The Christmas Card

Opening the mailbox and pulling out a pretty envelope brings a childlike feeling of wonder to the season. I do love Christmas cards. In the era of social media, when we all know most of what is going on in each other’s life already, a card seems moot. Less and less folks send Christmas cards each year. It seems to be a dying art, much like letter writing, or visits in person. I enjoy seeing actual handwriting. Hand written notes that perhaps didn’t make it on social media. Not phony, bragging Christmas letters; just a nice old fashioned note from people we care about. A card is a hug sent through the mail.

Cards decorate walls for the holiday and next year the fronts can be torn off and used as gift tags on gifts.

The point is not necessarily to get a card in return, but to send, by means of a simple, lovely card, a silent memento that speaks of your care for the person. And that is something we need much more of in the world.

In the writing world, it is how we make more friends. If you would like to send me a card, I would be thrilled to send you one in return. And who knows, it may end up being a lifetime of letter writing and friendship.

Mrs. Katie Sanders, 790 9th St, Penrose, CO 81240

Homemade Gifts, Cards, and Letter Writing (Homesteading #23)

Homesteading is about living on less so that you can work less, do what you love more, and attain financial security.  Homesteading is about doing more yourself because the pride that comes from the work of your own hands is unprecedented and you can control your own environment.  What you put on your skin, in your body, how you treat the soil, it all matters.

b91c4afaefe176b5d714579525fac665--porch-swings-fall-porches

Homesteading brings with it a peace of mind that we have mostly lost in our fast paced, make money, do everything lifestyles.  Our ancestors worked hard but they also did methodical, slow work where one can get their mind right.  Slowly stirring curds to make cheese, hanging clothes on the line in the fresh air, planting seeds that will feed the family through winter in jars on root cellar shelves.  Doug chops wood when he is upset with me.  There was one winter that we had a lot of wood!

Another beautiful aspect of homesteading is homemade gifts and cards.  Really, the mass marketed, big box store, kids in China made crap has got to stop.  No one wants a skirt that will fray in a month, or appliances they will never use, or heaven forbid, tchotchkes.  We have to dust enough!

soapy

A bar of goat’s milk soap, a jar of preserves, chokecherry gin, pickles, or chutney.  Hand written recipes, a wheel of cheese, a plant for the garden, or saved seeds with a story.  Or something really special like a quilt, or something woven.  A hand poured candle, or a keep sake box.  Jacob, my daughter’s boyfriend, welded together parts to make a snowman for me for Christmas.  I love it.

IMG_0632

Hand painted cards are a lovely surprise, or have a child draw out the card.  Write personal notes.  Don’t depend on the card company’s catchy phrases.

Make a phone call.  Write a letter.  Send a card just because.

IMG_0540

I am anxious this fall to get out the sewing machine and the crochet hook and start creating skirts, shawls, and quilts.  To set up my paints and be ready to paint a canvas or use watercolors to create cards to send to my pen pals.

These things come from the heart.  And heart is the very soul of homesteading,

Would you like to be my pen pal?  There is nothing like opening the mailbox to find a letter, neatly addressed and stamped.  I love to put it in my apron pocket and then sit with a cup of tea and savor both.

Mrs. Katie Sanders, 1901 Brown Ave, Pueblo, CO 81004

Here are a few more ideas:

Simple Gifts and Spiral Notebooks

Painted Letters

The Magic of a Yuletide Card

Thanksgiving eve.  There is always so much to be thankful for.  Health, family, security, home, and an inspired life.  These things I think of and am thankful for each day of the year.  As a vegetarian and a history lover, Thanksgiving isn’t really my favorite holiday.  And this year my children will be other places.  So, I have put up my Christmas houses and am clearing a place for the tree.  Yes, Yule is my very favorite holiday of the year.  The lights, the charity, the music, the wrappings, the trimmings, the beauty and joy that surrounds Yuletide is intoxicating for me.

20181119_114705

My grandparents with their great, great granddaughters. So much to be thankful for.

Now, I feel like we are all old friends here.  Just like you are over for coffee this pretty morning and I am telling you about how I, on a whim, just registered for a full load of classes to pursue a teaching degree (yes, I did that the other night) or am showing you photographs of my new granddaughter.  Over the years we’ve have had some laughs, we’ve had some tears, we’ve had some wine.  But I like the tangible as well.  I would love to be on your Christmas card list this year and I will add you to mine.  Let us pen old fashioned wishes and hopes for the new year.  I love hearing from readers and responding.  It makes us friends out there in this big, small world.

20181120_140949

Christmas cards may seem old fashioned, but they are a link and a wish to family and friends, old and new, and a moment of your time and love.  There is no greater gift than that.  Christmas cards have led to a few really fabulous pen pals for me.  I enjoy so much that moment of peeking in the mailbox and finding a card or letter.  Placing the envelope in my apron pocket as I make a cup of tea.  Sitting down to savor every word.  To be there.  To listen.  To read.  To pull out a few pieces of beautiful stationary and respond.  Yes, it is one of my favorite things.  Send me a card and I will send you one as well filled with good wishes and cheer, from my cozy home to yours.

Mrs. Katie Sanders

1901 Brown Ave

Pueblo, CO 81004

Wishing you a joyous Thanksgiving and a happy beginning to your Yuletide festivities.

Lost Letters (and seeking pen pals)

letter

I love to thumb through old postcards in antique stores.  Not only do I enjoy the vintage art work, but also finding ones with handwriting scribbled across.  A window into a past world, a seemingly simpler place.

Postcards were the equivalent of a text or email.  “Mom says that you should come over for dinner on Thanksgiving.  How is everything?  I am doing good in school.  Love, Carol.”

Letters on crinkled paper from time bundled by ribbon in a hope chest in the attic.  The years of two lovers’ correspondence during the war.  Letters from children.  Letters from friends about what is happening on the farm.

I don’t care to talk on the phone much.  Conversations tend to drag on after awhile.  Awkward silences, trying not to interrupt each other.

I like texts but texts are like a hundred postcards a day.  “Do you need a ride to school tomorrow?”  “Yes, we make a sleep medicine.”  “Who is coming to dinner?”  They carry little emotion.

Emails are alright, but reserved for business more often than not.  I sit in front of the computer to write, to check banking accounts, to check Facebook (another way to keep in touch…though superficially) once or twice a day.

letters

When I was a child, I had pen pals.  Remember pen pals?  I wrote to a young girl in Italy.  I wrote to a young man in Texas (and I mean young, I think we were eleven).  I enjoyed years of correspondence with a girl in Uganda.  I wrote to my best friend in Boise.  Once I grew up, these letters dissipated until the mailbox was empty.

Doug and I started sponsoring children and eagerly awaited their quarterly letters on how they were doing.  But, those were shallow as well.  After all, six year olds in Africa only have so much to say.

So, I check the mail and see the few bills I don’t pay online.  Look for magazines to inspire me.  Throw out the ads.  Does anyone else miss the anticipation of opening the mailbox?  Hoping for a letter from a friend?  To prepare a cup of tea and sit in one’s favorite chair before carefully opening the envelope to see what is happening in a different place?  Handwriting speaking its own messages as well.  To pen a response, lick the envelope, and happily adhere a stamp to it then send it on its way across the land to be read on another homestead.

I do.  Would anyone like to correspond through stationary and pen?  Send to Mrs. Katie Sanders, P.O. Box 2012, Elizabeth, Colorado 80107.  I will respond.  We are all much too busy in this day and age.  To sit and pen a letter or to open and read one would send us to that place in time where housewives corresponded through letters.