I will make some after- Christmas observances about Christmas cards and a few other things.
Christmas cards were invented at least 150 years ago. They were even advertised in a Perkins newspaper in 1893. The practice of exchanging cards has been a good way of keeping in touch with friends and relatives through the years. In recent years various kinds of electronic media has replaced some sending postal Christmas cards. But Christmas cards are still being sent.
Ready-made commercial cards have several designs. Some have pictures of the Nativity scene, shepherds, angels, and wise men. Others show church buildings lit up on a snowy night. Others show rural snow scenes with a house and horse drawn sleigh. Still others have Christmas trees and or Santa. Many have appropriate scripture verses.
The Santa tradition goes back to St. Nicholas of A. D. 325 who assisted people in need and gave gifts to children.
Some cards are inspirational booklets, like some from Guideposts, with pictures, Scripture passages, stories, and poems.
People often design personalized Christmas cards with photos of family, friends, children, grandchildren, and pets.
Other people write Christmas letters which tell of their family's activities of the previous year. These letters have colorful photos and pictures.
There was an unusual card I received from a friend a few years ago. It showed Santa coming back from his run on Christmas Eve. The front of the card showed his empty sleigh and reindeer outside a snow-covered chapel. Inside the card showed Santa inside the chapel kneeling at the altar where there was a manger with the Christ child.
Western scenes make nice Christmas cards. A few years ago a card from a neighbor showed two cowboys on horses. They had located and assisted a new-born calf on a snowy night. Another friends who hunts deer, sent a card that showed a pair of whitetail deer standing in the snow.
In the 1940's and later Christmas Seals were used to stick on the back of Christmas card envelopes. One hundred of these little stamps would be sent out to everyone on their mailing list. People were encouraged to send in a donation for tuberculosis research, in the earlier years at least 1¢ for each seal. The research must have helped control tuberculosis because in later years the contributions were directed for research for other lung diseases.
Father Flanagan's Boy's Town, Nebraska also used to send out seals. And so did Cal Farley's Boys Ranch in Texas.
The U. S. Postal Service now puts out several Christmas postage stamps that are really nice and colorful.
Last week's Perkins Journal (Dec. 26) had a neat ad entitled "Christmas Auction" by Pickens Auction Company. At first I thought it was a fl ash-back from 1913 when they did have auctions around Christmas because that was the end of the cotton growing season. But the ad last week was a good reflection on the true meaning of Christmas. Thanks to Gregg and Ernie and others of Pickens Auction for the ad.
Location of the auction: any local church or mission. Selling: peace on earth and good will. Real estate: a heavenly home. Personal property: Open doors, friendship, peace, no fear, no pain, a best selling book, and many other good things. Terms: Jesus will provide for you. Auctioneers: Local pastors, priests, and missionaries. Owner: Your Heavenly Father.