Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Holiday Cards and THE CHRISTMAS LETTER

The first photo is a Victorian Christmas card 1870
The second photo is a Christmas postcard circa 1900's
Third photo war years 1940

Did you know that the first English Christmas greeting cards rarely showed winter or religious themes, instead favoring fairies, flowers and other fanciful designs?  Supposedly  is was to remind the recipient of the approach of Spring. Yikes!!! what happened to their winter season!! All I know is our season doesn't officially begin till next week and who can even think about spring.
Who would have ever guessed that the first commercial success of Christmas cards commissioned by Sir Henry Cole in 1843 would mushroom today in over a 1.9 billion dollar business. Despite the ease of email and egreetings many like me still hang on to the old fashioned tradition of sending cards and a Christmas newsletter. 
Even though Christmas is only 12 days way I am still sticking to my ambitious plan to send out Christmas  cards and a family letter. But I must say a recent online article by Jo Adamson titled Why I"ll Never Send Another Christmas Letter did give me pause to think a bit. She had issues with those yearly Christmas letters that often are interrupted as family bragging sheets. How often have we received such a letter and asked ourselves How can one family do all that? Is it possible for one child to win so many awards/games? Who could go on so many trips? And what about those two page letters where some get carried away as they detail every family event for an entire year? 
But I will say I love going to my mail box just like Charlie Brown checking each day hoping for an overflow of holiday cards. Now that is a treat!
Despite the ease of email and egreetings to me it just doesn't compare to writing an old fashioned letter and signing a card to stay connected with  family and friends. So wish me luck as I try to stick with the plan. Since I recently made a very large pasta dish giving us many nights of leftovers which equals not making any dinners gives me plenty of time to get down to the business of composing a Christmas letter. And yes I will remember... No Bragging Allowed! 
Mostaccioli
Ingredients:
·        2 jars Marinara sauce (each 24 oz.)
·        2 cans diced tomatoes rosemary & oregano (each 14.5 oz)
·        2 TB. Italian seasonings
·        2-1/2 lbs. ground beef
·        1 large onion diced
·        2 cups Mozzarella cheese
·        1-1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
·        1 box (16 oz.) rigatoni
Directions:
·        Cook ground beef with diced onion, drain and crumble slightly in food processor
·        In large saucepan add Marinara sauce, diced tomatoes, seasonings cook uncovered on low heat for 30 minutes
·        Add cooked beef and cook 15 minutes longer
·        Cook pasta and drain
·        In a greased 13x9 pan add ½ pasta noodles, ½ of the meat sauce, ½ Parmesan cheese, ½ mozzarella cheese
·        Repeat layers ending with mozzarella cheese
·        Preheat oven to 350
·        Cook covered 25 minutes
·        Cook uncovered 10 minutes
·        Let set 10-15 minutes before serving


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