Every year, it’s the same thing: I send out a bunch of Christmas cards. And every year, I get about four cards in return.
OK, that’s a slight exaggeration. Maybe eight. Hey, I get it: People are busy. I appreciate electronic greetings just as much as paper ones. It’s a lot easier to send an online card or a message that says “OMG MERRY XMAS” on Facebook.
I’ve been feeling stupid for the last few years, wondering why I still send cards. Am I being an old traditionalist? I do seem to be edging closer all the time to the HEY YOU KIDS GET OFF MY LAWN mindset.
Is it obligation? Old habits? I used to be the earliest sender among my friends and family, mostly stemming from a habit of my retail days — either you wrote your cards on Thanksgiving night or they never got sent!
But this year, I figured out why I still send out Christmas cards.
Thanks, Mom, for reminding me.
My mother loved Christmas. And looking back at our Christmases as kids, I realize it was her spirit that filled the house at Christmas.
My dad was always a part of the festivities and liked the holidays too — he held the position of Official Cursing-At-Christmas-Lights-To-Get-Them-To-Untangle Supervisor — but Mom in particular loved giving presents and surprising people, and I’ve inherited that from her — I love the giving of presents way more than getting them (yes, really!)
And since it was Pennsylvania in December, we usually had snow on the ground, too.
I still send cards because it’s a ritual, and because it reminds me of my mom, who left us a few years ago.
My partner and I are still trying to figure out our rituals, and while I love my partner very much, he tests my patience by being a total Scrooge when it comes to decorations and the fuss over Christmas.
So here I am, with red and black pens and Christmas music in the background, writing my list and checking it twice…and making out those cards. And I hope that your Christmases past, present and future are peaceful and bright.