Sunday, January 28, 2007

12/02/06: Simple Pleasures

Ah, the simple, elegant, timeless feel in my hand of a quill pen plunging into a crystal bottle of ink! A deep-green feather tops the narrow brass pen, ending with a slim nib that distributes the green ink evenly as I write out Christmas cards. Ah, the flow of ink across the page ... pure pleasure!

With an allspice-nutmeg candle burning on the mantel, wrapped in a soft, velour, tassled throw with our dachshund cuddled next to me, I am ready to write out our Christmas cards.

I bought two styles of cards this year: one red with gold writing on the theme of Handel's Messiah, and the other a deep blue with a gold-embossed poem about Jesus:

He came not to a throne,
but to a manger.
He lived not as a king,
but as a servant.
He chose not an earthly kingdom,
but a cross.
He gave not just a little,
but everything.
-- Holley Gerth

I write out each card with my quill pen and green ink, and although I worked for nearly three hours, I only got through the F's tonight, and that only from my address book. Besides my official addresses in my book, I will write cards from my e-friends list, my town directory, and finally, our church directory.

The stamps I purchased are of Mary and the Holy Babe, surrounded in gold in an icon-type design. I'm handwriting our return address as well as the address and am signing each of the names for all the family members.

So it's a labor of love, writing out cards with a quill dip pen, real ink, and everything handwritten. Yes, I'll admit that it's partially because I'm rather vain about my penmanship.

I've purchased 150 cards, but won't have to post the church ones as we have a mailbox table at church. I still need to write, print, copy, and insert our family update letter and then have Keith take our family picture, print and trim them, and insert them also before sealing and sending the cards.

So we still have much work to do. But I'm glad I'm getting started on December 1 -- even though I received our first Christmas card in *November.* Eeek! That's a bit early, don't you think?

Well, it's that time! Time for cards and stamps and green ink stains on my right middle finger. And it's a time I cherish. despite swollen fingers and a stiff neck.

I just love writing Christmas cards! If I had my cup of British tea, I'd be perfectly happy.

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