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December 04, 1955 - Image 16

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1955-12-04

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9V"AY, DECEMBER 4, 1955


Decorations for Doors
Feature Original Ideas,

Christmas Cards Have Long, Colorful Past

'Twas the night before Christ-
mas and ...
"Just head up the walk, in that
great door with the frosty windows
and . . . there you are!" said the
kindly old man, all dressed up in
a funny-looking red suit with some
furry trim on it.
Well, I just decided I'd better
go and see what's there behind
that door, and find out what I'm
missing. As I poke my frost-bitten
and slightly reddish (like Rudolph)
nose in the door, what to my
wonderin' eyes should appear
but . . .
Multicolored Wonderland
My goodness, lo and behold!
There it was, a whole spectacle of
eye-bedazzling, multicolored won-
derland. It took me a while to
figure out where I was but when
my eyes "unglassified" from some
of the blinding glitter, I could get
a second look.
Believe it or not, it really was
my own little home-away-from-
home, here in Ann Arbor, but so
transformed by Santy's helpers,
all up and down each hall, that it
was like a whole new world! (Of
course, though, it was pretty de-
serted 'cause everyone'd gone home
for vacation.)
When I started\ walking d'own
the hall, I felt just as though I
were in the north woods for all
around were huge pine branches,
holly sprigs with big red bows,
snowflakes over everything and
even some dinky litle Chrismas
Silvery Angel
Some of the "gals" down the
hall had fixed up a cone-shaped
silvery angel, which was dangling
away on a string from the ceiling.
As I headed down another hall,
who should I run into but my old
buddy Rudolph, the red-nosed
reindeer, himself. He was dancing
along on a wall, with a tiny red

bulb for a nose that lights up
when plugged into a nearby socket.
On the next door I went to, were
some fuzzy snowmen made of that
plastic foam stuff, and right be-
side them was a picture of a choral
group singing Christmas carols.
Plug-In Tree
When I came closer, I discovered
that one of those glittering lights
that first blinded me, was really
a plug-in Christmas tree, complete
with tinsel, tiny paper chains,
candy canes, gumdrops and a shin-
ing silver star blazing away at the
top of the tree.
I decided to take a peek inside
one of the rooms, and some artistic
smartie had painted the windows
of her little abode with water'
colors. I'd heard that those designs
could easily be washed off with
"water and a little elbow grease."
Well, I was almost through with
a tour of the place when I came
to a door that really had every-
thing: paper candy canes, ever-
green boughs, artificial candles
and a large gaily colored sleigh.
Nativity Scene
On the very last door of the very
last hall was the most striking
decoration of all. It was a nativity
scene with Mary, Joseph and the
little baby Jesus in the manger,
all set-up three-dimensionally by
some ingenious soul.
Awe-struck by the whole atmos-
phere of the place, I found my way
out of there and walked out the
front door to meet my little red-
suited friend, who was waiting for
me outside.
"How'd you like it?" he asked.
I was still in a daze after all
the sights but managed to mum-'
ble something about "amazing."
Then we climbed into a silvery
sleigh which was waiting outside
and whisked off into the snowy
sky to take care of all the delivery
jobs for the night.j

Approximately a month from
now everyone will be keeping the
postman busy by sending and re-
ceiving holiday greetings in the
form of Christmas cards.
Sending Christmas cards, how-
ever, is not a new custom. People
have been doing it for nearly 8,000
years. Even before Christmas and
perhaps since man recognized the
coming of a new year, greetings
have been sent between friends.
Good wishes for the coming new
year have shown up in Egyptian
tombs as early as the sixth cen-
tury in the form of personal mes-
sages attached to gifts.
Roman Greeting Cards
During the first century A.D.
ready-made New Year's greetings
were first sold in Rome. After
Roman times there are no exist-
ing records of ready-made cards
for 1,000 years.
Then in Germany about 1450,
woodcut New Year's cards became
quite popular due to the invention
of printing. The subjects of these
cards were very similar to those
seen on Christmas cards today.
The favorite subject seemed to
be a scene showing the Christ
child pulling a wagon of good
Renaissance Influence
By the sixteenth century the
style had changed to Renaissance
and the crude German rhymes
were replaced by magnificent Lat-
in verse. After this there was
again a sudden disappearance of
greeting cards.
Up to this time and for several
centuries following, New Year's
cards were the only type ex-
changed. The Christmas card did
not come into being until the ear-
ly part of the Victorian era.
During the early part of the
seventeenth century the most novel
New Year's greetings was the "ad-
dress" circulated by newspaper
carriers. These "addresses" were
seasonal greetings often contain-
ing a resume of the past year's
efforts, and more or less ended
with the request for a tip.
Idea Taken Over
Firemen, letter carriers, bill-
posters, lamplighters, messengers
and other public servants soon
caught on to the idea and took
the monopoly away from the news-
After 2000 years of New Year's
good wishes, the honest-to-good-
ness Christmas card appeared in
England in the 1840's. J. G. Hors-
ley designed and published the
first authentic Christmas card in
1846 in London.
The design on this card con-
sisted of three panels done in a
rustic framework. The central
Simple Methods
May Transform
Ordinary Candles
Ordinary candles can be trans-
formed into glamorous Christmas
ones with a few simple household
utensils and melted candle ends.
First, soften old candles by plac-
ing a saucepan containing the
candle ends over heat in a frying
pan partially filled with water.
When the wax is pliable, but
not so hot that it sticks to the
fingers, make the different can-
dles. For candles made by pour-
ing wax into molds, place each
mold into the refrigerator until
very cold, then tap gently to re-
lease the form.
After each candle is done, dip
it, one half at a time, into a con-
tainer of melted wax for a smooth,
finished look.
Melted crayons give old candles
added color.
Luminous candles are easily

made by pouring an inch of
paraffin into a coffee can and
whipping until frosty.

_. -_ _ -_. i11w1/ __.... _. ._

Horsley claimed to be the in-
ventor of the Christmas card and
it is quite probable that he was
the first to produce the full pic-
torial effect. However, he re-
ceived his inspirations from the
holiday greetings which the Eng-
lish people sent to their friends.
English Custom
In that day it was a polite cus-
tom for people to send greetings
to friends on special occasions such
as New Years Day, Christmas and
It was not until 1862 that the
custom of sending holiday cards
gained a foothold. They became
commercialized in London and
The earlier types of cards which
citizens of England sent to their
friends were quite simple in de-
sign, generally picturing a cock-
robin or a sprig of holly or inistle-
toe with a conventional greeting.
More Artistic
Each year the Christmas card
became more artistic until 1883
and 1884 when it reached the
acme of pictorial beauty and seas-
onable fitness. During that time
the highest style of Florentine-art
was reached.
Since this period the Christmas
card has lost much of its artistic
beauty and instead has leaned
towards novelty.
Each Christmas season sees more
and more people sending and re-
ceiving good will and good wishes
for a merry holiday season by
means of the ever popular Christ-
mas card.

-Daily-Dick GaskiU
SEASONAL GREETINGS--Pat Venokur and Ruth Husted are
among the many students who will be sending and receiving
seasonal greetings in the form of Christmas cards. Sending cards
has been a pustom for approximately 8,000 years.#

panel showed a festive drinking
scene, which caused a great deal
of controversy in temperance

one was entitled "Feeding the
Hungry" and the other was "Clo-
thing the Needy."
Under the design there appeared,
probably for the first time, the
saying "A Merry Christmas and a
Happy New Year to you."


Christmas Charity
two flanking sections de-
acts of Christmas charity;

hIN I '



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Take a tip from Mab, fairy queen of dreams
For Christmas, our sweet quilted
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