I searched our archive – our electronic archive that contains almost all of the editions of the National Herald over the past 105 years, thanks to the generous funding of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) – but I could not find exactly when the tradition of the special, festive editions for Christmas and Easter began.
What is certain is that it goes back at least 80 years.
What a brilliant idea it was…
Almost the whole Christian world exchanges good wishes on these great feasts of Christianity.
Of course, we Greeks do the same. We wish each other a Merry Christmas and Happy Easter and pray for health and peace throughout the world.
The National Herald also takes part in this tradition. As our Community’s newspaper, it serves as the vehicle for everyone in our community to express their wishes to their fellow Greek-Americans, like the true family that we are.
I would like to mention some technical but essential things that go into producing and distributing the Christmas special inserts in our Greek and English editions. Firstly, we start preparing them before Thanksgiving. It takes a lot of effort, resources and endless hours of exhausting work.
From the moment our colleagues in the Advertising Department communicate with our clients, until their holiday greetings are printed and distributed, they pass through many eyes and hands. More specifically: the text of the greeting is written. It then goes to our offices in Athens or Long Island City for proofreading and correction. Afterwards, it goes to the graphic design department, where the advertisement is designed, and then it is returned to the Advertising Department for proofing. Most of the time, it is sent to the customer for final approval. After the changes, if any, are made, it goes to the Production Department, where it is assigned to a page, and then it takes its final journey – this is all done electronically – to the press.
This year we started printing last Monday, because there were so many pages that the insert needed to be divided into sections that were printed separately.
Our staffers then wait for the printing to be completed and then one section after another, they assemble all the sections, in proper page order.
Eventually, when the main section of the newspaper was printed on Friday, it all came together – this year’s Greek edition had 204 pages. As soon as possible, when everything is assembled, the drivers distribute them to newsstands in the New York Metropolitan Area, to the Central Post Office and to the various companies that have been distributing TNH to your homes for many years.
To prevent delays, especially for this day – and a few other days of the year – we print earlier, at 12 noon.
This means that work for the main section of the newspaper begins at… 5 in the morning, New York time.
It is important to clarify that this whole endeavor forms a great chain. The work of one part depends on the work of another.
If one makes a mistake, the other must correct it. If one is late in preparing something, it holds up the process, so another person must make up for lost time. The pressure on the newspaper in general, and especially these days, is unbearable.
The entire staff of the newspaper – in New York, Athens, Boston, Nicosia – works on the inserts.
I would like to name and thank each and every one of our partners, but it would take a lot of space to do it.
I will limit myself to saying that without the enormous sacrifices of Veta Diamataris, my sister and head of the Advertising Department, and her associates, this miracle that you received last weekend would have been impossible to accomplish, at least to the extent and at the level it is actually realized.
The same applies to another pillar of the National Herald: Production Manager Chrysoula Karametros and her associates.
Vassilis Koutsilas, head of the Athens office, another pillar of the newspaper, together with his own collaborators, add material.
The role of Yanna Katsageorgi, responsible for the ‘Periodiko’ magazine section, is also extremely important.
So I send a massive ‘thank you’ to everyone, everywhere, with the wish that we all have good health to continue the tradition next year.
Of course, it is clear that we owe a very big ‘thank you’ to those who chose the National Herald as the vehicle for sending their holiday greetings to the Community. Your support – moral and financial – in these difficult times is beyond touching and incredibly appreciated.
Without these large inserts, without your support, the operation of the newspaper would have very large shortfalls.
We thank you all from the bottom of our hearts and we wish you a happy and healthy New Year.