Saturday, December 15, 2012

The Disappearing Christmas Card

What is it about this stage in life where one constantly looks back, rather than forward??
Immersed in photos and life stories of my ancestors rather than the current living, I obsess with remembering the good ole days instead of happy expectation for the days to come. Why not relish the beauty of the present, rather than lament the loss of the past.

It's not healthy. One should focus on today and looked forward to the future.
After all God is a God-of-the-Now and we should walk in that. Carpe Diem! Live in the present.

However, with the soon passing of 2012, allow me to indulge myself (It's-my-blog-I-can-cry-if-I-want- to) and launch a stream of posts called

The Disappearing Series 

Here I will remember and maybe mourn the loss of items, customs and events that  have gone out of fashion. Things that made life more polite, civilized, rich and genteel. (Now there's a word straight out of "Gone With The Wind")!!!

So, first: The Disappearing Christmas Card.

Sorry, but an email just doesn't cut it. Those animated cards from American are cute, I admit. But there's nothing like the surprise in the mailbox that is not a bill or advertisement. 

It's a human touch
written with 
 the energy of a loved one's hand, 
 thoughts of their mind 
living emotion of their heart

all encapsulated in the handwritten address.

Walk to your mailbox.
 Reach in the cool tin hollow. Feel the texture of linen paper. Hear the seal snap.  Anticipate the contents while you tear it open with dinner knife, letter opener or index finger. 
Let your heart be tickled.

Sadly at my house, laziness has won with printed names and photos.  The Costco picture cards are getting old, but they are so time efficient. My mother would pore over each card and add a personalized note. The envelopes trickled out as she completed a few each night. 

An annual message of care at Christmas goes a long way.  Traditionally the list begins with the wedding guest book and grows over the years.  

My list has shrunk.  There are names in my Christmas Card Record book, I don't even recognize anymore. Were they college friends in LA, young couples from our Newport beach days? Or folks from our child rearing era in Thousand Oaks, California. After 14 years in Florida even friends have changed. Hard to keep up.

Perhaps that's one of the things we'll do in heaven. A thousand years to rekindle relationships.

While on earth, Christmas Cards keep them going. 

A text message is better than nothing,  I guess. "Merry Christmas to all our Friends" sent out to all your contacts says something, for sure. Try to respond to the group text and you've launched mass confusion rather than stoked the love.

Social networking has captured our complete attention. So much faster than a card or letter. But has it made us more loving and caring and really fostered meaningful friendships? Has it really improved our social or family life? Maybe some say yes.

Did you read the article where the person with 400 friends tried to have a get-together and none of the 400 'friends' came? 

The Shaws hang our Christmas cards on two long ribbons on the front door. The space needed is less and less with each year.  Where once there were three ribbons, now there are only two. 

Four cards are hung to date with ten days left till Christmas.

Multiple trips to the photo counter, and arguments with husband over photos and wording made it truly a labor of love. But so worth it!

Oh, and in case you didn't get our card in the mailbox at then end of your driveway....

consider this post your Holiday Greeting.



1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Enjoyed this emensly. The jury is out now on IF a card arrives in my mailbox from you, LOL. In any case, this post was a labor of love, and will keep its message thru out the season. I think I'll print it and hang it on our (one) ribbon to keep our 5 cards company. BTW I'll always be your 1970's buddy.
Merry Christmas sis!

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