What Day Is It?

     So I thought I would spend a little time today on postcards showing one of the most popular of Christmas animals.  I mean, of course…what’s that, Radish Ribbon Candy?  The reindeer?  Well, no.  Actually, I have very few reindeer postcards in my inventory.  That’s why I had to start this column off with an elk instead.

     No, I am going more for the Nativity scenes of our childhood, and that manger we saw in those snowglobes that no one has ever explained to me.  The Scriptural authority for snow falling on the manger is…..

     What’s that, Mango marzipan?  The donkey?  Well, no, not exactly.  I’ve done a lot of columns about donkeys on postcards, and I suppose my readers are getting tired of….

     What readers?  You, child, will be getting sticks and coal in your stocking.

     Why do I think my readers aren’t tired of everything else I write about?  Not only are you NOT going to get any coal in your stocking, I expect Santa will actually take the stocking away from your chimney.  If I may get along with….

     Yes, artichoke almondbark, the donkey has a certain right to be seen at the manger, and also what I wanted to talk about, the…..

     No, not the cow, either.  We are not going to get to the….

     Yes, I KNOW there were probably sheep as well!  But we are dealing here with my sale stock, and I wanted to discuss my camels.  When you have a blog of your own, you can write about the Christmas birds who wait each year to greet the Mystic Bow Tie, but we…. 

     See what you made me do?

     All I wanted to do, see, was use the manger and the three Wise Men to show a few camel postcards, not especially Christmas-related.  I had no intention of getting into a debate on what animals do and do not belong in your snowglobe.  People do, you know.  I don’t know where the notion of the Magi riding camels came into the picture, though camels were used for transportation, and they might as well have used camels as anything else.  There are people who spend their careers arguing about just the camels which are in the Bible.  Are they two-humped or one-humped?  (One: the two-hump camels come from elsewhere).  Are all the camels in the Bible camels or just representational animals applied to periods and people who couldn’t have had camels because camels were not yet broken for riding at that point in history?  Why would a camel even WANT to walk through the eye of a needle?  It goes on and on.

     Camels are on postcards because of their legendary ease at going without a drink.  That has nothing to do with Christmas, particularly at certain office parties I have attended.

     Even here we have people who argue the way you do with a poor blogger.  How many days DOES a camel generally go without a drink?  And is the camel proud of this, or would it just as soon indulge?

     The folks involved with the Mystic Shrine know what I’m talking about.

     Once upon a time, though, a Mr. Thomas Nast, who gave us Republican elephants and Santa Claus, among his other icons, decided a camel should represent the Prohibition Party.  The Prohibition Party, which continues to this day, accepted this mascot and, somewhere around the nineteen-teens brought out a series of cheerfully colored camels who were very proud of their non-drinking.

      These camels could be localized, having a large space to put in a city or a meeting time for a Prohibition gathering.

      Not only did they come in all colors and shades, these camels even came in assorted moods, as in this case, where the whole drinking subject is abandoned for a thoroughly postcard-style camel joke.

     No, mincemeat muffin, I do NOT have one in which the camel wishes anyone a Merry Christmas.  Why don’t you make like a camel and go follow a star someplace?

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