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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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.
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
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
- The History of the Christmas Card (Smithsonian)
- Christmas, Inc.: A Brief History of the Holiday Card (JSTOR Daily)
- Christmas card (Wikipedia)
- The History of Greeting Cards (GreetingCard.org)
- Poetic Sundays: The Joybell Poetic Form For It’s the Season To Be …. (My Poetic Sunday last year, same time – check out the Joybell form and my attempts there)
- Check out more beautiful Christmas and holiday wishes here and here.
On My Blog And the Homefront
Here are the posts that made their way out into the world this past week on my blog:
- Many Wonderful Ways to Use Words
- Cozy Reads for Anytime of the Year: Cozy Titles Rather!
- Factory Girls: Blog Tour and Book Review
- Sunday Scribblings #125: Two Languages Can Be Better Than One
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
- I definitely am glad it is National Sacher Torte Day on the 5th
- While December 6th is National Gazpacho Day followed by
- the colorful fluffy National Cotton Candy Day on December 7th
- And then the very mmmm .. National Brownie Day on the 8th of December
- National Pastry Day on December 9th gives us many sweet options
- December 10th is National Lager Day
- While I had no idea of such a thing, December 11th is National Noodle Ring Day
Other Observations and Celebrations
- It is International Ninja Day on the 5th of December, and Light up A Life is a December 5th celebration in Ireland. It is also World Soil Day and Krampusnacht!
- National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day is on the 7th of December. Check out this book – On the Horizon by Lois Lowry. My review of the book is here.
- You can Pretend To Be A Time Traveler on December 8th, for it is the day for that!
- followed by Weary Willie Day on the 9th.
- The 10th of December is Nobel Prize Day, Human Rights Day, and International Animal Rights Day. It also is Dewey Decimal System Day
- You have most surely said or heard someone say, “There is an app for that!!” Now I am here to tell you that there is a day for app, and it happens to be December 11 (National App Day) and it is also International Mountain Day
- Happy birthday to UNICEF (December 11th)
- World Choral Day and Worldwide Candle Lighting Day are observed on the 2nd Sunday of December each year.
Related Reads to Spend a Wonderful Holiday
- Ten+ Wonderful Books by Nobel Prize Authors To Read
- From the Bio Poem to Time Traveling in Blog Hops
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