Posts Tagged With: Christmas Cards

CHRISTMAS RITUALS

DSC07172 (Copy)We turn into children a bit if we have little grand kids to play with. But even adults enjoy taking a drive through a particularly colorful neighborhood where  lights and lawn decorations beckon. We decorated lavishly when our kids were little but now I settle for getting cards out every couple of years or so.

DSC07168 (Copy)With my signal down for two days, I put my mind to Christmas cards and toward the end of my list, I got weary  and decided to phone old friends I hadn’t seen, nor heard from. Numbers change and I regret not keeping up with old friends. In a changing world, we have social media, email and facebook. I can find a couple of them I’m sure.

DSC07169 (Copy)A less known ritual among stamp collectors  is to mail away to a Christmas town.  Each year I would pick a couple of towns that suggest Christmas and send a self-addressed return envelope, to collect the post mark.

DSC07171 (Copy)It would surprise you to know how many Christmasy places we have in the U.S. I have a list of 89 cities. Some are repeats, like Berry, IL., and Berry, KY. I’ve written for: Santa, ID. Bethlehem, N.H.,Chestnut, IL, Christmas, MI.,Evergreen, NC.,Garland, TX., Mistletoe, KY, Rudolph, WI, Harmony, MN.   There are many, like Ivy, Pine, Noel, Hope, Bountiful, St. Marys, Winters, North Pole… and so it goes. I forgot to mention local Angels Camp is on the list.

DSC07177 (Copy)And, once you begin looking at post marks, you find other interesting anomalies like these opposites:

Disco, Wisconsin —– Waltz, Michigan.  Carefree, Arizona—–Panic, Pennyslvania.  Normal, Illinois—–Peculiar, Missouri. Sunrise, Wyoming—–Sunset, Louisiana.  Lively, Virginia—–Drab, Pennsylvania. Why, Arizona—–Whynot, Mississippi.

Then you begin to wonder, why was a particular town named Truth Or Consequences, New Mexico, Hell, California, or Triumph, Louisiana?  All town names are a glance at history in a unique way.  Major postal centers digitally sort mail and in many areas you can no longer get post marks of the city on an envelope.

You will not see kids lying on the floor, pouring over pictures in a catalog either. I know the future is here, and an I-phone can play your favorite Christmas Carols and allow you to shop while waiting at the doctor’s office. Even waiting at the doctor’s office is destined to change. I am not longing for the “good old days” so much as relishing memories and comparisons, a kind of privilege of age. Who would have thought we’d see driverless cars, and voices that give you directions while driving?   I love the technology giving us wonderful things in the future. But, I believe the guy who invented voice mail should be shot. (Well, you know, not really. Only when I’m hanging on-line for an hour or so.)

 

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AFFORDABLE ART

DSC07134 (Copy)Each year, our Calaveras County Arts Council hosts an affordable art show just in time for Christmas. Amador and Tuolumne Counties have similar open house events. Affordable is different for different folks. Patty Rayne does huge paintings of horses like this one in the $750 category. Her love for horses shows in her work.

DSC07140 (Copy)On a different budget, maybe for a child’s choice, are small mini paintings that are nice for a side table.

DSC07141 (Copy)I usually buy something at this event, but I have no room on my walls and I’m downsizing. I had a hard time passing up this rooster. I’ve had chickens in every house I’ve ever lived in and this one reminded me of a rooster we used to have that the kids named Fat King Crow.

DSC07142 (Copy)I enjoy getting my art “fix” even if I don’t buy anything. I admired Sonya Zeigler’s landscapes and so many others. But what is really incredible about artists in our own backyard is the amazing diversity of talent.

DSC07137 (Copy)Layered ceramics.

DSC07143 (Copy)Etched ceramics.

DSC07146 (Copy)Pots of every kind and shape.

DSC07147 (Copy)Beautiful wooden bowls, platters and honey servers.

DSC07156 (Copy)The things artists do with gourds… an art form that has become very popular in our neck of the woods.

DSC07161 (Copy)Unique one-of-a-kind pieces like this carved skull.

