Monday, December 27, 2010

A simple thank you

Thank you.  Two ordinary, easy words that we often forget to say, let alone write.  
The simple thank you note has been forgotten, saved for weddings and showers.   Something happened over the last couple decades that this customary etiquette has gone to the wayside. Email, Facebook, Twitter.  Has modern communication replaced the hand written note? No, it hasn’t and nor should it.  Whenever you receive a gift or an act of kindness it is considered good manners to send a thank you note.  
Etiquette aside, wouldn’t you want to let someone know their efforts were appreciated, noticed and enjoyed.  What a wonderful way to show your gratitude.  It doesn’t even need to be fancy or flowery, just a genuine, handwritten, thank you.  And who doesn’t like getting correspondence in the mail instead of bills and advertisements?  What an easy way to brighten someone’s day.
So let’s end 2010 on the right foot and start 2011 with a new habit, showing our appreciation and sending a thank you note.
Happy New Year,

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Capturing unique beauty!

After only 400 years, we were treated to a total Lunar Eclipse on Winter Solstice. And what a treat it was, lasting three and a half hours.  The reddish-orange hues on the moon's surface made it worth standing in the chilly night at 3:30 in the am.  
If you take this occasion and turn it into a greeting featuring the Eclipse and first day of winter scenery just think of the joyous expressions on the faces of those with whom you correspond.  Turn your awe into their Wow!  Belle Announcements can help you capture exactly what you are looking for.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree…

I really enjoyed Ed’s blog about the history of the Christmas Card.  There are many holiday traditions that we participate in but we don’t know the origin.  So I thought I would find out why every Christmas my family is compelled to chop down a beautiful pine and string it with lights in the living room; besides the fact it looks amazing.

Evergreen branches had been used by the Druids to decorate for the Winter Solstice. As time passed this custom was adopted by Christians. The modern Christmas tree came out of Germany.  In the 1600’s the German’s started decorating evergreen trees with paper and small toys. As they emigrated they took their tradition with them, even to the United States.  The earliest recorded Christmas tree in the United States was in the 1830’s. It was put on display by German immigrants in Pennsylvania. The tradition was most likely going on for longer, as the German community had been there since 1747.
Even though the Germans had brought over their tree tradition in the early 1700s, Christmas trees were not popular and still thought of as a pagan symbol.  That all changed when a picture of a woodcut showing the British Royal family with their Christmas tree was published in Godey’s Lady’s Book in 1850 and then again in 1860. By the 1870’s the Christmas tree was an American tradition as well and still is.
So when taking your photos for your Belle Announcement Christmas Cards, you might want to include that beautiful, big, old tree in the shot. I’m sure your friends and family would love to see how you decorate one of the oldest Christmas traditions. 

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Importance of Snail Mail

Daily in the museum profession we read old letters, cards, business records, military reports, etc. Without these we would have no history.  Sometimes these hand-written documents provide us with the necessary information to track a business or follow the flow of a battle.  At times, they provide us with the information to follow a migrating family from the coast to where they settled on the continent.  Letters tell us of family, religion, education and yes, even romance.

So take the time to reach out in writing to those you know and love. They will certainly appreciate it and who knows, you may be leaving an historical record that posterity will use to form that so critical bridge between today and tomorrow.