The spirit of Christmas

Signed and sent Christmas postcard

Within a rustic framework sits a family consisting of a couple, their children (two with their spouses) and grandchildren, with the adults toasting the viewer.

The youngsters are tucking into the food and drink with a will, but the family aren’t forgetting their charitable duties: in the adjacent side panels individuals who are hungry and destitute are being attended to by the servants and given food and warm clothing.

In a year not quite like any other in living memory Christmas will inevitably be rather different than usual. Whether socially isolating or maintaining social distancing let those of us who are more advantaged be more like that family from nearly two centuries ago: they remembered the less advantaged even as they wished their friends A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

I will try to do likewise.

The first commercially printed Christmas card (1843) designed by John Callcott Horsley

39 thoughts on “The spirit of Christmas

    1. Isn’t it great? I noticed it also got a mention on one of the questions set on a recent University Challenge — I found myself shouting in disbelief at the TV when some of the celebrity alumni couldn’t get many of the general knowledge questions right, but at least someone correctly identified this, the first Christmas card. Phew!


    1. Thanks, Piotrek, and Wesołych Świąt Bożego Narodzenia in return! I hope you and yours are staying safe, whatever the provocations and limitations, and that for you too 2021 will prove more optimistic.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. We see compassion as a strength, not a weakness, don’t we: I really do think that being kind to those that need and deserve it is a litmus test for what sort of a human being one is.

      That doesn’t of course mean we shouldn’t attach blame where it’s due — sadly there’s a lot of it due; I’m often mindful that pax hominibus bonae voluntatis is too often mistranslated as ‘Peace and goodwill to all men’ when it should be ‘Peace to those of goodwill’.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Nicola, and I hope you did too! The two of us had a quiet day, having had our big meal on Christmas Eve and relying on electronic devices to keep in touch with family. Happy Blogging New Year!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. This kind of card certainly captures the spirit of Christmas Dickens shared that same year, doesn’t it? Now to follow the advice of the giant Ghost of Christmas Present from the Muppet Christmas Carol (or Bill Murray from the film Scrooged, I suppose): to make this spirit live all year.

    A blessed New Year to you!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Sadly, like many others, we have covid in the family Chris and a slew of challenges alongside it. One day at a time at the moment. This too shall pass, but possibly not any time soon. Take care and stay safe 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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