vintage postcards

17 12, 2018

Christmas Card Time

By |2018-12-14T10:57:56-06:00December 17th, 2018|Holidays|2 Comments

One of my favorite things about the holiday season is receiving Christmas cards from family and friends. That’s why this Family Circus cartoon in the Sunday funnies caught my eye.I keep the cards we receive every year, bundle with ribbon, and store in baskets. The baskets are then part of our holiday decorations. I’ve done it for years.

I like to take a packet from the baskets, look at the photos, and read the letters. It always sparks memories. Some sad knowing the original writer is no longer with us. But, mostly the cards trigger good thoughts. It’s almost like having the senders here with me again.

I’m not alone in my love of sending and receiving Christmas cards.

As outdated as the practice may seem to some, others cling to the tradition along with me. Americans purchase approximately 1.6 billion Christmas cards a year!

The tradition began in the 1800s. As printing techniques improved, and costs dropped, Christmas cards increased in popularity. Read a detailed history here.

When sending a postcard dropped to half a penny, more people were able to send greetings. I collect those vintage postcards. Some date by to the 1900s. I love reading through the handwritten notes and looking at the intricate designs.

Today many people send handcraft individual cards. Those are extra special gifts because of the time spend crafting them.  


What is it about this old-fashioned tradition appeals to so many?

The Greeting Card Association research suggests: “The tradition of giving greeting cards is a meaningful expression of personal affection for another person… ”

Some question whether that appeal will be compelling enough to survive the conveniences of the digital era. I believe the practice will always be a favorite part of the holiday season. What do you think?

Photo of The Family Circus cartoon from the Houston Chronicle, December 9, 2018 edition.

8 02, 2016

Valentines – the mirrors of romance

By |2016-02-05T10:41:48-06:00February 8th, 2016|Holidays, Make Me Think Monday|2 Comments

Next Sunday will be Valentine’s Day.

You may feel the greeting card companies, jewelers, and florist have forced the holiday upon us. The day has certainly been commercialized. Consumers are predicted to spend close to nineteen billion dollars this year.

As a romance writer, I prefer to believe we celebrate the day because we value what a day emphasizing love and romance can do for relationships. Having such a special day focused on love and loved ones provides the opportunity to:

~ ignite new relationships with romantic gestures
~renew an old love gone stale with a dose of romance

Many of us use valentines to express our feelings. That’s why I say, valentines are the mirrors of romance.

Supposedly, Saint Valentine began the valentine practice when he cut hearts from parchment, giving them to the soldiers and persecuted Christians to “remind them of God’s love and to encourage them to remain faithful Christians.” He’s the saint that defied Emperor Claudius’ edict forbidding priests to marry couples and ended up in prison. A prison guard’s daughter formed a friendship with Valentine and on the day he was martyred he left her a note signed, “Love from your Valentine.”

Source: valentines begin appearing in the 1840s. Esther A. Howland is considered the Mother of Valentines in America. Inspired by an English Valentine she received, she created elaborate cards from scraps of real lace, ribbons, and colorful pictures.

You’ll find a large collection of her valentines in The American Antiquarian Society in Worcester.

Postcards with romantic scenes and messages were also popular in the nineteenth century. Unfortunately, the tradition of sending Valentine postcards died as the use of postcards for personal correspondence faded.

These are samples from my collection of vintage holiday postcards. valentine postcards

A modern day variation of postcards is found in the cute valentines schoolchildren share on Valentines’ Day.

In my opinion, of all the commercial choices of valentines, the homemade ones are the most special.

YOUR TURN: Will send a valentine to your sweetheart this year?

8 01, 2014

It’s Letter Writing Week

By |2017-01-08T19:26:22-06:00January 8th, 2014|one word Wednesday|0 Comments

That’s right. January 8th through 14th is the official week for letter writing.

My friend Janie Carver clued me with her blog.

Then Edie Melson listed Letter Writing Week in her January holidays blog.

The intent of the week long observation is to

W-R-I-T-E a letter

with a pencil, chalk, marker, crayon or ink pen

not with your fingers on a keyboard or a touch screen.

That means you dig out some of that ancient stationery you’ve been meaning to pitch, grab a writing instrument and put words on the page.

letterwritingNo word-processed message.

No email message.

No text message.

No typewriter. (Do people even use those anymore?)

Not a clever card even if you add a personal message.

I suggest a thank you for a Christmas gift, a hello to an aging friend or relative, a note of gratitude, or reconnecting with someone you haven’t seen in a while.

As a collector of vintage postcards, I find the handwritten notes on the cards dating back to the early 1900s touching.

pcard 1-f

Don’t you wonder who Dear “old girl” is? 

Especially since he signed the card Brian and family.



No doubt these parents were thrilled to receive this postcard from their son Ralph.

Think what a treasure you’ll create when you participate in letter writing week.

I guarantee you’ll put a smile on someone’s face.

Now go write a letter.

1 01, 2014

Happy 2014!

By |2014-01-01T22:03:18-06:00January 1st, 2014|Holidays|3 Comments

This postcard greeting from my vintage card collection was originally sent in 1912 and it’s my wish for you today.

new year 1

Chicken Wrangler Sara and I will start our 2014 blog schedule next week. See you then…


2 09, 2013

It’s Labor Day – Celebrate

By |2013-09-02T06:39:28-05:00September 2nd, 2013|Make Me Think Monday|0 Comments

If you’ve read my blog for long, you know I like to celebrate holidays with facts and vintage cards.

First the facts…

The first Labor Day was celebrated on Tuesday, September 5, 1882, in New York City, in accordance with the plans of the Central Labor Union. The idea spread with the growth of labor organizations, and in 1885, Labor Day was celebrated in many industrial centers of the country with parades and speeches.

In 1894, it became an official federal holiday.


Now the cards…

All celebrate what today is truly about—honoring the workers of American.



Labor Day doesn’t have speeches and parades so much anymore. Today we think of Labor Day as the end of summer, a day of no labor.


Work is good, but play is also important. I leave you with this great quote.


Now, pick your rainbow color, grab a hot dog, and SLIDE!

22 11, 2012

Grateful for YOU

By |2012-11-22T08:33:37-06:00November 22nd, 2012|Uncategorized|3 Comments

I’m thankful that in this great big blog world we have connected.

If you’ve read my about page, you know I’m a writer and an antiques dealer/collector. Ephemeron fascinates me. That’s why I chose this particular greeting today.

Not familiar with the term?

Ephemera (the plural form) refers to something transitory or short-lived. Items like pamphlets, notices, tickets, postcards or greeting cards designed to be useful or important for only a short time. In this age of technology, we’re losing ephemera.  Especially old postcards like these.

Back reads “from Ray to the Baby 1913 H. R. M.”

“Wishing you a Peaceful Thanksgiving Day; With all of Earth’s fruit from the blossom of May.”

“North South East and West; Let’s all join hands So that we may truly rejoice on Thanksgiving Day” To Marguerite from Grandma, 1915.

Each card undoubtedly has a story. Who was Ray and why did he send a Thanksgiving card to Baby? Were Marguerite and Grandma feuding and needed to join hands? There’s definitely a story connect to that one.

The writers among us could probably plot some compelling stories based on these old postcards. I think that’s why I find ephemeron so intriguing.

But just for today, let’s forget about writing.

Instead, let’s

Sit around the table and visit with family and friends.

Cheer for our favorite football team. Or nap.

And most important, remember to take the giblets out of the turkey!

Thanks for showing up today to read my blog.

I’m going to enjoy my blessings today.I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving day with your family and friends.

See you here on the 26th.

Go to Top