You Have To Wonder About This

My end of the year vintage Victorian Christmas Card roundup- just to start things off I will say this- if these are examples of Christmas cards, I can only wonder why their Halloween greetings were so tame!

This is a Victorian Christmas Card.

It’s odd, slightly macabre and I kind of feel sorry for the guy in the picture because I don’t think this scene is playing out in his favor.

In addition I’m not sure if this is a Christmas greeting or a warning but I am certain that you could use it  as a Halloween card too.

When I see this I can hear a million little sparrows singing

” They’re coming to get you Barbara

So, the person sending this card is saying that they’re sending moths to fly into your eyes and that they will die trying and that in the morning they’ll find you all there- enveloped in blood, moths wings and  the sender’s ever lasting love.

I’m sure this is the kind of card that Dr. Phibes would send, at any rate I know I would.

Photo by Ylanite Koppens on

So there’s a few happy greetings to contemplate as we go into 2019- like we can contemplate where to order these babies for ourselves, am I right?

Anyhoo, have a cool yule guys!


The Black Envelopes

This year I sent out Christmas cards- something I haven’t done for a few years.

Last year, like the year before I went to the store and pored over boxes of cards and decided that none of them really said ” Merry Christmas ” so I took a pass and skipped it.

Nowadays people send e-cards that sing and dance. How could a bit of paper and ink compare with that? Besides, people talk smack about the cards they get and the newsletters that some people put a lot of work into so I figured, nobody really likes to get old fashioned cards anymore.

But it turns out I wasn’t completely right.

I had to update my address book and decided to send a few cards out and lo and behold  there is a small group of people in my life that were excited about getting actual mail.

At least, I hope that when they got my cards they would not be put off by the little black envelopes they came in and the less then traditional cards that I chose to express my holiday spirit:

This year during the Christmas season I decided to spend time reading Victorian Era ghost stories, I took my big dark dog for walks late in the evening when it was chilly and cemetery quite outside and when we got home I made us a little snack that we both could crunch between our chattering teeth while we sat in living room glowing from the lights around my fireplace and on our Christmas tree.

My cards may have come in little black envelopes and inside those envelopes were pictures of Yule Cats, Yule Lads Krampus and Pere Fouettard and I will admit they are a little odd- but they are just as much of the Christmas tradition as Fruit Cake, Black Friday and Over Eating.

This year’s cards were my way of saying I was part of this big grand tradition- and even though I didn’t celebrate it in a traditional way I think that I had more fun this year then I have had in ages.

Another way of looking at it- my cards weren’t greetings.

They were an invitation.

I wonder if the people I sent them to will answer- in their own and unique way.



Enter Stage Left


Every New Years Eve

I promise to

be myself.

I don’t promise to not get fatter or to organize my closets

or to be more patient, loving and understanding.


Every New Years Eve

when the fireworks go off and people hug their friends

and smooch their lovers

I promise to be myself

but how can I promise to be

something I’ve never been?


Holidailies Prompt: New Years Resolutions

My Letter To Santa


Dear Santa

I have learned that the truly meaningful gifts in life can’t be ordered on-line

or scored at a Mall or Department store

they’re not made by  machines or glued, stitched or assembled by young hands

in factories in cities whose names I can’t pronounce or find on a map.

No Santa, I am older and wiser and I have learned a lot and seen a lot and I understand more.

So this year, on the one night filled with Spirits and Magic and  I am asking for just two things.

An extra hour of darkness and bone chilling cold- the kind of cold that freezes the blood in your veins- or outside of your veins as the case may be.

Thank you Santa-

I am forever your Faithful Servant


Wait…Santa? What the Heck? Damn Spell Check!

The Christmas Party

My Grandfather and my least favorite relative used to bury the hatchet for one day- and one day only.

On Christmas Eve they would sit near the fireplace and play games- cards, dominos, Battleship sometimes they played Parchessi .

The games changed, their sweaters that Grandma knitted would change from year to year too but the two of them, focused on each other and the game they were playing- that intensity never changed.

They would glare at each other and slam back glasses of whiskey  until midnight and Christmas was officially here- at the stroke of 12 they would get up leaving their game unfinished evrn if they had been in midplay.

At that time, Grandpa would push his chair back and then my least relative ( my cousin had  killed my cat and blamed it on my dog )  would push his chair back and they would get up and go to different parts of the room and the freeze was back on.

At the end of the evening  Grandpa stood in front of the tree with a glass of wine- probably something that Grandma had liked and  he  raised his glass and said, ” We miss you Clover sweetheart. We’ve  missed you every single day of the year, but tonight. On the night we lost you on that road and-”

Grandpa looked at each of us- and he seemed to make up his mind to not go any further- to not say the name of the man who took Grandma Clover away from us on Christmas Eve six years ago.

