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Sunday Scribblings #126: Getting Ready For a Wonderful Holiday

Is it already that time of the year? The time everyone is occupied with getting ready for a wonderful holiday season, no matter how they celebrate it. Maybe they take a long-awaited vacation with loved ones, or visit family elsewhere; they might celebrate Kwanzaa or Hanukkah, Christmas or another festival, or no festival at all but simply enjoy this time of the year; maybe they put up a big tree or .. But whatever it is, the spirit of this time of the year pervades the very air, and it is simply magical!

It has been a while since we put up a tree – actually, about a couple of years now. We did not grow up celebrating Christmas but I adopted the holiday when I moved to the US almost 25 years ago this year. And I recall buying a few boxes of ornaments from the local Michaels that first year (1998) most of which I still have and use through a couple of moves and over these couple of decades now. This year, I am thinking I should do something again (stopped mostly around COVID) – something small maybe over the coming weekend when my oldest will be back home (yes, so soon)

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Notepad and a pen over it with a cup of coffee next to it. words read Sunday Scribblings, and this is for Sunday Scribblings #126: Getting Ready For a Wonderful Holiday

Poetic Sundays: A Holiday Card for a Wonderful Holiday!

December 9th is Christmas Card Day. And given people I know celebrate various festivals or celebrations during this time of the year, I have since been using the more generic Happy Holidays greetings when I post wishes on my blog or social media.

However, when I send out wishes to individuals (haven’t done it for these holidays for a while now, when I think about it), I do try to personalize my wishes. Sometimes, I make up a poem keeping them in mind, other times, I make a card and hand /mail it to them. This definitely adds to the sentiments and makes it all the more special.

A Little About the History of the Christmas Card

In 1611, Michael Maier, a German physician and counselor to the King of Hungary at that time, sent a handmade greeting with incorporated Rosicrucian imagery to James I of England and his son Henry Frederick, Prince of Wales. This is the world’s first known Christmas card (though the history of the greeting card itself is much older) (source: Wikipedia)

However, the first commercial (or in this case, commissioned) holiday card owes its origins to a predicament we all seem to face – the lack of time. You see, Henry Cole realized one year (in 1843) that he simply didn’t have the time to write and mail out greetings to all the friends and well-wishers he had made over the years, and who all unfailingly sent him letters or postcards (and naturally, expected him to respond).

So with an idea he had in mind, he requested his artist friend, John Callcott Horsley, to sketch out a design for him and to include the words “A Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year To You” along with a salutation “To:____” so he could personalize his responses. Horsley designed a card which Cole then sent out to a London printer with an order for a thousand copies of the same on stiff cardboard of postcard size.

This was the first Christmas card!!

Soon after, the idea of sending Christmas cards caught on and it became what you see today, a way for families to wish friends and family, for people to wish other people in general, and more.

How to Wish Someone an Extra-Special Wonderful Holiday

  • Pick any poetic form of your choice;
    • I prefer poems of 4 lines (or with a couple of 4-line stanzas) and a simple rhyme scheme (abba or abab or aabb, or any other, or none at all) when I am attempting to write poetic wishes for any event.
    • Or it can be free verse (any number of lines with meter of choice, and no rhyming required, or random rhyming per your wish!)
  • Picture who you are writing it for first and write down a
    • few thoughts you wish to say to them; like ‘thinking of you’, ‘missing you’, or ‘wishing you were here’, or any other
    • some aspects about them you love and cherish (maybe their smile, their warmth, their hospitality when you visited last, or a gift they gave you even)
    • any other fun or beautiful memories you have with them
  • Think about the holiday you are wishing them for
  • Now write!
  • And add an extra touch by handwriting this message in an empty holiday card of your choice. Maybe one of those store-bought ones with a brief message or none at all, or customize it with photos like you might already be doing.

My attempt(s)

Whatever you celebrate
Be it Hanukkah, Christmas,
or something else great.
Be it Yule, or Festivus
or just any random Dec date,
I wish you celebrations most joyous
and a new year simply great!!

~ Vidya Tiru @ LadyInReadWrites

Happy Holidays!
The holidays are here,
Bringing lots of good cheer.
Here is wishing you, my dear
A wonderful happy prosperous year!

~ Vidya Tiru @ LadyInReadWrites

h/t, References, and Further Reading


On My Blog And the Homefront

Here are the posts that made their way out into the world this past week on my blog:

On the NaNoWriMo end, I kind of-sort of wrote a few more words but that is OK too, for without it, I would have never even gotten the 3000+ words I have written so far. I know that sounds too little compared to the 50k word goal usually set for NaNoWriMo but I plan to work on it during the next couple of months (through the end of January).

