Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Christmas Cards

Christmas cards have been a tradition since the late 1800's.  From what I have read the tradition started in England. The first card apparently wasn't too well liked because of the portrait of a family sipping on wine and it included a young boy sipping also. Sir Henry had commisioned a man named John Horsely to design the card. Even though this Christmas card wasn't so well liked people began sending out Christmas cards after that anyway.
Americans, up until 1875, imported their Christmas cards from England. At that time a man named Louis Prang opened a printing shop and started the first line of Christmas cards in America.

I was in a store the other day and over heard a woman very loudy talking about sending Christmas cards.  She was telling someone she doesn't send Christmas cards to people she is going to see at Christmas. Now, I can understand what she is saying. If you're going to see someone on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day at the family celebration, do you need to send them a card. Maybe, maybe not.

I remember watching my mom when I was growing up writing out her Christmas cards. I remember getting those Christmas cards. Getting Christmas cards is something I look forward to every year.
I feel the Christmas card is a reminder of what is important this holiday season.  The beautiful scenes drawn on the cards give me a peaceful feeling. A reminder that this time of year is not just about presents and turkeys and cookies and decorations but about, well first Jesus and also about spreading love, joy and hope to people.

We live in such an impersonal world today, a card adds a little bit of closeness.
There are some people, especially the elderly that are lonely and watch for those Christmas cards. You might see them on Christmas but that card sends a little extra message. It tells them that you care. It tells them that you took the time to think about them, write down their name and address and mailed a little something to them wishing them joy for the whole Christmas season not just Christmas Day.
It appears to me that e-cards are becoming the thing, but you can't put them on a fireplace. They are easier. Sure some are cute but it just doesn't carry the same sentiment.

Yes, cards can be a chore. I find it a chore and it takes me some time to get them out but I also find it is a small gift that I can send to friends and family and let them know they are in my thoughts and as a Catholic Christian it is also a little way of reminding people of the real meaning of Christmas as it can get so lost in the hustle and bustle of shopping and cooking.

So, don't forget your Christmas cards:

And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
Luke 2:12

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Dear Lord help us to educate our family for your glory.

"Since parents have conferred life on their children, they have a most solemn obligation to educate their offspring. Hence, parents must be acknowledged as the first and foremost educators of their children. Their role as educators is so decisive that scarcely anything can compensate for their failure in it. For it devolves on parents to create a family atmosphere so animated with love and reverence for God and others that a well-rounded personal and social development will be fostered among children. Hence, the family is the first school of those social virtues which every society needs."--Gravissimum Educationis (one of the documents of the Second Vatican Council)

Helping and Loving Our Neighbor

Corporal works of Mercy
Feed the hungry

Give drink to the thirsty

Clothe the naked

Shelter the homeless

Visit the sick

Visit the imprisoned

Bury the dead

The Spiritual Works of Mercy
Admonish the sinner

Instruct the ignorant

Counsel the doubtful

Comfort the sorrowful
Bear wrongs patiently

Forgive all injuries

Pray for the living and the dead

Good Samaritain