Saturday, 17 December 2016

Christmas Countdown, Traditions and Trivia Day Sixteen and Seventeen

Hello Friends!

Christmas took over yesterday and I had to strike while the iron was hot, so to speak, so I am a little behind and rather than play catch up with two separate posts, I shall combine the two days. There's just over a week to go now and here is yesterday's and today's Advent calendar pictures and scripture ~~~




oh, dear, they seem a little out of focus. I dropped my camera two days ago, I hope I haven't broken it.
~~~~~

Something no Christmas seems complete without are the omnipresent Christmas cards that drop through our letter boxes by the dozen at this time of year. From humble beginnings to a multi million GB pound and US dollar industry, post offices across the world go into overdrive to process countless millions of cards every year. They come in every shape and size, any Christmas theme you can think off and more, and every colour of the rainbow in addition to traditional Christmas colours, and in every quality to suit every pocket, but do you know when Christmas cards were invented and why?

It comes down to two gentlemen, Sir Henry Cole and John Hallcott Horsley, in 1843.  Sir Henry, a civil servant, worked for the Public Record Office which was later to become the Post Office, and which he had helped set up. He was looking for ways to encourage people to use this new service and with his illustrator friend, John Hallcott Horsley, came up with the idea to make an illustrated greeting for people to purchase and send through the postal system to send Christmas greetings to their family and friends.  So, the first Christmas cards came into being. The first card showed a scene of family gathered around a table full of food as they celebrated Christmas, controversially raising a glass of wine in a toast.  Cards with religious scenes and other traditional seasonal images did not come until much later.

You can read more about the development of the Christmas card, and how it evolved into the cards we now post across the globe in their countless millions here or here.  It is quite fascinating, including information on official Christmas cards, charity cards, commercialisation of Christmas cards and more.  You will also find some charming illustrations of early cards ~~~

~~~~~

Last night the fifth Yuletide Lad, Pot Licker, came down from the mountains. He is also called Pottaskefill or Pot Scraper and will be here between 16th and 29th December.  Pot Licker will break into the house and steal any unwashed cooking pots, to lick any remnants of food from the insides.

Tonight, the 17th, sees the sixth Yuletide Lad, Bowl Licker arrive and he is considered to be the ugliest. He will break into the house and hide under the bed waiting for bowls of pet food to be put down for the dog or cat, which he will then eat, and lick clean.  "Askur" is a particular type of Icelandic pot with a lid. Also known as Askasleikir, he will return to the mountains on 30th December.

Until next time ~~~
~~~Deborah xoxo

7 comments:

  1. I think I'm glad not to be a small child in Iceland!

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    1. Yes, it seems the Icelandic government took steps to make Gryla and her sons less formidable and scary, but even these watered down tales are quite frightening.

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  2. Very interesting beginning of the Christmas card, Deb! I was not aware. I'm so enjoying learning about how these traditions came into play. As for the lads, they are quite the scary lot. I agree with Sue! Have a beautiful day, my friend. xoxo ♥

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    1. I've always been intrigued by the history behind our traditions and admit I've learned much during the last three weeks as I'm researching to add to what I already know. I've a lot of bookmarked pages now to go back and study again in the New Year.
      ~~~Deb xoxo

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  3. He'd have to be quick to beat our dog, :-)

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    1. I've been owned by a couple of dogs like that myself!

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  4. Interesting to learn about the Christmas cards.

    The Lads are something else, eh?!

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