A Volume of Christmas Wishes (Object 111)

Xmas cardThis book-shaped Christmas card, signed inside “With all my love, Jim” is one of the many cards in the family archives that my parents gave to each other over the course of their 40-year marriage. This post features a small selection of their Christmas cards, which give a flavour of changing styles over 4 decades. This one from Mum to Dad in 1960, for instance, is pure 1950s:

1960 card Mum to Dad 1960 insideAll the cards carry tender personal messages. One card from Mum to Dad features a Chinese painting of two birds, with Mum’s handwritten  message inside: “Happy Christmas and a Guid New Year to my dearest Jim, with my love and devotion and thanks for all your loving care, Eleanor, 1974”.  1974 was the year of Mum’s cancer scare; I remember visiting her in hospital on my 13th birthday, just 3 weeks before Christmas.

This card, from Dad to Mum in 1966, is inscribed with a poem in his handwriting:

1966 Dad to Mum 1966 poem“But kindness, sweet kindness, in the fond sparkling ee,
Has lustre outshining the diamond to me;
And the heart beating love as I’m clasp’d in her arms,
O, these are my lassie’s all-conquering charms!”

The verse, from Robert Burns’ Yon Wild Mossy Mountains, seems especially romantic given that my parents had been married for 14 years at this time. Dad’s humour is also often in evidence. On this home-made gift tag from 1984, for instance, he has added a reference to Mum’s new retirement hobby of upholstery:

1984 gift tag

1984 gift tag reverseAs well as cards to each other, they kept cards given by their children. These two have matching illustrations done in my childish hand:

Hand-drawn cards Me to Mum insideI seem to have represented my family life with a picture of someone (me? Mum?) out in wintry weather, juxtaposed with a mother robin bringing presents home to her babies in the nest. It gives a sensation of safety, warmth, and loving care, which was certainly my experience of childhood. The best gift a parent can give.

Christmas cards 1950s-1980s

Some of Dad’s cards to Mum, 1950s-1980s

Christmas cards 1950s-1980s

Some of Mum’s cards to Dad, 1950s-1980s


About Hoarder of Babylon

A chartered librarian and curator of my family archives.
This entry was posted in 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, Letters, cards and documents, Parents and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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