Sending Christmas cards to loved ones seems as timeless as the yearly decorating of an evergreen tree, waiting for Santa Claus or watching “It’s A Wonderful Life.”
But sometimes, the commercialization of the season can seem to rob greeting cards of their personal meaning.
Not so for Monroe’s own Romona Tate.
Tate makes greeting cards, and Christmas cards are among the cards she sells.
Tate left a career in retail some years ago, and has spent five years making cards completely by hand. If you are looking for the personal and local touch for your seasonal greetings, Tate has “any holiday or greetings you want,” she said with a smile.
Tate sometimes uses ink-stamps and templates, but more often sketches by hand.
Tate can be reached at (360) 863-8667.
Tate is part of a tradition of holiday greetings more than 150 years old.
The first commercial production of a Christmas card was illustrated by John Callcott Horsley of London in 1843. The tradition of sending holiday greetings quickly became an end-of-year financial boost for printing houses.
How did the Christmas card make it out West from families back East? The answer was the Pony Express rider who packed cards and Christmas presents in his saddle bags. These adventurous horsemen rode hard, facing the dark of night and freezing temperatures, over mountain passes and lonely fields, eager to make it to their stations before December 25.
Some western towns still hold an annual celebration of their ride.