I just joined Facebook, which is just one more way to completely eradicate the need for face-to-face contact with other people as well as further diminish the number of real letters and cards that are sent through the mail. Nothing comes through the mail anymore except circulars and Geico Insurance mailers. (Thank goodness for the number that you can call to stop credit card offers, or two of those per day would still be coming, as well.) With the invention of bill pay on-line, most of my bills don’t even come through the mail, any more.
But, this time of year is different. I love to go to the mailbox during the holidays. CHRISTMAS CARDS! During the month of December, I get an average of one card per day. The days when two or three come are the best. A card, a letter, a picture — a real, honest-to-goodness piece of mail that someone addressed, licked and stamped. For at least 20 seconds, I was on some one’s mind.
I am a Christmas card junkie and hoarder. All my Christmas cards are displayed on my fireplace mantle (and this year, this is the extent of our Christmas decorating). Each year, after Christmas, the cards are stowed away, and the pictures are placed in an album. I have Christmas pictures of all my friend’s children, their dogs / cats, their vacations, etc. in my photo albums. I do not toss away at the end of the holiday season — I save and cherish.
What is my fascination with Christmas cards? I’m not sure. And I don’t send out particularly great ones myself. I don’t include write-ups of what I’ve been doing the past 12 months (hint: working, sleeping, working, occasional trip, working) because there are usually no great dramas or milestones (thank You, Lord, for the lack of drama). This year was the first year that I sent out a “picture” Christmas card.
Yet I absolutely love getting Christmas cards from my family and friends. I love knowing that people were thinking of me, putting me on their “Best Wishes” list, going to the trouble in this day and age of instant messaging to find my address and addressing (ah, the tedium) an envelope. When I look at my mantle and the number of Christmas cards, it’s a visual reminder of the sheer number of people in my life that care for me and for whom I care.
I don’t suppose that most people know that when they send me a Christmas card they are saying more than “Happy Holidays”, “Merry Christmas & Happy New Year” — they are also saying “you are loved”. Back at you all.