Residents of Wheelock Terrace wanted to be sure that soldiers serving overseas received season’s greetings from back home. Eager to send festive cards and words of encouragement, a group of residents met on December 9 – National Christmas Card Day – to make handcrafted cards with personal messages. Many of those who participated are either veterans who know firsthand what it’s like to serve one’s country or they are spouses of veterans who served.
“The holidays are the perfect time to give back and show people you care,” said Rebecca Henry, life enrichment director of Wheelock Terrace. “This activity was very meaningful for residents and will be significant for the active service members who receive their cheery messages. We provided lots of fun craft supplies so residents could get creative with their card creations. It’s amazing what you can do with a dab of glue, a pop of color, glitter, jewels, pipe cleaners and construction paper.”
Christmas Card Day honors Sir Henry Cole (1818 - 1874) of England, who created the first commercial Christmas Card in 1843. The card featured a family raising a toast. In the years that followed, companies came up with designs showing flowers, children or cartoon animals. By 1880, Prang and Mayer were producing a massive five million cards a year.
“We hope there is a nation-wide effort to make the holidays special for those on active duty who can’t be home for the holidays,” said Melissa Suckling, executive director of Wheelock Terrace. “If we all pitch in to write cards, send care packages and demonstrate our gratitude, these acts of kindness will surely warm their hearts.”
For residents like Dorothy and Duncan Aspinwall, Barbara Easton and Sid Letter, there was much reminiscing going on as they recounted stories from their or their loved ones’ service. They were happy for this opportunity to give back, especially to a cause near and dear to their hearts.