This morning I received, in the post, a book I have bought. It is called 'Collecting Vintage Children's Greetings Cards' by Linda McPherson. It is fabulous! If you collect vintage greetings cards, or just like to look at them, I highly recommend this book. The pages are filled with wonderful colour pictures of adorable vintage artwork. Lots of information too, exploring the history of the artists and companies that produced these mini master pieces. It includes sections on many different subjects, including cowboys and indians, dolls, fairy tales, to name but a few. There is interesting information on artists such as, Mabel Lucie Attwell, Charlot Byj and Marjorie Cooper.All bound up in a glossy and highly decorative cover.
If you are looking for something to collect, I can highly recommend vintage greetings cards. They are easy to store, endlessly varied, affordable, and hunting them down is such fun. I collect these cards, but I also do more. I turn them into new greetings cards. Not by reproducing images, but by using the actual artwork for each item. I love to think of each little beauty being given a second chance to be admired again.
I also sell vintage cards, not just children's, so that people may use them for scrap booking or crafting. It breaks my heart to think that over the years, many of these treasures simply sat on display for a few days and were then, thrown away! I keep many of the greetings cards that myself, my husband and our children are sent. Particularly, those that we give to each other. Some think it's a bit odd, but not me. As I look through them, there is our history. Almost as good as a photograph. People write such lovely messages in their cards sometimes. As I buy and sell them, the messages are so varied. One old card that I bought was in it's original envelope, which was addressed to 'Mrs Smith and her parrot'. I have cards that my children have drawn pictures in, signed in their careful, best handwriting, when they were just learning how to write! They are now 13 and 17 years old, so a trip down memory lane, to when they were little is both a joy and, if I'm honest, a bit of a tear jerker! Now, my daughter chooses beautiful cards for me herself and her writing is pretty and neat. My son favours cheeky cards to make me laugh, but I still get kisses inside, I hope they never grow out of that!
One day the cards we give and receive now, will become the collectibles of the future. I know people who just don't see the point to them. Buying and giving them grudgingly, whilst muttering about commercialism. I disagree. The act of picking out a card, chosen for the other person's taste or interests, says that you care, or it should. To be honest, on the rare times in my life that I have received a greetings card, that was obviously purchased with no thought, I would have preferred not to have received it at all.
I remember, many years ago, when I worked in a place that made me very unhappy, a member of staff, who clearly did not like me, mentioned that, if she disliked someone, she gave them the ugliest card she could find. When Christmas came around, the one she gave me could not have been more hideous! I got the point! This, however, was an abuse of the act of giving cards to one another.
The words inside are what really matters. Our lives are so busy and full and we sometimes take one another for granted, without meaning to. On certain days, therefore, it is touching to receive a card from someone who is special to you, which has been signed, 'love from'. After all, the best reason in the world for sending a greeting is to express that most important of all emotions...Love.