DSC07153 (Copy)Something new to me is photography on canvas from Gordy Long. I swear, Jim and I have been on this very beach in Washington State. I’m curious about how it is done? At $18 very affordable.

DSC07160 (Copy)The gallery has jewelry makers, paintings, and cards for all occasions year around. But at this event, you can find a Christmas card for a favorite friend that is a gift in itself.

DSC07165 (Copy)One table was given over to the feast of finger foods with cider and wine available to drink. Festive and fun because I always manage to see a friend, either in person, or on a canvas.

Enjoying the Christmas season is opening up to joy at every turn and I love it.  Merry Christmas.

 

 

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CHRISTMAS CARD COLLECTION

I dropped some stuff off at a Thrift store, including a couple of packets of free Christmas cards that charities send you for a donation.  The attendant said to me, “We have so many cards. It is a shame, people don’t send Christmas cards anymore. They use on-line cards. It’s the young people. I miss real cards.” I told her I like “real” cards, too but explained I don’t send as many as I used to and I do the same on-line. Now, I’m ever more grateful I insanely kept every card that was ever sent to me, to my mother, and other family members. I picked up a box from 1992 and randomly looked through it. I found humorous cards depicting Santa as an ordinary guy with hobbies and a very “dad” like personality.

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Love the sunglasses and guitar.

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You would have never seen a Santa like this motorcycle dude in the 1950’s or 60’s.

 

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Or an upscale golfer, then, either. Things have changed. Santa has hobbies and reflects everything we do.

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And, of course his reindeer are his best buddies

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The whole gang jogs together, can’t forget the elves.

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They commiserate

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…they celebrate

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…and settle in for a bit of football and a nap. Just like dad.

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I couldn’t resist including this rapper themed card. I thought, has rap music been around that long? I guess so. I’m remembering a Santa flying in a helicopter, using a taxi, and riding a train. Don’t remember what year those cards came out. But, it is kind of fun to see Santa in personal pursuits after his job is done.  Tomorrow, I’ll post some traditional cards from my collection.

Merry Christmas everyone.

 

 

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CHRISTMAS CARD COLLECTION

My septic system had a huge tree grown into it and the fix yesterday, hopefully will be completed today.

I have yet to send a single Christmas card and I must admit Christmas card exchanges are more and more sent by email. December turned out to be full of distractions and unusual events. But, as a collectiholic, I will never be without beautiful Christmas cards.

When I was growing up, Christmas cards had themes, the candle lit window, the wreath at the door, carolers, stockings by the chimney, children playing in the snow, overflowing mailboxes…

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I’ll find another theme for tomorrow.

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LEONARDO DIDN’T SMOKE.

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At the doctor’s again yesterday, in one examination room, was a poster of a painting by Leonardo Da Vinci, that miracle inventor and artist. He rendered a death image with a cigarette hanging out of its mouth. I couldn’t help but think what an amazing man with such foresight to decide early in the game that cigarettes were a deadly habit. Shoot, and I thought that Native Americans brought the smoke habit to settlers and it spread from there.

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I stopped at the post office for stamps. (Still haven’t mailed a card.) Today, for sure. I stopped to look at the art work from the kids at Head Start. And, their public Christmas tree.

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I decorated my table with old Christmas cards two days ago, and covered them over with a plastic see-through cloth. Many people don’t send cards anymore and I’m glad I’ve kept a crop of them from the past to enjoy.

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It is a bit of inspiration to get at it. And I do enjoy sending cards because it keeps me in touch with people I rarely see. Put the carols on, warm a cuppa cider…hmmm. Smells like Christmas already.

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CHRISTMAS CARDS

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I’m shamed to say I haven’t written a single Christmas card this year. I was intent upon learning how to do a Christmas letter with a photo gallery. Even with the help of a friend, I’m afraid it will have to be next year. My signal was down and took the better part of three mornings to get it running again. Therapy takes up the liion’s share of my time, so I decided to photography some old Christmas Cards I like.

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The card says it best. It is a lovely season. Hopefully today, I’ll get some cards mailed.

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