Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Christmas cards, lunar eclipse, skiing, carols and other stuff

Here is another old Christmas card, from 1908. This card also has one of the first Christmas Seal (supporting the Red Cross) on it, next to the postage stamp. I don’t see too many Christmas seals today, but a few decades ago, they were pretty popular. I have one more card to show, but I’ll save it for Christmas day. As for myself, I stopped sending out Christmas cards a few years ago and instead send out a long letter with a collage of photographs from the past year. I screen the photos; you never see one with me in a suit or any such thing. The photo of me writing while sitting on the canoe by the edge of the Au Sable River is one such photo for this year’s collage.

The lunar eclipse was eclipsed by clouds. This is the season of gray here in the Great Lakes regions. Mornings have come into being without a single hint of color, just a lightning gray that starts in the east and gradually covers the sky. We see not the sun or the moon, but last night I could tell that the moon was full and bright somewhere beyond the clouds. The best description for this world is in Comac McCarthy’s The Road. Although I love winter, I like it with more sunlight than we get here (I spent too much time out west).

I spent six hours Sunday afternoon and evening skiing with my daughter. She got herself some new racing skis (a great deal at a ski-swap) and I can tell I’m going to be in trouble. She’s fast and I am going to have to tune-up my skis (if not buy new ones) so I can keep up with her. When I got home last night, I could tell my legs aren’t as young as they used to be. My left knee hurt and my right calf had what could only be described as contractions! I’m better and even though I didn’t work out last night, I did play pickle ball.

A few posts ago I told you about my favorite Advent hymns. My favorite Christmas carol is “What Child is This?” The tune, Greensleeves, to which it is set, has been around for centuries (even mentioned by Shakespeare), although the words to the carol wasn’t pinned till the 19th Century. Originally it was an lost-love ballad sung in English pubs.

It looks like we’ll have a white Christmas, not because we’ve had so much snow but because it’s very cold what little we’ve had hasn’t gone anywhere. Christmas Eve will be for church, Christmas day will be for laying around and opening presents and taking naps by the fireplace.


  1. It seems so quick this year. And it also seems darker for some reason.
    I do like the simplicity of those old cards. But I suppose they had to be back in those days for the slimmed down iconography was less likely to cause offense.

  2. My Christmas Day plans are similar to yours, only instead of taking naps by the fireplace, I'll be doing it by the pool. ;)

    PS - Love the old Christmas cards...but I can't imagine racing on skis or playing pickle ball (?). I've never heard of that.

    Wishing you happy moments by the fire. Wish I could sit by a roaring fire soon and watch the snow fall outside a large picture window. Ahhh...with a nice vino tinto and good friends. Perfect!

  3. I like the thought of the snow and the fireplace, too. We are usually warmish for the day where I spend Christmas in north Florida.

    What in the heck is pickle ball?

  4. I don't want a white Christmas, and it looks as though I'll get that wish.

    I remember Christmas seals. It seemed un-American not to use them years ago....LOL

    Merry Christmas, Sage!

  5. We're having a white one here too, it seems. I need to get over to my mom's and make sure she's got enough victuals for the weekend, assuming we can't get together on Saturday.

    As for the skiing, I assume you mean Nordic. Always a killer early in the Season.


  6. I looked for it but we had thick clouds. I couldn't even see a lighter spot where the moon should have been. The pictures I saw on the morning news were wonderful though.

    My Christmas day is going to be a flurry of packing (and opening presents at two different places) for a big road trip to begin on the next day. I'll save the relaxing by the fire between January second and sometime in March when it begins to warm up.

  7. No eclipse here either. Clouds rolled in, then rain. Strange to be without the sun here in the desert day after day.

    I came to California to get more sunshine anyway. The long winters back East were making me seriously depressed.

  8. That post card is quite a glimpse into the time period. The holly leaves and berries are perennial.

  9. I always enjoy those old cards, and postcards too, as well as old photos. Sounds like you will have a joyful Christmas and may you and your family be blessed! Have a great holiday in all that you do....and just enjoy family! :)

  10. Vince, tomorrow we should get a bit more light!

    Lulu, don't fall in!

    Lynn (and others who asked) Pickle ball is kind of like indoor tennis--it's a big winner game here, you can have 3 pickle ball games on one basketball court

    Kenju, white Christmases in the Piedmont are few and far between!

    Randall, it was downhill--on 300 feet of vertical but you can do a run in 5 minutes (including lift times) and they were not busy, so we did a lot of runs

    Ed, have a safe trip

    Ron, sounds like you're getting lots of rain--I saw photos of the Virgin River near Zion and couldn't believe it

    Paul, I have three of these old cards-I'll share another on Christmas day

    Karen, thanks, and my you and your family be blessed during the holidays too

  11. Oh you're one of "those" people - a letter writer.


    Have a Merry Christmas, Sage. Sounds like you have wonderful plans.

  12. Yeah, there'll be a great stretch in the evenings, eh.

  13. There is something about the past Christmas cards....they seemed so "real" somehow. I miss the "real" in today...it is a little too "technological" for me:( I think I get more "online Christmas wishes" than what come in my mailbox at the end of my drive.

    Have fun keeping up with your daughter:)....and your Christmas sounds peaceful.

  14. The skiing although it wasn't easy sounds fun. I hear ya about needing more sunlight. In NY I feel like the sun shines for a minute and then its back to grey. Who couldn't use more sun? I hope you have a great Christmas!

  15. Indoor tennis? We call that ping-pong here in the South :)

    They're calling for snow on Christmas here. Of course, I'll believe it when I'm running around outside whooping and hollering and making snow angels like a mental patient.

    Merry Christmas, Sage.

  16. Sage: You covered a lot of ground in this short post. I especially enjoyed your mention of Christmas Seals. Yes, you're right. I don't see too many of them anymore. Christmas Blessings, my friend! :)

  17. love the road...skiing sounds like fun as well...hope you and yours have a great christmas!

  18. We haven't much snow at all so far but we were lucky enough to have clear skies for the eclipse.

    Wishing you and yours a wonderful Christmas.

  19. Looks like it will be snow and by the fire naps for us too!

  20. Your writing gets more continually beautiful! Great descriptions
    We're even going to have snow but not until Sunday! It just might stick again
    Merry Christmas Sage to you and your family

  21. I have a collection of old cards gifted by relatives that have collected over the years. Some are soo lovely and you have a great selection.