Christmastime is magical at Tryon Palace, the Georgian-style palace in historic New Bern, N.C., gracing the November/December issue of American Spirit, the magazine we publish for the Daughters of the American Revolution.

Once known as the finest public building in the Colonies, the palace, which was built around 1770 as the royal governor’s home and North Carolina’s first permanent capitol, hasn’t always been so radiant. It was reduced to ruins, until local preservationists launched a campaign to resurrect it. Thanks to their tenacity and the discovery of the original architect’s plans, the palace still enchants the public today, 50 years after its restoration.

If you’re like me, addressing the stack of holiday cards is a looming item on your to-do list. Have you ever wondered how this tradition of exchanging holiday greetings got started? This issue traces the history of the Christmas card in America, from its beginnings as an artistic letter decorated by schoolchildren to its thriving modern-day incarnation. Hand-delivered greeting cards made their debut in the early 1800s, but they didn’t catch on in the United States until Christmas became a legal holiday in 1870. Thanks to artist Louis Prang, the father of the American Christmas card, these mementos grew more popular than ever and spurred the greeting card tradition that thrives today.
We also feature two members of the DAR who have devoted their lives to serving our nation’s soldiers at home and abroad. You can read about Commander Barbara Ellen Miller and Dorothy “Dottie” Busby Wainwright here. We salute them, along with all of the brave men and women of our armed forces, especially those serving away from their families this holiday season.