November 27th, 2005

Christmas, Advent

Advent 2005: Christmas Greetings!

Today is the first Sunday in Advent, which means that it's the first day of what I inaccurately call my Advent Project. (It's inaccurate because Advent proper runs from the fourth Sunday before Christmas through Christmas Eve, and my project extends through the Feast of the Epiphany on January 6. So technically it should be called the Advent and Christmastide Project, but that strikes me as unwieldy.) Two years ago I posted a poem every day; last year, a work of art from a Washington, D.C., area museum. And this year, after much consideration, I will be posting… Christmas cards! Most of them will be vintage cards, but I have some more recent ones in the line-up as well. We'll kick things off with an interesting card from the collection of the Kansas State Historical Society:

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When Amy Guest wanted to sponsor the first-ever flight by a woman across the Atlantic Ocean, she asked George Palmer Putnam, who had published Charles Lindbergh's autobiography We, to find a suitable candidate. His choice: Amelia Earhart, who, despite being little more than a passenger on that flight, returned to the United States as a national hero. (Four years later, she would become the first woman to fly solo non-stop across the Atlantic.) Putnam subsequently dedicated himself to the business of promoting Amelia Earhart: he published her autobiography, organized a national lecture tour for her, and negotiated the use of her likeness for various comercial endorsements. And along the way, they became intimate and eventually married. This is one of several Christmas cards Earhart and Putnam sent to friends in the United Kingdom during their marriage.
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