I have a green, thick scrapbook, a very special scrapbook, a Christmas card scrapbook. For almost eleven months of the year it is tucked away in a closet, but when December starts the green, thich scrapbook is taken out and placed om a table or a counter somewhere in The House in the Woods.
If you come to The House in the Woods during the holiday season I would recommend you to find a comfortable armchair, I will serve you some hot gløgg and you can look through the book. Read the cards, enjoy their creativity, travel in time.
The green, thich Christmas card scrapbook is filled with Christmas cards. Only a few pages left now, and I will have to buy a new book. But where can I find a book with such charm and beauty?
Every year, when Christmas is over, after ephiphany, I look though the Christmas cards we´ve got. Read them all over again, tie a red ribbon around them and store them away. But before doing that I pick out some of the most special and glue them into the green thick Christmas card scrapbook.
A treasure to have for years and years to come. A treasure to have for now!
I had coffee with my mother after work today. Coffee and a long chat. I knew I had a long list of things to do at home, like a pile of Christmas cards to be written. But some days lists are best untouched and there are better, more important things to do. Like having coffee with your mother.
When I came home the second Christmas card of the year was in the mailbox. Thank you Daena for a beautiful card with such loving words. And thank you Dq for the first card. Of course it is from you, I can see that now :-)
The Christmas cards are late this year. Usually they start to fill our mailbox in late November. This year the first one came yesterday.......sent by one of you, but I am unable to find a name of the sender......
How long will it take until it gets company in the birdbath which will hold our Christmas correspondence this year?
A Christmas card (also called holiday card in the U.S.) is a greeting card sent as part of the traditional celebration ofChristmas in order to convey between people a range of sentiments related to the Christmas and holiday season. Christmas cards are usually exchanged during the weeks preceding Christmas Day by many people (including non-Christians) in Western society and in Asia. The traditional greeting reads "wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year". There are innumerable variations on this greeting, many cards expressing more religious sentiment, or containing a poem, prayer or Biblical verse; others stay away from religion with an all-inclusive "Season's greetings".
The first Christmas cards were commissioned by Sir Henry Cole and illustrated by John Callcott Horsley in London on the 1st of May 1843. The central picture showed three generations of a family raising a toast to the card's recipient: on either side were scenes of charity, with food and clothing being given to the poor. Allegedly the image of the family drinking wine together proved controversial, but the idea was shrewd: Cole had helped introduce the Penny Post three years earlier. Two batches totaling 2,050 cards were printed and sold that year for a shilling each.
Early English cards rarely showed winter or religious themes, instead favoring flowers, fairies and other fanciful designs that reminded the recipient of the approach of spring. Humorous and sentimental images of children and animals were popular, as were increasingly elaborate shapes, decorations and materials. At Christmas 1873, the lithograph firm Prang and Mayer began creating greeting cards for the popular market in England. The firm began selling the Christmas card in America in 1874, thus becoming the first printer to offer cards in America. Its owner, Louis Prang, is sometimes called the "father of the American Christmas card." The popularity of his cards led to cheap imitations that eventually drove him from the market. The advent of the postcard spelled the end for elaborate Victorian-style cards, but by the 1920s, cards with envelopes had returned. The extensive Laura Seddon Greeting Card Collection from the Manchester Metropolitan University gathers 32,000 Victorian and Edwardian greeting cards, printed by the major publishers of the day, including Britain’s first commercially-produced Christmas card
The production of Christmas cards was, throughout the 20th century, a profitable business for many stationery manufacturers, with the design of cards continually evolving with changing tastes and printing techniques. The World Wars brought cards with patriotic themes. Idiosyncratic "studio cards" with cartoon illustrations and sometimes risque humor caught on in the 1950s. Nostalgic, sentimental, and religious images have continued in popularity, and, in the 21st century, reproductions of Victorian and Edwardian cards are easy to obtain. Modern Christmas cards can be bought individually but are also sold in packs of the same or varied designs. In recent decades changes in technology may be responsible for the decline of the Christmas card. The estimated number of cards received by American households dropped from 29 in 1987 to 20 in 2004.Email and telephones allow for more frequent contact and are easier for generations raised without handwritten letters - especially given the availability of websites offering free email Christmas cards. Despite the decline, 1.9 billion cards were sent in the U.S. in 2005 alone. Some card manufacturers now provide E-cards. In the UK, Christmas cards account for almost half of the volume of greeting card sales, with over 668.9 million Christmas cards sold in the 2008 festive period. In mostly non-religious countries (e.g. Czech Republic), the cards are rather called New Year Cards, however they are sent before Christmas and the emphasis (design, texts) is mostly given to the New Year, omitting religious symbols.
