Among the things I once did a LONG time ago was to find and gift used vintage holiday cards. Not only is the artwork a surprise and delight, but it brings me nostalgia for times I never knew.
This Xmas card is postmarked on Dec. 21, 1909.
Now, years later, I love using my genealogy ability to find either the receiver or sender and look back at their life. If I wanted, I could find one of the descendants of William Early. William, to whom the postcard was sent. I could unravel the entire biography for the sender, Bessie McGivern of Galesburg, Illinois. She aged into a beautiful woman. I found several pictures of her.
I don’t know the sender’s and receiver’s connection.
But I love that I COULD find out if I wanted – to crack open a spider’s web of connections throughout history, time, and geography.
So, when I see used vintage cards, I don’t see relics or dusty, useless reminders.
When I give them, I’m giving something of myself; the admiration of life shared. You might not know it by looking at me, but I feel a kinship to some of the old ways. Of writing, of postcards, of delayed communication. If you get one from me, I’m also reminding you that life is fleeting and that one day our lives will be footnotes, memories, and details.
I see art.
I see life.
I see footprints of those who preceded us, much in the same way we’ll precede those who follow.
Time. Love. Connection.
P.S. *You’ll note that back then, “Xmas” was completely acceptable, before disinformation spread to lessen its beauty.