Yep, it's that time of year all right! Writer's cramp is nothing new to me, but getting all my Christmas cards signed and sent has my fingers twisted into a crimp. And it's not pretty! Address labels seem so cold and impersonal as does the printed versions of our family name on greeting cards. So I do things the old fashion way, I write out our greetings.
Sending cards is important to me. I actually enjoy sending them and receiving cards from family and friends is a great joy. Addressing them, not so much. My husband and I take turns writing our Christmas letter each year. Then we edit it, tweak it and mass produce it for stuffing into the cards. We are careful about not mentioning procedures and gloomy thoughts. Everyone has problems, that's a given, our message is more to inform and entertain our recipients, not scare them. And we always include the reason for the season type of message.
Sending greeting cards go way back to the ancient days. The Chinese are credited for the invention, mostly hand delivering gifts of good wishes for the coming year. The Egyptians wrote greetings on papyrus scrolls, another way to send wishes of good cheer. Around the 1400's, the Germans designed and sent woodcuts to bring in the New Year. Pretty fancy stuff and I imagine mostly for the elite and wealthy.
The tiny postage stamp in 1840 changed everything. Even the not so wealthy could exchange notes of good will across the miles. Many cards were still hand-made, but mass production made it simpler for the eager but not creative souls wanting to extend their good wishes to others. Sending holiday greetings became quite popular, so popular that at one time the U.S. postal service wanted to ban the sending of Christmas cards, the burden of delivery becoming monumental. They of course rethought that idea and came up with another, one they have continued til this day. They raised the price of stamps!
The invention of the greeting card industry opened up many jobs for writers, artists and publishers. Hallmark alone sells more than 12 million cards a year. They must hire many writers; maybe one of them could be you. If you've a knack for writing sweet prose or something zany and funny, maybe writing for greeting cards would work for you. I tried it at one time and accepted the fact that I am too long winded and funny is harder than it seems!
My wish is that you receive more cards than you expected, and with each opening you will cherish the well wishes sent to you. Whether the card says, "Let it snow, let it snow," or "May holiday magic fill your heart and home," or a simple "Happy Holidays," I hope you will take the time to "share the joy of the season."
Holiday Blessings to you and yours!
Til next time ~