Weatherford Democrat

Viewpoints

December 23, 2012

NOW HEAR THIS: Memories of old Christmas cards

By LARRY M. JONES

One of my favorite parts of the Christmas season has always been the sharing of Christmas cards with friends and family.

From my earliest recollection of this ritual, I have seen this tradition as a way of keeping in touch with loved ones and acquaintances who might live in other parts of the country. I recall the cards my mother would send would always contain a short personal note, and the ones we received would do so, as well. Serving so many years in the Navy, I found this to be a wonderful way to keep in touch with old shipmates who became scattered to the four winds.

The sending of Christmas cards is a relatively modern practice, originating roughly about the time of the birth of our nation. Early handwritten Christmas greetings were originally delivered in person, but they quickly became commercially printed and were delivered by the postal service. I’ve read that an early “Superintendent of Mails” in Washington, D.C., complained to Congress and encouraged them to restrict the practice because it created such an extra workload.

I recall seeing my mother pore over her address book, making a list of those she wished to include in her Yuletide mailings. Unlike many folks today, we did not include local friends and family on our card list. For many of these folks, we would take the time to drop off a plate of cookies, fruitcake or candy. Others we would offer our holiday greetings during parties at school and church events, or at gatherings throughout the community. Spending 3 cents on a stamp to send a card two miles seemed to be quite a waste of money down on the poor farm.

Over the years, I’ve heard many folks complain about the rising price of stamps, saying that this would probably be the last year they would be able to afford to send cards. While this may be the case for some, fortunately we were never been so destitute as to limit this spreading of Christmas cheer. Our cards may have been cheap “dime store” editions, but the sentiment was as rich as the season.

Text Only
Viewpoints
  • 0912 one bday wm j kelly 2013 mug.jpg KELLY: What do you think?

    Not much is known about this Joseph’s life. The one thing I know for sure is that he was a very brave man.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Hamilton, Lee.jpg HAMILTON: Government as innovator? You bet!

    Five years ago, the federal government spent $169 billion to fund basic research and development. This fiscal year, it’s down to $134 billion.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Showing respect

    My sister Robbie Benton’s funeral was Friday afternoon at White’s Funeral Home. The gravesite was outside of Mineral Wells. The respect shown by the good folks of Parker County and the surrounding area was overwhelming.

    April 17, 2014

  • larry jones cropped:color NOW HEAR THIS: Going on a wild goose chase

    In recent years I’ve written quite a bit about the introduction and negative consequences of non-native or invasive species. Fire ants, killer bees, English sparrows, Asian carp, feral hogs and others too numerous to list have forever changed our local ecosystem.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: TV offers

    Have you seen those TV offers where they give a price for one product and then offer a second like items for-free? All you have to do is pay a separate shipping and handling charge for the “free” items.

    April 13, 2014

  • John Paul Carter-color.jpg NOTES FROM THE JOURNEY: What’s in a name?

    Names are important. When my son, Rush, (who’s named after my father) and his wife, Vanessa, were expecting their third daughter, I gave up on having a male namesake and suggested, in jest, they call her “Johnnie Pauline.”

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • tiscione, lou.jpg TISCIONE: The Christian and the government

    The church in the Old Testament lived under a theocracy. That is, both the church and state were one. God anointed kings. Civil laws and religious laws were one and the same.

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • larry jones cropped:color NOW HEAR THIS: Getting in the chicken business

    Anyone who is my age or older has heard the famous quote, “A chicken in every pot.” It is normally attributed to Herbert Hoover during his 1928 presidential bid.

    April 6, 2014 1 Photo

  • VIEWPOINT: Obsessed with sports

    I remember reading a synopsis of the five reasons for the “Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire” by Edward Gibbon in which he listed the Romans’ obsession with sports at the coliseum as a cause of the fall of the empire.

    April 6, 2014

  • 0912 one bday wm j kelly 2013 mug.jpg KELLY: What do you think?

    On March 21, this paper published an article about a six-month drug trafficking investigation involving 12 people. On the front page was a photo of the 12 people involved. The use of drugs had made them a sorry-looking bunch. The look in their eyes was particularly disturbing.

    April 4, 2014 1 Photo

Must Read
Top News
House Ads
AP Video
Obama Hopeful on Ukraine, Will Watch Russians Flamingo Frenzy Ahead of Zoo Construction Crew Criticized Over Handling of Ferry Disaster Agreement Reached to Calm Ukraine Tensions Raw: Pope Francis Performs Pre-easter Ritual Raw: Bulgarian Monastery Dyes 5000 Easter Eggs Diplomats Reach Deal to Ease Tensions in Ukraine U.S. Sending Nonlethal Aid to Ukraine Military Holder: Americans Stand With KC Mourners Obama Greets Wounded Warriors Malaysia Plane: Ocean Floor Images 'Very Clear' Sparks Fly With Derulo and Jordin on New Album Franco Leads Star-studded Broadway Cast Raw: Two Lucky Kids Get Ride in Popemobile Boston Bombing Survivors One Year Later Sister of Slain MIT Officer Reflects on Bombing