The first commercial Christmas cards were produced in 1843, but it took a couple decades before holiday cards really became a trend. Now the sending and receiving of cards at the holidays is tradition for households around the world. While these warm greeting remind us of friendships and the spirit of the season, in these busy times, holiday cards, and especially those lengthy holiday newsletters, can seem a little trivial and like just one more thing to feel guilty about not getting around to yourself.
But before you dismiss writing holiday cards this season, consider the fact that those holiday greetings are actually historical documents. A well-written, succinct holiday letter detailing the past 12 months’ events not only spreads holiday cheer, but also captures a slice of personal history for posterity. Little factoids like your summer trip up the Gunflint Trail and your visit to Chik-Wauk Museum and Nature Center during its first season might seem like no big deal this December, but you (and your children and grandchildren) might feel differently in December 2030.
The Minnesota Historical Society recently posted about writing good holiday letters on their blog. The post includes an excellent list of links which can help you sharpen your holiday letter writing chops.
Here at Chik-Wauk we often remind people that “today’s events are tomorrow’s history.” We want to encourage you to share your story no matter how big or small you think it is. If you are a resident of the Gunflint Trail, part-time or full-time, don’t forget to fill out a personal history form so we can share your history in the Residents’ Pages book in the Reading Corner of Chik-Wauk Museum.
It’s those telling details found in holiday letters or Chik-Wauk’s residents’ pages which will keep Chik-Wauk relevant through the passing years.