Thank Gift Books for our commercial Christmas

tamrawilson Holiday gifts

If you’re basking in afterglow of Christmas with a new read in hand, you’re part of a long-held tradition. Gift books spurred the “commercialization” of gift-giving at Christmas 200 years ago. I ran across this intriguing fact in a recent blog on “Literary Hub.” The title of the article caught my attention: “How the book business invented modern gift-giving.” The …

Hallmarks of the Christmas card exchange

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As I begin this column, I have just finished updating my Christmas card log. Yes, I still mail paper Christmas cards and I track those send and received in an actual book. It’s  small phone directory, which is another disappearing part of our culture. Writing down mailing addresses—the house number, street, town, state and zip code—seems so quaint nowadays. I …

My Patti Playpal Christmas

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TBT.  “Throw Back Thursday” in Facebook language. This past week, I threw myself back to 1960. There in a black-and-white snapshot is my five-year-old self and Patti Playpal, the life-sized doll Santa brought. I remember seeing her for the first time beside our tinsel-draped tree on Christmas morning. In the snapshot I’m standing at the back door in my navy blue …

Keep those cards and letters coming–and going

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If you’re Old School like me, you know early December is Christmas card season. If you have several out-of-towners on your list, you’re preparing a holiday letter too. By cards, I’m not talking emailed Jib Jabs or eCards by Jaquie Lawson. I mean old-fashioned stamp-it and mail-it cards. Determining who to receive your holiday greetings isn’t rocket science, but if …