Oh, the rains! Finally, our drought-ridden bay area is seeing some rain this year.. and am so glad for it. On the other hand, on our walk yesterday during a sunny patch of time, I noticed that one of the private communities (I am guessing it is maintained by a private community and not the city given the location we were walking in) had their sprinklers on and running. No idea why and it certainly made me feel bad given the grounds were still soaking wet from the rain of a couple hours earlier, and more rains coming later.


On My Blog and On the Homefront

I hope to write more than I might end up writing! Anyway, my oldest will be back home later this week after finishing up his final exams for the first quarter of his sophomore year at college 🙂 And we will hopefully see some more rain this week and the next too.

We do have a celebration of ours coming up this week, called Karthikai Deepam. It is a beautiful and simple festival that is celebrated mostly by the Hindu Tamils, and one I have come to cherish for its very simplicity. Lighting lamps and making a sweet treat with the humble jaggery and pori (puffed rice) as its ingredients, well, that is it!

This Week’s Celebrations

Literary Celebrations (close-to-it also!)

  • Literary birthdays this week include: Walt Disney, Hanif Kureishi, Christina Rossetti, Joan Didion, James Lee Burke on Dec 5th; Jason Reynolds, Joyce Kilmer, and Garth Stein on December 6th; Anne Fine, Willa Cather, and Noam Chomsky on Dec 7th; Horace, Bill Bryson and James Thurber on the 8th of Dec; John Milton and Tishani Doshi on Dec 9th; Cornelia Funke, Emily Dickinson, Mary Norton, Nelly Sachs, and Helen Oyeyemi on Dec 10th; Subramania Bharathi and Jim Harrison on the 11th of Dec
  • Apparently it is National Crossword Solvers Day on the 7th of December..
  • And like I mentioned earlier, it is Christmas Card Day on Dec 9th

Foodie Celebrations

Other Observations and Celebrations

Related Reads to Spend a Wonderful Holiday

Wrapping up my Sunday Scribblings

So dear reader, you have reached the end of this Sunday Scribblings! As always, I welcome your thoughts, comments, and suggestions about this post. Have you begun your planning for your holiday season, whatever and however you plan to celebrate? Will you be writing or attempting a poetic wish for a wonderful holiday? And do let me know if you plan to celebrate any of these mentioned celebrations this coming week/month? I

Linking this to the Sunday Post over at the Caffeinated Reviewer and the Sunday Salon

Poetic Sundays: A Holiday Card for a Wonderful Holiday!

17 thoughts on “Sunday Scribblings #126: Getting Ready For a Wonderful Holiday

  1. Such lovely advice! Letter writing in general and Christmas card sending in particular seem to be a lost art somewhat these days. I appreciate you sharing those great ways of sharing cheer with someone. 🙂 And I hope you have a great holiday season however you choose to celebrate. 🙂

  2. Lovely post! Thanks for the history of the Christmas card. I think you’ve put a little Christmas spirit back in me. I was not born into the tradition but have adopted it, too, since I’ve been in this culture for decades. I’ve lost the feelings for it for quite a few years now. I’ve been feeling cold and empty without them. So thank you for the reawakening.

  3. What a lovely post. While reading your post I could imagine following all the things and getting ready for the holiday season. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

  4. I enjoyed reading this post, and I agree it is crazy it is the holidays already. Putting up a big tree can be a pain sometimes if you are already busy or not entirely into the holiday season so putting up something small sounds like a great alternative. I hope you have a great holiday!

  5. that is a very fun exercise. my husband and I will try it in the evening over a cup of tea. It might be a lot of fun to work on! The Christmas season isn’t easy for me because the end of the year is approaching and I am buried with work. On the bright side, I don’t need to do much obligatory stuff this year. We have already sent the physical cards and arranged some presents for our extended family. I am yet to buy a present for my partner but we decided that he is taking his Santa to the shop to hand-picked the gift I offered him (he loves cooking and will be choosing a new knife for him which was my “Santa” idea so it counts), very handy if you ask me.

  6. When I was a teen, I used to love making handmade Christmas cards using magazine cutouts, and handwritten everything. Makes it more thoughtful. Now I got so lazy for it! Maybe I will tey to bring back the old hobby.

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