Have you noticed that you get fewer Christmas cards today than you did twenty or thirty years ago? I have, but I’m not surprised because it’s been several years since I sent out cards.
Years ago, it was my Thanksgiving mission to address some 75-80 cards; often I tucked in the much-criticized Christmas letter. Most years I got cards from friends of my parents or aging relatives, and the year the card didn’t come, I knew they had passed on. My list dwindled, changed.
I gradually shortened my list, cut out the letter, and finally quit. No more rushing to Hallmark on December 26 to buy next year’s cards at half price. I think there are several reasons—ten years ago I became a blogger, and friends who read my blog keep up with me and my children. My handwriting has gone south as I age, and truthfully Christmas preparations seem to take more and more time. And I don’t even cook Christmas dinner any more—we either do it as a family, when we have Alter Christmas, or I am a guest at a child’s home where I pitch in but am surely not responsible for the entire dinner. I remember the days when we opened presents, cleaned up the mess, and then the kids went to a movie while I cooked dinner.
But I digress. I was talking about Christmas cards. I treasure those I get, especially Christmas letters (I do like to keep up with friends) and those family pictures. I don’t think back in the day we ever considered sending pictures of our family at Christmas. It’s a lovely custom. The dwindling of cards is to me just another beloved tradition that is going away—someday it will be as old a memory as wearing white gloves to church (yes, I’m that old—I remember wearing them).
These days I sometimes respond to special cards with an email message. But if you send me a card and don’t hear from me, please know that I am grateful to have the card, and I send you my best wishes for blessings of the season.