Each daily activity as part of Skin and Blister Blog’s #shareadvent celebration seems to have brought with it a particular mood or emotion – from the comfort of seeking out and enjoying a favourite book, to the reflective and contemplative state induced by lighting a candle and watching its flame lick and flicker in the darkness.
Today’s activity – “write and send a letter” – for me, commands a certain nostalgia. Writing by hand on proper stationery, placing the sheets of paper inside an envelope and sealing the flap, carefully addressing it and finally adding a stamp, has become more and more a thing of the past. Being several miles apart from my family and closest friends, I enjoy the speed at which dialogue flows between emails and text messaging, rather than by pen, paper and reliance on the Royal Mail. But it is always a tremendous pleasure to find an old-fashioned, handwritten letter on the door mat – its very being imbued with the presence of the sender, from the shape of their handwriting, to their own particular choice of paper. And as I like to receive, it’s important to remember to send.
When I was a child, the most carefully-composed letter written at this time of year, was the all-important letter to Father Christmas. During these same years – the late 70s and early 80s – my great aunt sent me and my brother first day covers, and my favourites remain those produced for the Christmas post.
Just looking at these illustrations takes me back to childhood Christmases.
And if my great aunt were still alive, I would write my letter today to her, full of thanks for this collection of envelopes which continues to unlock so many happy memories of Christmas past.