and been happy with the quality and the speed in which they come. One of my favorite things about this time of year is getting the cards in the mail each day! Even as a little girl I was so excited to open all the red and green envelopes and then help my mom pin them to a satin ribbon to admire all month. The little glamour girl in me loved the glittery ones and I'd run my hands over them to feel the sparkly bits.



When we were young, my mother always chose Christmas cards with snow scenes. Ice skating scenes always reminded her of her childhood in Wisconsin. I too grew to love them and have a special fondness for snow scenes. This one above from Peter Bruegel, the Elder, reminds me of another Bruegel print that hung in our home as kids.. This one is from 1565! Can you imagine they were ice skating (probably ice sliding) back then? Love that!

Theodor Severin Kittelson

I'm rambling here, but this got me thinking about Christmas cards. Do you know the first ones were sent about 1840s in Victorian England? Most people couldn't afford them. Later in the 1850s someone had the idea to print ones with a snow scene or robin picture. They were pre-printed with a greeting inside to save the sender time. That way more could be sent!


One of the oldest known Christmas cards from England 1843. The writer Henry Cole commissioned this card from an artist because he was too busy to write notes. It is hand colored.
Apparently it was controversial because a child is having a sip of wine here!

I try to write a note on my cards. If they are going far away, even a longer note. That is just me. I think it's nice.  I don't fault others who don't.  I still love getting a card, personal message or not. Of course the photo ones are just a blast. I think almost everyone does these now. It's great to see people's families and how they have grown over the years.

 Some older folks still send regular cards and I treasure those too and the time they take to write them! It's also nice to have your own photo cards to look back on. I really love doing that and seeing how much we all have changed…Well some of us- I'm so much older.:(


Some of our wonky cards from past years. I usually prefer outdoors or vacation pics. They aren't professional ever as you can obviously see. Usually my husband has the camera on auto-shot. I love impromptu and casual.


Many people now like to print out a note about their year. We don't do this, but I love to hear how old kids are, if they have graduated, where you've traveled or if you've moved, and the like. I think you have to be careful about sharing job promotions or honor rolls and the like.. It's all about sending good tidings, not keeping up with the Joneses.

 It takes me a few nights to write all mine, but I make some tea or a cappuccino, put on some holiday tunes and make it fun. I think it's such a lovely tradition. A card says to family and friends far away you haven't forgotten them. For friends nearby, it says I'm fond of you and appreciate your friendship- basically, thanks for being in my life.




Some send New Year's cards instead. So smart! Last week I received a beautiful Thanksgiving photo card from a friend and I love that idea as well!

What's your card tradition? Do you do them or not?  Many people are too busy some years or have totally stopped altogether. They also can be expensive.

 I never worry who left me out or didn't do it. I just appreciate the ones that come. They are like a little gift each day and another reason to love this season!


Cheers!

Kim



14 comments :

  1. Great post. Loved all your family shots!

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  2. Great post. Loved all your family shots!

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  3. Love your photo cards Kim! I feel the same way you do. I love getting as well as sending cards. Every year I seem to get fewer though as people seem to be too busy or just don't wish to do it anymore. I love getting the bright and sparkly cards and love to hang them up!

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    1. Kelley, Thanks! Me too. I was so excited I got a bunch today.. Hope you are enjoying the season! xo

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  4. I definitely try to do Christmas cards, but as social media has increased, I've cut my list a little bit. I used to send like 200, but now I'll only do about 50. I kind of miss the tradition though, but I'e cut down for expense plus people who used to not keep in touch with me are now on Facebook with me. So, I really keep my list more personal now.

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    1. Yes, I agree Leigh it can get costly. I have cut back a bit by sending postcards vs full folding cards. Less paper and they are a bit cheaper. xx

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  5. Great cards! I usually get cards from charity or from a museum that is raising money. I packed them so now I have to get a whole new batch bc they are in a box somewhere...but I do love a handwritten note...x

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    1. Naomi, Love the museum cards too! I do so appreciate ones who take the time with a note. :)

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  6. I love photo cards Kim! I don't do them unless I have time for a personal note. No cards this year I am afraid but I sure appreciate all I receive!!

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  7. Hi Kim! I spotted this post a couple of days ago and am just getting back on the blogs to comment. You share such lovely sentiments about Christmas cards. It's so fun to look back and see how your family has grown. You have had some fabulous travels together over the years too. I've always loved opening the mail during the season just like you. It's so much fun to hear from friends and family. I create a photo card every season. This year, since I'm so busy with my boutique, Scott has offered to make it. I'm having a hard time giving up control ;) Seriously! Great post my lovely friend.
    xx, Heath

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  8. What a great post. I have always loved to receive (and send!) Christmas cards and you just reminded me how I liked to feel of the glitter on the cards when I was a little girl too. I still enjoy the postman bringing piles of cards and a hand-written note is always special. I would be very disappointed if I just had email greetings!! We tend to buy mainly charity cards and I don't think photo cards have really caught on over here yet. I'm sure it's lovely to look back at your collection of cards and your casual, impromtu ones are so lovely and natural!
    http://missbbobochic.blogspot.co.uk/

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  9. I tried to leave a comment but had problems so I've popped over to try again! What a great post! I have always loved to receive (and send) Christmas cards and you reminded me how I used to feel the glitter on the cards when I was a little girl too! It was always fun to make sparkly cards with glue and pots of glitter which would go everywhere. I tend to buy mostly charity cards and it's always a bonus to have a hand-written note. I would be disappointed to receive only email greetings! The photo cards don't seem to have really caught on here yet but It must be lovely to look back at yours over the years. I like your casual, relaxed ones which look so natural.
    http://missbbobochic.blogspot.co.uk/

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  10. Those are lovely ones, actually kevin just does a Christmas calender for our parents and this year we just did not get around to Chrissy cards. We had a fam photo taken but it ended up being so pretentious (serious expressions, all in white, standing apart) I would not dream of sending it out, except as a joke!

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