Posts Tagged ‘Christmas cards’

Service of Christmas Card Trends

Tuesday, December 26th, 2017

I love receiving greeting cards. Whether for Christmas, Halloween or our birthdays, I display them and enjoy looking at them. This December, as always, we were thrilled to receive some wonderful cards, many with updates and lovely messages.

I noticed a few trends that in some ways reflect society today:

Flat cards

There were more flat cards than previously and while they were nice and waste less paper, they can be harder to display. We also received fewer e-cards than in the past.

Peace and joy was a prominent theme and there were only two religious cards. One stunner–of trees–was handmade and another was of a Christmas scene captured by a talented photographer.  Many are decorative, colorful and cheery.

We received only one what I call “my son is enjoying Harvard; my daughter has a job at Goldman Sachs and we just returned from a whirlwind trip around the world” letters i.e. the typed messages that boast many successes. I suspect that is because most people use Facebook and Instagram throughout the year for that purpose.

Have you noticed a change or trend in this year’s holiday wishes?

Service of Naughty and Nice

Monday, December 23rd, 2013

Park avenue lights 51st

On the eve of December 24th, this seemed like an appropriate topic.


I love lights and decorations in office buildings and on brownstone and apartment doors, on Park Avenue Christmas trees, in parks, on lampposts and in the garden outside our apartment. I especially appreciate these familiar sights after a cold, gray wintery day. Have you seen the dancing Salvation Army bell-ringers on Vanderbilt Avenue? My heart sings when I see kids skipping to keep up with their mothers or fathers in happy anticipation of Christmas.

In spite of email, there are friends I hear from once a year and it’s great to catch up. And I adore real cards—they are so decorative.

thumbprint cookiesI welcome the scent of baking Christmas cookies I’ve eaten since I can remember and made since I was old enough to help. We refer to the thumbprint recipe as my grandmother’s but it’s a standard ground almond/butter/sugar cookie with red currant jelly in the dent. After they are baked, I sprinkle them with confectioner’s sugar for a snowy look. The bright red currant jelly I’ve always used is impossible to find in NYC but I was lucky to find it at a store in the country.

I found at least two perfect gifts but can’t mention what they are yet; attended some lovely parties with a few more to come; ate amazing goodies—whiskey cake, fudge, chocolate and pears, jams and homemade applesauce from generous gift packages.

Barnes & Noble is selling kits for children to learn to crochet and make extraordinary origami—offering relief from hours staring at smartphones and tablets.

The checkout people at Trader Joe’s on 14th Street are forever cheerful even though they don’t have a moment to breath, especially with the relentless lines at this time of year when they have their stresses and obligations to contend with as we all do.

I saw the doorman at our office help the letter carrier lug boxes of mail into the elevator at 4 pm one day. The carrier, who had been at it since 7 that morning, appears to have severe osteoporosis and yet he perseveres, always cheerful. This is not the doorman’s job; his desk is quite a distance from the elevators.


The opposite of the doorman/letter carrier interaction are the countless doors that people let slam in the faces of others, even during the holidays when fellow pedestrians’ hands tend to be full. Holding the door for one second wouldn’t affect them and yet it might help out someone else. I must figure out what to do about this as it gets under my skin.

Hermes handbagIn contrast to $700 scarves and $5,000++ handbags, I am seeing an increasing number of beggars on streets and in the subways. The problem with giving money to beggars is you don’t know if your donation is feeding a drug habit or an empty stomach.begging

I welcome the cross at 200 Park Avenue made by the building office lights left on—and off—strategically. It was a stunning seasonal punctuation to the start of the elegant avenue. This year the building was bathed in green and red and blue lights. A friend pointed out that the cross is symbolic of Easter, not Christmas. Nevertheless the colored lights are not the same.

arrogant salespersonI was off put by the snotty treatment I received at a so-called upscale store. I got a gift box—begrudgingly. The saleswoman placed the gift in tissue paper and the box by its side in a shopping bag. The store was almost empty with nobody nearing the cash register—plenty of time for her to pop the gift inside the box. Her attitude until then was equally appalling as I wasn’t perusing big-ticket items. If it weren’t for the recipient–who loves the store, needs the item and is treated well there–I’d  have walked out never to return, leaving the gift behind.

Whether or not you celebrate Christmas, I hope that you have enjoyed seasonal get-togethers, anticipate some time off, get to a movie, concert or play, eat delicious treats and catch your breath. Do you have special plans? Can you add to the Nice or Naughty sections of this post?

 Christmas house



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