Have you sent your Christmas cards yet?
By the way - the photos are all mine, not Wikipedia´s. I love to photograph mailboxes when I travel :-)
For a long time I have been looking forward to this home alone-weekend. Not that I mind my husband and daughter to be here, not at all, but with so many people around all the time, at work, the extended family, friends etc etc, I knew a few days all alone would do me good. My husband left yesterday, our daughter after school today. The day started with my best friend coming for breakfast. A perfect time for chatting and food. Then my daughter came home from school and I drove her to the airport bus before coming home to the empty house.
How strange it felt. How could I have been looking forward to this? The house so empty. So cold. I made myself something to eat, I walked over to talk with the neighbor, I had a nap.........I wrote a blog post and a few emails, I posted on facebook but got little response back. I read. I knitted. I emptied the dishwasher. I watered the flowers. I phoned my husband......
Slowly, slowly the empty, silent house became mine. As darkness fell outside, I turned on the lights. I played some music. I felt peace filling both me and the house.
Now I am all at ease. I enjoy the loneliness. The silence. And I have just made a pizza which is baking in the oven.
Advent, the purple season. The candles in the advent wreath are purple, and when I was out hiking the hills behind our house the other day, I could see the bare trees had a touch of advent colour. There and then I told myself - this year I will spend as much time as possible during these weeks leading up to Christmas out in the nature, with my camera, searching for the purple light.
We are three days into advent now, and after the dryest year we can remember here in my corner of the world, the year with a most remarcable weather, it has started to rain. Combine that with the darkest season and work during the daylight hours.........well, I have not been able to take one single photo.
Instead I do my hikes on my Mac and my iPhoto folder. And there I find a lot of half forgotten treasures :-)
December is here, and every day a new nativity find its way from the basement to a place in our house where it can be seen and enjoyed through the season. This morning I picked this felted Sacred Family, felted my the daughter of a friend some years ago.
A few weeks ago I was asked my the editorial committee of our parish magazine if I had a photo for the front cover of the Christmas issue. I sent them the photo of the sacred family which I took last year, and today, after lunch, the magazine came in the mail. Look here:
My main blog, Britt-Arnhild´s House in the Woods is filled with advent thoughts and Christmas cards these days, and my Norwegian blog Blåklokkeveien is running a travel journal from Nepal with the challenge "Right to Give". So, where to put my daily musings then?
Here in Caffe Avec of course. With a cup of advent coffee and a taste or two of the Christmas cookies. Daily musings, from a hike in the woods behind our house, from the growth on my knitting needles, from a travel or two, a book, the words of a poem, the colour of the day.
Here I am, trying to run a travel blog and then there is no post from this year´s most important day in Norway, 17th of May, our Constitutional Day, Norway´s birthday....and not any birthday. This year, on May 17th is is 200 years since we got our own Constitution.
If I was a full time travel writer, I would of course write extensively about this, illustrated with a bunch of photos from yesterday´s parades and celebrations. I am no full time writer though. I do this just for fun, and in between writing and photographing I have "a life to live". So unfortunately there will be no deep, thorougly "Syttende mai" post. Just this photo of my two girls in their Jelsabunad from Rogaland, and a link to my main blog Britt-Arnhild´s House in the Woods and the blog post from yesterday.
No, I am no full time travel writer, but I do have plans for Caffe Avec. For the moment I am working on a series of Botanical Gardens around the world, so make sure to come back.
This blog is part of my main blog Britt-Arnhild's House in the Woods. Caffe Avec is about travels, shared over a cup of coffee. I hope you have time to sit down and enjoy a cup and some chatting with me.
I am living in a red house surrounded by a blue garden near Trondheim, Norway. I love everydays and post about my steps through life. Britt-Arnhild's House in the Woods is open to everybody. Welcome over!