Every year at Christmas, my father goes through all the holiday greeting cards he has received to see which ones were purchased from the company I work for. This all started years ago when I spotted one of “my” cards, Design 307CW – Patriotic Dove Peaceful Holiday Card, sitting on his fireplace mantel. It was a holiday card from his investment broker depicting a white dove against an American flag background with the words “Peace on Earth” inscribed in gold lettering. He was fascinated that a company created patriotic Christmas cards and this one especially brought to mind a “greeting card” he had received back in 1945. Being the 83 year old reminiscing storyteller that he has become, my father proceeded to tell me about the “greeting card” he received that year.
He had just turned 18 and by law had to register with the local draft board. World War II was winding down in Europe but was still going full force in the Pacific. He had been assured he would not be called to serve before he graduated from high school in a few months. In the interim, his school officials were working with the Navy to get him into a new training program.
Shortly after graduation in May, he received a rather “bland” notice via telegram that began: “Greetings. You have been accepted by the United States Navy as a volunteer for their Electronic Technician Training Program. Report to… Congratulations.”
Recently, my father was going through some old papers in his desk and he came across this tattered, worn telegram that changed his life in many ways. His first thought was that this piece of paper should have been put in a picture frame many years ago because of the impact it had on his life. His second thought was that this message should have arrived on beautiful Design 307CW – Patriotic Dove Peaceful Holiday Card, inscribed in gold foil with the message of his induction into the Navy embossed with the official naval insignia inside. If that had been the case, this multi-colored patriotic greeting card would have been proudly displayed on the wall of his living room for the past 65 years.
Memorial Day and Veterans Day have a long and storied history. They began as two special days in our country’s history, Decoration Day and Armistice Day. The first came into existence after the end of the Civil War almost 150 years ago as visitors to cemeteries in both the North and the South honored the war dead by “decorating” tombstones and gravesites with fresh flowers. The latter holiday signified the end of the fighting on the Western front of the Great War (World War I) at the “eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month” in 1918. Again, that day was to honor those who died in that war. Since the advent of both holidays, there have been quite a few changes, however.
Although Decoration Day began to be known as “Memorial Day” beginning in 1882, it was not declared the official name by Federal law until 1967. The following year, Congress passed the Uniform Holidays Bill, moving the celebration (which had always been on May 30) to the last Monday in May instead so that Americans could have a convenient three-day weekend, thereby “announcing” the unofficial beginning of summer. That same bill also moved Armistice Day–better known since the end of World War II as Veterans Day–to a Monday. (Because of public furor, however, the official celebration of that day was moved back to its original date of November 11, beginning in 1978.)
The Gallery Collection features several patriotic Christmas cards, the designs of which are perfect for holidays such as Memorial Day and Independence Day or even Veterans Day for those who are inclined to send out cards commemorating those days. It’s a wonderful way to remember those who have given so much.
Both holidays were meant to be special days on which the United States and its people would honor those who fought and/or died in all the wars in our country’s history, for which these special days are now known. Although this is still the thought and practice for many people, over time thinking about our fighting men and women on these days has become much less important, having been replaced by visits to the mall or to the beach or staying at home and enjoying barbeques or video games during the long weekends. With U.S. military personnel serving all over the world–especially in far-away places like Afghanistan–and with the news of the demise of Osama bin Laden at the beginning of this month, a real sense of patriotism is in order for this Memorial Day. Certainly having fun with family and friends and enjoying the warmer weather during the holiday weekend is a great thing. But let us not forget how wonderful it is to have the freedoms we cherish in this country, thanks to those who came before us and those who continue to serve in our armed forces. That’s what these holidays are all about.
Patriotic Christmas cards seem to be a new fad in sending holiday greetings. When you first look at design #307CW, Patriotic Dove Peaceful Holiday Card, the tranquility of the beautifully embossed white dove evokes hope for peace. The leaves from the olive branch are being scattered and sent to all who recognize that America will always have peace as its ultimate goal. I particularly admire the artist’s decision to use the stars and stripes as the background. The colors support rather than overwhelm the delicately etched bird. The finely gilded border is the perfect frame. I cannot envision anyone taking offense at the theme of this personalized Christmas card design; therefore, I would send it to everyone on my list.
The most important thing to know about design #511CW, Patriotic Wishes Greeting Card, is that you really need to see it to appreciate the dazzling effect of the gold stars on the dark blue ornament. Not only is the foil gold, but it is variegated, so the sparkle and hues that seem to move and change make it difficult to take your eyes away. The doubled red foiled ribbons symbolizing the stripes of our flag put the finishing touch on this unique design. There has never been a better time to show your “colors” than the season that elicits feelings of peace and joy to all mankind.
Even though I appreciate the fact that I live in the United States and that this privilege affords me the freedom other countries do not, it never made me feel that I had to send patriotic cards as business Christmas cards. I guess being just like thousands of other Americans, I took all my advantages for granted and never gave patriotism a thought when buying any type of business Christmas cards, or any holiday cards for that matter.
Then, unfortunately, September 11th happened and forever changed the way I think about our country and how I convey my feelings to others using patriotic Christmas cards. Whenever I can, I try to convey these feelings along with my pride for our country by using patriotic themed cards for Christmas and other occasions. It makes me feel so proud when I can send greetings using a patriotic Christmas card with our beautiful flag on it. I’ve also sent invitations to friends and business associates for my 4th of July parties using a card with red, white, and blue on it hoping to remind others what the holiday is really about.
I hope my efforts make others stop and think about all the things this country has to offer, and maybe they too will send patriotic greeting cards.