I do like sending and receiving greeting cards and letters, but then again I am a tad old-fashioned. It’s always such a delight to receive a missive in the post from friends, lovers, or family and think of the effort and care they have taken in putting pen to paper and sending it off in the mail. Indeed, I even enjoy the many pleasures to be found in reading a favorite author’s collected correspondence and such like. But it’s a dying art, one that’s been (sadly) superseded by technology. To be frank, I cannot honestly see any future attraction in reading some literary figure or politicians collected emails, texts, or tweets. Can you imagine The Collected Tweets of Donald Trump? Or perhaps The Unexpurgated Emojis of Harvey Weinstein, or The Unwanted Sexts of ‘Uncle’ Terry Richardson? Though I’m sure some publisher, at this very moment, is already considering such titles for future publication.
Which brings us to this fine collection of Halloween greeting cards which exemplify some of the things I like best about correspondence—the idea of celebrating something with a small token of affection or is it affectation? (I think I’ll stick with the former…) The Americans excel at this kind of thing as they seem to have a card for nearly every occasion—Congratulations on your facelift! Good luck with your divorce! and Sorry to hear you’re still in jail!
As everyone knows, Halloween is a great Scottish tradition first invented in umpteen-umpteen by McSomebodyorother. Fair to say, we Scots take credit for nearly everything that’s good (quite right too, I might add…) TV, soccer, golf, sporrans, crossdressing, whisky, engineering, biscuits, hangovers, Hogmanay, nipple-clamps, and anything else you might happen to think about. I’m unreliably informed, it was the arrival of the Scots and Irish in America who brought with them their superstitious traditions from the Old Country that led to Halloween becoming such a major part of the calendar. This probably explains why America has so many rather wonderful, creepy, and yet amusing greeting cards celebrating Halloween—which I had never been quite aware of until now. (Ah, ignorance, yes a Scotsman probably invented that too!)
Via Public Domain Review, Mental Floss, and New York Public Library.