” I miss you Clover, we all do. ”

We all felt a chill, even though we were right in front of the fire place and the room was ” toasty roasty warm” as Grandma Clover used to say.

” Drive careful- every single one of you. ”

We assured Grandpa we would and he followed us all out to the street where everyone’s cars were parked.

I was one of the last out of the house because I always was last and I walked and skated on the frozen ground to my parent’s car because who was going to yell at a kid to run in the ice and the snow on the very same road where her Grandmother had been mowed down by a crazy man and left her broken and as family legend said headless body on the sidewalk I was now taking my time walking on.

In truth, I just wanted some extra time in the snow and the car ride home was a long one.

I sort of slid up behind Grandpa and heard Cousin Mel sort of slur, ” Merry Christmas Killer.”

” Happy New year Mr. Shakedown”

” I’m the least of your problems Gramps. I’m not the one who framed the nicest person, literally the most friendly person on Earth for something you did- a couple of times from the looks of her.”

” No, but how’d that life insurance money taste Mel? Half. You got Half.”

” Yeah. Well. It wasn’t worth it. Who knew he had a friend even more twisted then you. Have you heard from him?”

” I’m expecting to, sooner then later. ”

They both looked down the street, towards the woods.

” Who is this friend of his? ” Cousin Mel asked  ” because maybe we can, you know. Reason with him.”

Down the road I  know we all  saw a black shadow break away from the trees and start on it’s way up the roads towards us. It was big and hunched over but maybe that’s because it had something slung over it’s shoulder.

At that point I decided to get a move on and zipped into the car and slammed the door shut so fast I almost took my own leg off.

Grandpa and Uncle Mel could have made a mad if not graceful exit to the house and the toasty roasty warm family room, but I think they didn’t because it wouldn’t have mattered.

When our car pulled away I saw them standing there in the snow.

Grandpa, Cousin Mel and an enormous dark figure with a black sack slung over one of his shoulders and yellow fire where his eyes should have been.

Vintage Krampus Holiday Card


Haunting Memories


Photo by Pixabay on

How many houses will you haunt tonight

how many dreams will you disturb

how many screams muffled by lavender perfumed sheets

will follow you

like a loyal dog

down dark and snow filled streets?


I hope you pass me by dark spirit

I hope you will let me be

I have some haunting

to do on my own

while the scent of  cookies and roasted  meats

fill the air.


Creativity Portal Winter Writing Prompt: Smells of Winter

Parlor Game

My family loves to play games at Christmas.

We play board games and we play Bingo for prizes and we’ve even done projects- like one year we made a Christmas Cookie Tree and on another we made a gingerbread house.

When I was little we used to show off our talents, like singing or magic tricks.

My favorite games were and still Parlor Games- like Charades and Pass The Orange.

One year I found a great new  game to play  and for the game I decorated a  box- which I had wrapped with Christmas Paper ( Santa Claus and his Reindeer of course ) and I put little bells along the top so that when you opened it, the little bells would ring.

I thought that was a nice touch.

In fact, I even baked  shortbread cookies and shaped them like stars and snowmen so that they could have something to nibble on while I explained this new and fun Parlor Game.

When it was time for games I stood up near the fireplace- because that’s where the treats and prizes for the games were set and I held my little box in front of me and said,

” This year I found a new game for us to play and everything we need to play is in my Christmas Game Kit, ” I held the box up and shook it a little so the bells would ring.

I had everyone’s attention- which was good because most of the  family  visited my Aunt and Uncle’s wine cellar a few times and they were a little foggy at this point.

I put the box down on the table and picked up my plate of cookies which I had even frosted and passed them around and then I continued.

” The game I thought we could play is called Murder In The Dark

As they ate their cookies I explained how the game was played.

My Grandfather reached for his glass of wine. ” Oh. I know this game.  I didn’t realize you needed props for  it. We didn’t, did we Irene?” he asked his sister.

I stood there with my  box wrapped in Christmas paper and decorated with  little jingle bells and when I gave it a little shake and you could hear the clattering and tinkling of what I had put in there for our game of Murder.

It sounded very festive and musical, if I don’t say so myself.

One of my cousins got up and headed for the door, ” Well, I don’t know about you guys, but I think we should give her game a try.”

And we did.

You can read about it in a few places like books about unsolved mysteries and abnormal psychology- but remember no matter what you read it really is ok to play Murder any way you want.

Photo by Ylanite Koppens on


From The Holidailies Prompt: Christmas Games