I have not really sent Christmas cards the last couple of years. Not for lack of trying, but it used to be such a big production, more so those years when I attempted to create my own cards and envelopes. (THAT big of a production!). I even succumbed to doing one of those photo cards way back when. Of course, there were years I opted for the store bought cards which I did this year– but I was never one to just address and sign the cards. I usually took this opportunity to actually write something.
My address list has grown relatively shorter because of life events. Divorce meant trimming off the ex’s friends from my address book. What is heartening is when I go over the list and see those friends who are still sending me their cards, even after all these years that I have not. I actually look forward to receiving these cards which remind me that I am still near and dean even if I’m on the other side of the world literally. They keep me updated with what’s happening in their side of the world. So this time around, I wrote more than just a message but an update as well.
This year, I gathered the left over cards from previous years which left me doing a guessing game on which ones got a card last year and which card they got. To make it simpler, I bought a new box and sent those to the ones I wasn’t sure of. I have practically sent all and I’m down to one last box.
It is never simply Merry Christmas. With Hanukkah and Kwanza, we usually go for “Happy Holidays”. Happy new year is a safer bet. The thing is to celebrate the celebration – whatever shape or form it takes – and to reach out to the people who matter to you, be it personally or professionally.
I actually enjoy the whole tradition from choosing the cards, writing on them, stamping the envelopes and sending them on their way. It’s just so much a part of the holiday spirit for me. I only wish I could do it way ahead next time and avoid the apologies for the late send. I have also taken to organizing my address list, using an old beat up address book given to me a while back by a favorite ex cousin-in-law. I usually cut out the return address label and put them in my little book. In this day and age of everything being electronic and virtual, I think I will keep my address book and keep updating it.
The Christmas cards are on sale now and I’m picking next year’s card. I have tried to keep away from glitter in the designs because even I don’t like getting glitter all over me which can’t be helped with those pretty cards. I like festive designs with a lot of color and shades of happy. I like to give something I would be happy to receive. I’m starting clean and sending the same card to everyone with no second guessing who got what the previous year. I hope to send them off much earlier next year, and I’m going to start by updating addresses by the end of January.
Sending those cards out this holiday season was a meaningful way to end 2019 and begin 2020. I have reconnected — this time, with a promise to stay connected. I am trying to be more consistent with that. Here’s hoping I get to do this better from here on.