Monday, November 26, 2012

Santa Stamp Stuff!

I mentioned in an earlier post that I love the new U.S. Santa stamps by the U.S. Postal Service. I also mentioned the matching ornament that was featured in the Philatelic catalog, but, at that time, I couldn't find a link for ordering the ornaments. Now, there is a link on the U.S.P.S site.

You can order the ornament online for $14.99.

While I was looking on the U.S.P.S. site, I found several other delightful items that I can't wait to order! When I first saw the stamps, I wished that they had some matching cards to go with them! And, now they do!

According to the website, the greeting card set includes 20 5” x 7” folded cards made with recycled paper and 20 plain envelopes. The message inside says “Happy Holidays!”.

The Santa and Sleigh stamps and cards show Santa Claus flying through the air in his sleigh with a cargo of toys and gifts. Artist Paul Rogers worked with art director Howard Paine to create this block of four holiday stamps. These computer-generated images were originally drawn in pencil on paper.

And, then, I found the matching Holiday Bear. What a cutie! On his right paw is the same image that's on the stamp! That link to the bear also has information about how you can help with the post office's Operation Santa program.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

A Father's Letter

The rules a father sent to his daughter some 146 years ago still ring true today.

According to Texas columnist Mike Cox, former Texas Gov. E.M. Pease wrote to his daughter in 1866, giving her a list of rules he wanted her to follow while she was away at college. He started out the letter with "My Dearest Daughter" and continued with the advice, wrapping up the letter by asking her to remember that her parents “are the truest friends you can have.” He ended the letter with, “Your dear Papa.” 

The rules were about studying, showing respect for her teachers, being organized and of good character, keeping herself and her clothing clean...

His final rule will win the hearts of those reading this blog: “Write to your Mama and Papa at least once each week.” To make that easier, he suggested that his daughter pick a certain day for mailing her letter and “never let that day pass without doing it [even if] it contains no more than ten lines.” 

Good advice, even in 2012.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Write Your Congressman

Now that the election is over, the U.S. lawmakers have returned to Washington, D.C., to work. Although they will be taking a holiday for Thanksgiving, the senators and representatives are back in session.

If you have something you want to say, if you want to tell your congressman what you think he or she should be doing, you can write a letter.

If you need the address for where to mail your letter, just click on these links:

Write your senator
Write your Representative (You'll have to click on your representative's name and then search his or her website for the address.)
Write the President and the Vice President

Let your elected officials know what's on your mind today!

(Flag clip art courtesy of

Sunday, November 18, 2012

How 'Letters' Saved Thanksgiving

In a few days, the citizens of the United States will celebrate Thanksgiving. You probably know the frequently cited history of Thanksgiving. Most likely, you know all about the story of the Pilgrims and the Native Americans and their successful harvest for which they gave thanks.

But, did you know that through the years, Thanksgiving was celebrated only sporadically until a letter writer campaigned to make it a regular national holiday.

Indeed, Sarah Josepha Hale took on the cause of Thanksgiving and championed the day of gratitude for 17 years until President Abraham Lincoln. In 1863, after receiving at least five letters from Sarah, President Lincoln proclaimed that the final Thursday in November would be a national Thanksgiving Day. It has been observed every year since in the U.S., although now Thanksgiving is on the fourth Thursday in November, which is not always the last Thursday of the month.

Hale had also written letters to Presidents Zachary Taylor, Millard Filmore, Franklin Pierce and James Buchanan. But, Lincoln was seeking a way to unite the country during the Civil War when he finally approved the holiday.

You can read more about Thanksgiving and Sarah Josepha Hale on Wikipedia and the links there.

This Thursday, as you gather around the table, enjoying turkey and dressing, remember to be thankful for a letter writer who lived some 150 years ago.

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