It's (almost) Christmas Card Day!



It's (almost) Christmas Card Day!

Every year, Christmas Card Day is celebrated on December 9th and serves as a reminder to get your stamps, envelopes, and cards together so you can share your holiday cheer.


Henry Cole (who created the very first Christmas Card)

"A prominent educator and patron of the arts, Henry Cole travelled in the elite, social circles of early Victorian England, and had the misfortune of having too many friends. 

During the holiday season of 1843, those friends were causing Cole much anxiety.


The problem were their letters: An old custom in England, the Christmas and New Year’s letter had received a new impetus with the recent expansion of the British postal system and the introduction of the Penny Post, allowing the sender to send a letter or card anywhere in the country by affixing a penny stamp to the correspondence. 

Now, everybody was sending letters. Sir Cole—best remembered today as the founder of the Victoria and Albert Museum in London—was an enthusiastic supporter of the new postal system, and he enjoyed being the 1840s equivalent of an A-Lister, but he was a busy man. As he watched the stacks of unanswered correspondence he fretted over what to do. 'In Victorian England, it was considered impolite not to answer mail,' says Ace Collins, author of Stories Behind the Great Traditions of Christmas. 'He had to figure out a way to respond to all of these people.' 


The First Christmas Card (created by Henry Cole)

Cole hit on an ingenious idea. He approached an artist friend, J.C. Horsley, and asked him to design an idea that Cole had sketched out in his mind. Cole then took Horsley’s illustration—a triptych showing a family at table celebrating the holiday flanked by images of people helping the poor—and had a thousand copies made by a London printer. The image was printed on a piece of stiff cardboard 5 1/8 x 3 1/4 inches in size. At the top of each was the salutation, 'TO:_____' allowing Cole to personalize his responses, which included the generic greeting A Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year To You.  It was the first Christmas card." (Smithsonian Magazine)


Back in 2019, I created a Christmas album called Johnny Pierre's Holiday Jamboree. which was unique in that it only featured original Christmas music rather than the usual old time Yuletide tunes. 

After recording of one of the songs called Christmas Cards, I assembled a crew of myself, my wife Sweet Loretta (Camera Operator & Director) & my daughter Molly (Editor) to create a wonderful video called (you guess it) CHRISTMAS CARDS!




Here's A Review Of the above mentioned album from Stubby's House Of Christmas website:  

"C'mon and take a trip with me to Johnny Pierre's Holiday Jamboree.  Now, for cover art alone, I'd pick it up if I came across it in the bins and crates.  I keep telling people the cover art is very important.   And here we have a perfect example.  I mean, look at it.  Don't you want to hoist one of those green things with Santa?  His expression is perfect, the background is perfect, it's just...perfect.  So Johnny Pierre gets an A+ on the cover art.  Now, of course, what's in the grooves is where the real points are scored.    

Johnny Pierre has been making the Long Island Blues Rock scene for some 40 years.  He lived for a long while in New Orleans, so he picked all that music up.  His gravely vocals can remind you of Tom Waits on the slower stuff and he can bring on Howlin' Wolf on the stuff that cooks. Over the years, Johnny's opened for some of the greats...Dr. John, Albert King, John Hiatt and NRBQ to name a few.   

While making a Christmas record, Johnny decided not to simply spit out the same tunes everyone else does.   Every song on Johnny Pierre's Holiday Jamboree is an original and this album provides an excellent mix for a Holiday party.  

For whatever reason, I was actually drawn more to the weird stuff, here, than the blues rockers.  Christmas Night is a 2 minute tune in which the vocals don't come in until the second minute.  It's weird and kind of beautiful, all at once.  I'm still not entirely sure what's going on in Christmas Eve @ Santa's Workshop.  But I like it.  And I dug New Year's Party because, to me at least, it's got a Doug & The Slugs vibe.  And, if it is the Blues Rock you came for, you can't go wrong with Santa's Housetop Blues.  Happy Holidays to one & all!"





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