“Just Making Sure” . . . Why Christmas Cards Matter
There was a greeting card some years ago, which showed Winnie the Pooh and Piglet walking together holding hands.
With the holidays right around the corner, for some, like me, it means creating the Annual Letter.
Many love to get them; others refuse to read one because it seems “mass-produced”. My niece, Sharon is unbelievably creative. She is the queen of finding unusual themes or a new way to tell the current year’s sequel to their story with a twist. She never fails to impress me and I can’t wait to see what she puts together each year from Washington.
Then there’s my nephew, Steve, who seems naturally reserved when we are together, yet he volunteers to take on the annual letter-writing role. This probably is a relief to his wife who is the decorator, baker, and entertainer extraordinaire of the season. When his letter arrives, it is tender, loving, thoughtful and picturesque. The smells, sounds and cozy feelings it evokes puts you right in Canada with them, preparing for the season.
I have another niece, Lecia, who is a total comedienne. Tongue in cheek, she recounts the year filled with the school and sports antics of their girls. We chuckle as we walk through the highlights of their precious life, even though Ohio is far, far away and they are growing up out of sight. They make sure to include a picture of the crew, so we see how they have grown.
For me, the holidays barrel up to the door long before I am quite ready. I work two jobs and take the second as it presents itself, which hardly ever seems to be the opportune time. Subsequently, my heart is thinking about what I will and won’t include long before I actually begin to write.
First, I save last year’s cards and letters and look them over. I re-read and think about the year for these friends and family. Some envelopes were returned because of a death. Others have lost a precious family member or pet during the year. Some have had a birth. Some have relocated and I won’t know where to send our greeting unless we hear from them first.
What to write? Do I include every sad and miserable thing we dealt with during the year? No. Do I include mistakes, poor judgment, reasons for lost sleep? Not usually. I try to find the good, the uplifting, the positive and the overcoming moments. I do try to include the present state of our health, jobs, and immediate family. I give a snippet of our activities and what our lives looked like this year. Once printed, I hand-write something very brief but personal to the recipient.
Is the annual letter a chore? Only a little bit. Is it expensive? Heck of a lot more so than it used to be. Is it worth it? Oh, yes, yes, yes! The email blasts that some now do are fine and certainly more affordable. I still love the idea of my loved ones going to the mail box and getting a colorful card and our letter and photos after tearing open a real envelope.
To me, it is exactly like reaching out to take their hand, just like Pooh. Then, as we walk together down the road of 2012, holding hands tightly, I am saying “I just wanted to be sure of you.”
So, where do YOU stand on the issue of the Annual Letter?
Perhaps you don’t send cards at all. If not, do you still like to receive them?
How do YOU “make sure” of those you love who are too far away to hug?