Everyone has a different way to kick off the holiday season. For me? I love to attend the Silver Bells in the City event. All the lights and sounds of Christmas just puts me in the spirit of the season.
A diverse variety of Christmas cards spread out across the kitchen table, my favorite radio station is blaring loudly throughout the house. I am sipping hot tea as I glance down at my lengthy Christmas card exchange list. I send numerous Christmas cards out each year (when I say numerous, I mean hundreds). I even write little notes or long letters in some of the cards depending on if I get to see that person on a regular basis or not. Enclosing a letter or decorating the envelope with stickers just adds to the overall creative process.
Since we live in technological world where social media provides an instant response to a greeting or letter; I have had people tell me that the tradition is no longer in style. In fact, I was told the tradition was a dying art. However, I love sending and receiving Christmas cards. When a friend or family receives my card, I want them to know that I was thinking about them during the hustle and bustle of the holiday season.
The first Christmas card was given by Sir Henry Cole in 1843 in England. John Horsely, an artist, was a friend of Sir Henry Cole and made the first design. And, actually the design was criticized by some since the artwork showed children with a glass of wine. I can only imagine what would have been said, if these critics could see some of the cards that are designed today.
As time went on, the sending of Christmas cards became more popular. Some of the cards that were sent in the 1910’s and 1920’s were designed by hand. The cards were decorated with art work created by ribbons, foil, and pieces of cloth. The home crafted cards were given by hand since they could not be delivered through the post. I can remember making Christmas cards in school when I was younger to bring home to my parents. I always used lots of color and glitter.
The Christmas cards that I send and receive remind me how delicate life can be at times. I look down my list and realize that some of the people that I sent cards to in the past are no longer with us this year. So, create a list, make out a card and let people know that you are thinking about them this holiday season. Because the list may be reduced next year and you will miss the chance to tell someone that you care.
Over the weekend, I was fortunate enough to visit the Rooftop Landing Reindeer Farm. Growing up on a farm, I love animals, I had never seen a reindeer up close. The trip to Clare, Michigan was worth the extra miles. The Reindeer Farm is great for photo opportunities especially if you have children. You can even get your photo done professional right there in the little gift shop area.
I was able to get my photo taken with Santa. There was no cost, you just had to use your own camera. (please ignore my hair, the day was windy).
I went on a small wagon ride. During the ride, I get to hear the story of Rex and Harley, the two Belgium horses who pulled the wagon. Rex and Harley were rescue animals who were abused. The two beautiful horses will pull the wagon for another season before being put into retirement. Hearing the story and the amount of work the couple put into their horse ranch/farm made paying for the wagon ride a small gesture. (The couple keeps all the proceeds from the rides).
On the wagon trail, a tree was decorated which created excitement for the children on the ride. I also loved the mom singing Christmas carols to her son as we went through the wooded area. The little boy who I would guess was around three years old seemed a little apprehensive on the wagon being pulled by two huge horses. The singing from his mother made him smile.
The area where you could view these magnificent reindeer had signs filled with information and facts.
I would recommend this little farm experience for all those who are in the area of Clare, Michigan especially if you have small children.
For many Black Friday, entailed early morning shopping. I slept in. I had actually gone shopping on Thanksgiving night; my mom begged me to take her. Of course, I spent most of my time hiding down an aisle while my mom and niece searched for bargains. I am just not a fan of the chaos and the crowds.
Later in the evening on Friday, November 28th, I actually took time and went to the Light Parade in St. Johns, Michigan. The little parade was fun; the cold not so much. The snow did give the whole event an extra Christmas touch.
I really haven’t found my Christmas spirit yet. I am not sure why, I usually have my tee up by now. So, I have decided to attend local events in hopes of finding my Christmas spirit. I thought I would share them with all of you.
Of course, the man of the hour: Santa Claus makes his way down to the train depot.
Santa gets the key to the city to be able to deliver all the toys to the good boys and girls of the town. After all the key was presented, the Little Miss Mint officially started the holiday season by lighting the Christmas tree.