Mini-Christmas Card Holder

Christmas cards – sending them and receiving them – used to be a major part of the season.  Everyone sent cards to everyone – we exchanged cards with our minister, doctor, grocer, teachers, neighbors, friends and woe to the person who forgot an aunt or distant cousin when making out the cards.

My sister and I liked to buy the dime-store boxes of cards in which every piece was different.  Then, we could match them up to the recipient – a funny snowman for a cousin, an English village scene for an aunt and uncle, a religious card for Grandma.

All personal cards were signed by hand, most with a short message, and addressed by hand.  There was usually a TB sticker on the back of the envelope to show the sender had bought a page of stickers to fight tuberculosis.

Envelopes, stamps and stickers had to be licked, a job the kids usually got to do.

A lot of cards were mailed and a lot of cards were received.  They were opened quickly and taped in a prominent place in the living room – surrounding the mantel or maybe attached to a velvet ribbon that traveled around a door jamb.  Visitors were likely to look through the cards, admire the designs and take note of the senders.

Things have changed a lot.  We still send cards but very selectively.  So many of the people who used to be so interested in the annual Christmas greetings are gone now and the younger people like to send e-mails or say, “Merry Christmas” on their blogs.  I receive 10 cards or so each Christmas now and don’t need a length of velvet to display them.  This Christmas, I was inspired by a card-holder wall hanging I saw in a quilt shop.  I made one to fit my mini-quilt rack – it’s basically a wall hanging with a pocket attached.  It’s plenty big enough to hold my cards which are still treasured and admired just as they were 50 years ago.

The vintage cards are from my personal collection.  The bank card and TB seal are from the 1920s, the other cards are from the 1940s.

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Lillian Applegate Westfelt was a mother of 4, grandmother of 6, and great-grandmother of 3. She was an 86-year-old widow living in a nice little bungalow with her oldest daughter and a beagle-dachsund named Addie. She passed away in November, 2018.

7 thoughts on “Mini-Christmas Card Holder”

  1. Lillian – what a neat use for the mini quilt stand. I bet another version could be made for Birthday cards as well – and I have more of a chance of getting that accomplished before the “big day”! Christmas version can be for next year…

  2. This is so cute. I love card holders, and I love Christmas cards with a hand written note. I had forgotten about the TB stickers.

    When I was little (years ago) I had a set of caroler candles like you have pictured. They were part of my prized Christmas decor. Seeing these brings back such good memories.

  3. I remember those TB stickers and, until now, hadn’t realized I haven’t seen any in a long time! I still tape mine in the shape of a Christmas tree, though I, too, am likely to send an online Christmas card or Jacquie Lawson card. I like the card holder, though, and may have to make one next year.

  4. How wonderful were the good old days, bring back the licking stamps and pretty scenery on cards!! don’t like those virtual things at all LOL.

    Wishing you and your family Happy Holidays 🙂

  5. I guess that tradition is dying also, but I still send cards and write a Christmas letter. This year I did not send as many, but still the count was 57 total. Haven’t counted but we have no received more than 10 either. Since hubby was career Air Force for 23 years, and carreers as Boy Scout Executive and then Prudential, there are many friends that we only connect with by Christmas card. Card selection in stores is limited and even more so if you want a card with a religious message. I guess I am just old school and will just continue doing all things “Christmas” until I just can’t do them anymore; that may be when they put me in the ground. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year Lillian———-oop’s that’s a virtual message. Hugs

    1. Good for you that you still have 57 people to send cards to. I can see that your husband’s activities have made a lot of friends through the years.

      I’ll take a “Merry Christmas” however I can get it. Thank you – and I hope you and your family have a wonderful Christmas. Lillian

  6. Oh Lillian, I so enjoyed reading this post. I remember the exact emphasis that was placed on sending and receiving these Christmas cards so long ago. It makes me sad to see how little we now receive, as they were such an integral part of the Christmas season. I cherish each one that comes my way. The card holder you made is so beautiful, and love all the vintage cards. That bank one with Santa is a hoot!
    Maureen

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