Pages

Monday, December 10, 2018

Pre-Christmas This ‘n That

๐ŸŽ„This time of year can get busy SO fast. Like lots of other folks, the past couple of 
weeks have been filled with pre-Christmas activities — and some unplanned "down" time.


The "down" time included coughing, nose blowing, sniffling and feeling blah with our first (and hopefully last) colds of the season (thinking optimistically here). Grenville's not-feeling-good began during our Thanksgiving holiday in Pennsylvania. Thankfully, it didn't sideline him from enjoying holiday time visiting with family.

Once home, I started with similar symptoms. After a week or so, we sought medical attention. Grenville needed an antibiotic. I was advised to keep using over-the-counter meds.

While sidelined we s-l-o-w-l-y worked on pre-holiday things, which for me was writing Christmas cards. Grenville laughs as every year, I talk about drastically trimming the list or stopping. This year was no exception, but that was months ago and this was the past couple of weeks.
Truth be known, I actually enjoy writing cards to family and family friends  and all the folks we know from years living in our native New Jersey, and from 12+ years on the Virginia Eastern Shore and now those we know in New England. The "list" also includes cards sent to 90+ year-old friends of my late mother who passed away three years ago on December 22. I handwrite messages in every card and address them by hand, but the return labels are printed out. And, yes, I like to add holiday stickers on the envelopes too!

Yes, the cost of 50-cent cost of U.S. postage stamps makes this a costly venture, if you look at it in economic terms. And, I get that not everyone can afford to spend the $ or the time to send cards.
Some folks I know have told me they've cut down and others have said they never send a single card. That's OK and maybe in future years, I'll re-evaluate as well, but not this year. Here's why, this past weekend, we received a call from a 92-year old friend living in Virginia who told us that the card we sent "made his day." We know he won't send us one , but that doesn't matter. He was so happy to be remembered and that's enough to know.

How about you — do you write and send cards ?

Sometime in January 2019, the cost of a First Class U.S. postage stamp is escalating to 55 cents — ouch! This week when mailing the 2018 cards, I bought a supply of Forever Stamps at the current 50 cent price. Of course, I'll be sending out cards again in 2019 !

We did a few more things while homebound. For myself that included decorating our apartment entry. Many decorations are similar to last year's. The mini tree lights have a battery pack and will be lit in the evening during Christmas week, but the hallway is always very brightly lit.
This year, Grenville set up the New England winter village (Department 56) and also included include a train, He placed place the Christmas tree in the center of the village. (Last year we spent most of the pre-holiday season in Virginia preparing for the sale of our home there, then it was delayed until this past February.) Here's how the layout started out earlier this week.

And this is how it looked after completion this past weekend. It's was hard to avoid the lights from buildings across the river, but the tree and village lights looked better in a night shot.
We also did a more interior decorating, and the Nativity is always included. This set holds special meaning as it belonged to my parents and was set up during Christmas. Some of the livestock and sheep were kept from a my Nativity set; other pieces were donated.
 How about you — have you done any holiday decorating? 


One thing we didn't do was any holiday baking. But we're thinking of making homemade chocolate chip cookies and brownies later this week. Then, we're planning to eat some !

18 comments:

coffeeontheporchwithme said...

It costs us $1.00 to send to our own country, and $1.20 if we send to the U.S. I haven't mailed a Christmas card in years! We get next to none. As a child, I remember my mother sending out many and receiving many. Things have changed a lot. -Jenn

Virginia Dean said...

Wow, you really do it up fine. I am the exact opposite of you … every year I cut back more but my children and grand-children love that I pass most of it on to them.

Linda said...

I’ve done all the decorating.....just tweaking things now! Will mail out my cards tomorrow. I ordered them from Snapfish using this year’s Western Santa painting on the front and the back is black with white letters for the greeting. Normally I add a handwritten note ......but the black background was not a good idea! And I didn’t have a silver ink pen so the cards are going out with the only personal touch being the hand written addresses! I’ll rethink the background for next year!
Yikes about the price of postage stamps! I think I’ll buy next year’s stamps right after Christmas, too!

