When I was a kid every hotel or motel worth its salt offerred a free postcard or two to guests. Some were so incredibly boring and uninspiring that this genre is among my favourites (see this gem).
Since the 1990s, I may have encountered about two hotels offerring giveaways. I figured that this was a practice that had died out completely.
So I was surprised to receive this postcard yesterday from Hotel Sommer in Germany:
Spotting this item was like a seeing a dodo bird. We know them to be extinct – but imagine my surprise to see one sitting there so nonchalantly in my mailbox!
As far as a lodging postcard, this is among the best. The images offer a stunning view of the natural surrounding, luxurious rooms, and the promise of risqué December-May encounters by the pool.
This postcard is from one of the Collection’s grand donors. She’s always on the lookout for fine additions to the Collection, as her message attests:
“Gutentag! I know you love a promo card and these come fanned out in the room, complete with a pen to write them. Good thing this hotel has an indoor pool – it’s cold and raining for days – I had to buy blue jeans. It’s nice and sunny now as we are leaving, but we like it here so much that we’ll probably be back. There’s so much to do around here, just not the boring Lichtenstein castle tour.”
Not only is the postcard a rare sample for proving the continued existence of a form, but it’s also among the larger ones in the Collection at 12.8 centimetres by 23.5 centimetres (which is slightly larger than Canada Post allows without requiring special postage).
If I go down to the mailbox today, I’m sure of a big surprise. If I go down to the mailbox today, I’d better go in disguise! For every bear that ever there was, will gather there for certain, because today’s the day the Teddy Bears have their postcards.
Yes, my lyrics are a stretch to the beloved classic song, but the surprise that I found in my mailbox yesterday was just cause to have me singing. Behold the adorableness of this:
Just too cute, isn’t it! And because it’s from Europe, it’s sophisticated, classy cute too!
As precious as this is, it’s not the first teddy bear postcard of the Collection (see my King Kamehameha Teddy postcard), but it is the first one of teddy bears superimposed onto a quaint European town. I also love the teddy’s little lederhosen (although his red eye is a bit disconcerting).
Here’s the back side:
“Tchüss from Germany. What’s the only thing that can make the beautiful medieval town of Rothenburg ob der Tauber better? Teddy bears! This pen sucks. [top] Rain all the time!”
Picnic time for Teddybären
The little Teddybären are having
A lovely time today…
Another one of those days today and again postcards say it best.
Here’s a postcard of some torture devices almost as bad as the ones I’m enduring at my university.
This postcard was sent to me many years ago when I was living in West Germany (back when West Germany was still a country, that’s how long ago it was). Sadly, I never got a chance to visit the museum the postcard is from, the Kriminalmuseum in Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany.
Here is the back:
“Glen, I thought you’d get a kick out of this postcard! It is from a really [unknown] museum with lots of nifty torture devices, chastity belts, etc. See you on the 17th eh? And don’t forget to WRITE!!! Notice the Iron Maiden? Well. Say hello to X for me!! Bye bye Babs Bye Bye!”
Christmas is over and Grinch that I am, I say hallelujah!
I find Christmas just too much. The postcard below depicts my resulting emotional pain and rejoicing at the end of this holiday:
The angels are supposed to be singing to the glory of God, but their facial expressions suggest otherwise (particularly the two on the right).
I feel like they know truly how I feel!
Surprisingly, this is a detail from an altarpiece – the world-famous Ghent Altarpiece (which features prominently in the recent film The Monuments Men). To see the angels piece and the entire altarpiece in amazing detail, visit the site Closer to Van Eyck.
Here’s the back side of the postcard sent to Canada from Germany.
Postcard caption (translated):
Jan Van Eyck (from 1390-1440), The Singing Angels (detail), Ghent, Ghent Altarpiece.
“Dear X. We wish you and your beloved a most joyous Christmas and a very prosperous and blessed new year. Are you planning on coming to G again? We are well so far. My mother-in-law is living with us now. Our children are growing. I am the smallest in the family now. Love Y.”
Merry Christmas, or Fröhliche Weihnachten as they say in Germany. Yesterday, I posted one of the few English Christmas postcards I have.
During the golden age of postcards, around the turn of the last century to the end of World War 1, Christmas postcards were very popular in Canada, the U.K., and U.S.A. (Read about their history at the Washington Post and Collectors Weekly). Gradually, the Christmas greeting card sealed in an envelope that are today’s mainstay replaced the Christmas postcard.
The only place where I still encounter Christmas postcards is from Germany. This is appropriate as German lithographers helped start our tradition by their compelling designs.
I am not sure how common the tradition of sending Christmas postcard is in Germany nowadays, but I still get some every now and then from my German friends or in-laws. Such as this one:
Die besten Weihnachtsgrüße (The best Christmas greetings)
This postcard was unsent but is dated on the back from 1974.
If anyone knows about contemporary Christmas postcard practices in Germany – or anywhere else – please share your experience.
Santa was good to me today as I got a lot of cool, new postcards. I’ll be displaying them here soon.
In the meantime, have a great Christmas!
I started this blog one year ago today. So in honour of the Deltiology Deity’s one year birthday, here’s a birthday postcard:
Front caption: “Alles Gute zum geburtstag und weiterhin viel Glück”
[Translation]: Happy birthday and good luck!
Postcards for holidays used to be common in English-speaking countries (see my Holidays gallery), but died out over the years (replaced by greeting cards in envelopes) except in Germany. Over the years, I’ve had a few penpals from Germany and they’ve sent me postcards for New Year’s Eve, Christmas, and birthdays.
Here’s the back:
“Happy birthday!!! (That is what the card says basically). I don’t think you’ll get this in time as the Canadian post is so slow. I’ll be home soon now, the time has gone by so fast. I Can’t believe it. Currently, I’m in Bonn, the nation’s capital. I saw the Rhine and it was quite beautiful, but also quite polluted. We went to the Canadian embassy with the bus tour and we all sang ‘Oh Canada’. This will probably be one of my last, if not last, letters as the post is so slow that I’ll be home before it.”
Here is the last of the postcards I found hidden away in the recesses of my cachet of stuff long-hidden in my Dad’s basement.
This one was from one of my German pen-pals and is of a German marsh, Lentfohrdener Moor:
Not exactly the most picturesque scene of Germany, but certainly unique. Here’s what lies underneath:
I’m sorry that I didn’t write to you for such a long time. A lot of different things happened in the last time and I was thinking a lot of my future plans. My final exams will take place now at the end of June – after 15 years of school! I’m really happy to be able to start [unknown] else now. After all this school-stuff I will go on a big bicycle tour with 2 friends of mine, having a lot of fun. Then I’m going to Northern Ireland with another friend of mine. For the period of 3 weeks we will help lead a peace-camp near Belfast – in this camp there are children of the age 5-15, Protestant and Catholic ones who pass their holidays together. After these interesting but surely not very relaxing weeks we would like to pass a fourth week there to discover the green Island. But how are your plans for the summer? How are you studies?
Ciao, mach’s gut und viele liebe Grusse au deine [unknown]”
Well, I remember that summer and aside from getting postcards of other people’s exciting travel plans, I was working in a garment factory plastic wrapping clothes. Such great memories this brings back.