Fifth Day of Christmas - Christmas Count Down

Christmas Countdown

At Christmas it’s a race to the mail box to see if I have received any Christmas cards.  I love the Christmas stamps, the texture of the paper and the varied illustrations on the cards.  I also love to hear all the news from friends and family that live far afield.  Some cards contain newsletters with photographs that help me to keep abreast of how my nieces and nephews are growing and changing over the years.  I use to make and send cards to all my sisters and brothers but with the increase in the cost of postage I have resorted to the trusty internet to send my season’s greetings this year along with a couple of hand delivered cards to those who live nearby. 

Day 5

Today I went down town and was amazed at the array of different cards on offer this year.  I got to wondering about the origins of Christmas cards so I Googled it and found out that it all started back in the UK in 1843.  A guy called Sir Henry Cole and his mate, John Horsley who was an artist came up with the money making scheme.  They designed the first card and sold them for 1 shilling each.  The card had three panels, with the outer two depicting people performing community minded activities for the poor, and the centre panel illustrated with a large family dinner party.  The card showing a child being given a wine glass caused a bit of a stir at the time.  Only about 1000 of the cards were produced (remember this is before the time of mass production) so they are now quite rare and sell for thousands of dollars.  By the 1860’s printing methods had improved, along with the postal service which meant many more people were able to send out cards.  

The first cards generally depicted the nativity scene, snow scenes and  birds.  In the 1900’s the custom spread to Europe and finally became popular in the USA by 1875.  Hallmark cards did not start until 1915, but are now one of the biggest card makers in the world today.
Home made cards first became popular in the 1920’s and were often made of unusual materials and odd shapes.  They were often delivered by hand because they were either too awkward or delicate to post. The re-emergence of papercraft in the last decade has seen a resurgence in the popularity of ‘homemade gifts and cards’.
Charities got on the Christmas Card bandwagon back in the 1920’s too and  have now taken to developing their own signature cards as a money spinner.  I think this is a great idea but don’t like getting a bunch of them posted out to me when I have not ordered them.  I feel bad if I don’t send them back but don’t really want to pay for them either.  Unsolicited mail outs are an invasion of my personal space.  What do you think?

# 5 Christmas Cards – Prompts

Who has made it onto your Christmas Card list this year? Whose list have you made it onto – who have you received cards from in the mail or by other methods?
Hallmark and other greeting card companies save some of their best poetry and sayings for Christmas cards.  Create your own best poem and greeting card for someone you love. (Can be funny, serious or silly).
Write out some of the best verses from cards you receive in your journal.

Daily Diary

Megga Christmas family get together drama.  And yes I was the drama queen putting on the turn.  My mother is elderly and loosing her sight – and hosting the family dinner.  We had both had a long day and not feeling our best so as the evening rolled on and I had a couple of drinks the filter on my mouth started to leak.  I was a very ungracious guest and said a number of things that I regret and shocked my older sister into silence.  I am fortunate to have a very understanding and forgiving family or perhaps today I would have been asked to leave and not come back until next year.  I don’t think I will be Robson Crusoe  this year – not the only one – as many other families get together for the first time in ages and realise that they have strong opinions on some subjects that the family may not agree with leading to arguments or conflict of some sort. We all need to remember the importance of peace and good will at this time of year is more important than being Right. 

Writing Tip

Find a verse in a Christmas card that really grabs your attention and use it as a prompt for a 10 minute free write exercise. You might be surprised by what comes out of this activity.  I am often surprised at what I end up writing about - it often has little to do with the original text.

Here is a special Aussie Christmas Card sent out by our local Member of Parliament with a 2018 Calendar attached with a fridge magnet
Not sure I like it but I suppose it grabs your attention and possible was created by a charity and so for a good cause.  
Anyway I better get back to writing out all those Seasons Greetings both paper and electronic.  Cheers till tomorrow.   

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