DUTA said...

I take echinacea during winter to prevent colds. It usually works (sometimes not, but then I get a lighter form of cold).Anyway, I feel very miserable when I have a cold.

Sending holiday cards has stopped almost entirely here during the last decade. People send their wishes through email.

L. D. said...

I love getting cards so I do send cards. Your village and train is so wonderful. We have ours to put up and we are sort of working on it. I will bring some of them upstairs today. My wife has an art commission to do so I don’t want to interrupt her studio time. Again I am impressed with you village people, buildings and trees. It looks so good.

mamasmercantile said...

Yes, we still send cards as we know the thrill people get from receiving them. Loved your village and train set up, amazing.

Sandra said...

the village is truly beautiful, love that tree also. so sorry to hear about the cold sniffles.. I don't send cards, no a single one, I don't even send greeting cards of any kind. I do everything on line. all the people I know, I am in daily contact on FB, email, Messenger, text and phone. no need for cards, but if you like doing it then there is a need for you. my mother was a greeting card lover like you are. but she only spent 4 cents on her cards.

Silver Willow said...

Nope, I stopped sending about 5 years ago, and within a year the number we received dropped dramatically in conjunction. I realized then everyone was just doing it because others were. We all gave ourselves a gift by NOT doing it. Now we get maybe a half dozen cards a year, and I'm fine with that. But hey, whatever floats your boat!

Doris said...

We got your lovely card...thank you! I’ve not sent cards for years. I’d buy them but never actually get them sent! Finally decided it’s not in my dna to be a card sender and quit trying :)
We are mostly finished decorating. It’s all pretty simple..... no extravagance here but still pretty. Love your train display!
Hope you are both feeling fine now. Wishing you good health through this busy time!

William Kendall said...

Your nativity scene is quite a welcome sight!

Red said...

Love the train track.

Anvilcloud said...

I love your village. We have some of those same pieces but they didn't make it into the display this year. Lack of space is a problem.

As for cards, our postage costs are twice yours. That is probably not the reason that we have reduced sending cards in the past few years, but I guess it is a factor. I send some e-cards, but I am even getting a bit meh about that. I am not sure who really cares to hear from me, and in these days we seem to be in general online contact with those who matter.

Connie said...

I used to send out cards, but don't do it anymore. Most everyone I know keeps in touch through Facebook or emails now. Your decorations are lovely! Hope you are both feeling better by now.

Karen Lakis said...

I haven’t sent out Christmas cards for many years, but decided to get back to it this year. I kind of miss sending my friends a holiday greeting. I haven’t done much decorating, yet, but hope to get to that pretty soon, too. There has been a lot going around- coughs, stomach bugs... I hope you’re feeling better!

My name is Erika. said...

Your apartment is looking great and very festive! The holidays are coming on so fast, aren't they? Hugs-Erika

bill burke said...

The NE winter village scene and decorations are beautiful. I love your entryway, it definitely is festive. :) We send some Christmas cards out every year with a handmade ornament attached to it. To mail a card within the country costs us €1.00 and €1.35 for the international rate. Our card list has been cut back through the years and now we take a photo and put our message on it and send it via email, post it to facebook or do both.

Christina Naula said...

I love the village and tree, very festive and cheerful. I have started decorating a little, just the light chains for now but after Alistair's birthday, we'll decorate in earnest. I'll go out and choose a tree next week, something I do all by myself because otherwise we'd never agree on one. I stopped writing cards just for the sake of it but I do like to write a few special cards for special people. Postage is rather expensive here, too but I never know exactly how much because the stamps either say first or second class but no value. I looked it up the other day, a first class standard letter is 67 pence. I am not sure how many cents that is.

Denise inVA said...

All looks gorgeous, beautiful decorations. I have done most of ours now and had fun doing it this year.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...