Henry Cole

Henry Cole it has materialised is the bane of my life!  Who? Exactly I’d never heard of him until recently and yet every year at this time he gives me a headache (not literally).

I have been reading Bill Bryson’s At Home – emphasis on the have been – I stopped not a quarter of the way through.  Normally I like Bill’s stuff but not this one and not A Brief History of Nearly Everything nor actually Made in America – although I did read far enough into that to discover that the Pilgrims did not actually step ashore at Plymouth Rock! And I didn’t get very far with The Mother Tongue – but did learn that Shakespeare invented words, so it wasn’t a complete waste of time.

Since that now looks like I don’t really finish Bill’s books I did however love A Walk in the Woods (and laughed out loud at the bit about the ‘bear’ and the tent) and in preparation for our trip to Australia in 2007 read Down Under, I also watched Billy Connolly’s World Tour of Australia and you know neither of them let us down.  The Lonely Planet Guide however was a different story resulting in a few days right next, or rather RIGHT NEXT, to the Red Light district of Sydney! And I liked The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid and The Complete Notes.

Anyhoo back to At Home and Henry Cole.  Before I gave it up as a bad job I found out that Sir Henry ‘invented’ Christmas Cards back in 18 something or other.

Now I LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVE Christmas through and through except for the card bit.  I HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAATE writing Christmas cards.  Over the years I have tried it sober, I have tried it tipsy, I have sat at the table and done them, I have lounged on the settee, I have done them in one go, I have done them in instalments, I have fed them through a printer (at work about 19 years ago – so my HATE relationship with Christmas Cards has been going on for sometime) to avoid having to write…

To (insert name/s)

Wishing you a

Merry Christmas

and a

Happy New Year

Lots of love/With love/Best wishes (delete as appropriate)

Paula & Bernard

xx (or no xx again as appropriate)

One year about, ohh maybe even, 10 years ago I happened to buy family Christmas cards in the after Christmas sale and spent about £20 and I was horrified at spending so much at sale prices – on something that B’s mum certainly would have in the bin before New Year.  So the following year I made the family cards and as usual bought some form of charity card for the others – my card list hovers around 50 – some friends send more than a 100!  They moan about it regularly every year but they send them anyway and generally start writing in November.

So for the first few years I made just cards that I would have bought with a title on eg, Auntie, nephew, in-laws, and then maybe five or six years ago I started making them all.  And I actually prefer this to writing them out – even though I usually end up writing something in the card anyway – crazy I know but somehow it’s less of a chore!

I actually had a dream a few weeks ago that I hadn’t sent my Christmas Cards and fortunately it made me remember that I bought some fabric in Australia that I intended to use for cards – I was going to add that I don’t know where it is but it’s just dawned on me it may be with the Christmas stuff in the loft!

And I don’t mean to panic anyone but did you know it’s 1 December today, I’ve committed to a Handmade Holiday and Christmas Eve – that possible time to spend all day catching up this year falls on a working day!

Well if push comes to shove a photo card may be quicker – I’m thinking Buddy in a pair of antlers – a red nose may be pushing it though.

Oh, and I do have to buy one card – for Bernard – he thinks my handmade ones suck – well not in some many words but the one year he got one – not a happy bunny – he likes a slushy verse too!




4 responses to “Henry Cole

  1. I’d pay really good money to watch you and Bernard trying to get antlers on Buddy. Tell you what, video it when you do try! 😉

  2. I’m with you – I hate writing cards and trying to get A to sign them. It’s a loosing battle – so this year I’ve cheated: I had some photo cards made up using some of our snaps and got the message and signature printed. A little bit pricier than normal – but we don’t send that many cards and it was worth it for not having to go through the torture of writing them.

    Now, I’d like to see Buddy with antlers!! 🙂

  3. Well, after all that discussion about Christmas cards, I have to say that I am going to make them as well, but you will get them e-mailed to you from Colombia as I will be down there in 75-degree weather, not up in the snow belt… so stay tuned as it is rather difficult to get excited about something that definitely has a “sleigh bells ringing” theme under palm trees and mangos. But I will do it… can you tell how excited I am?

  4. Buddy with antlers…ooooh, please add me to the growing list of wannabe viewers! 😉
    Since I am from Massachusetts USA, I have actually been to Plymouth, so I can give you a firsthand report. I thought the Rock was going to be enormous, but it is actually quite small…In fact, I couldn’t even see it at first and then, when someone pointed it out to me, I cried, “that’s IT?” It was a HUGE disappointment to me.
    I since read that it has been chipped at and has undergone erosion over the centuries…That explains its current size…But at the time I remember wondering “how did they ever land on this pebble?”
    Fascinating, huh? Thought so. 😉

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