When I was a child, I would watch my grandmother sit down after Thanksgiving and start preparing a mammoth pile of Christmas cards. I’m not sure how many she sent out, but it always seemed to be a million. I was young, it could have been a million or maybe only twenty. She never failed to be punctual and thorough at this holiday task. In the following weeks, the decorations would start going up, the tree would be lit and Gram would receive tons of lovely holiday greeting cards. She would tape them around the door frames of the house much like you would hang stockings at the fireplace.
My mother practices the tradition and has a list of die-hard Christmas card recipients. Over the years though, I feel like she has began to let this list get shorter and shorter. It’s no fun sending Christmas cards out and never getting them back. It’s like being the only letter sender in a pen pal relationship. To me, it is the sign of a dying practice.
BUT WAIT! Can I contribute a small amount and help bring back the beloved tradition of Christmas card exchange? Can I defy the odds? Can I battle against an entire generation who is constantly glued to a gadget and clueless how to converse with another person unless it is in text, email or Facebook post?
I’m sure as hell going to try!
Friday night, I sat on the floor and carefully filled out these cute little Christmas cards on our coffee table. Look at the little guy in the earmuffs! He’s so frickin’ cute!
I’m sad to report not everyone on my list is receiving this particular card. This box held fourteen cards, which I thought would be plenty. As I placed a stamp on each sealed envelope, I thought of another person who I wanted to give a card. The beau stopped and stared at the holiday madness taking place before him. I’m sure that he thought I was insane with my posts scattered everywhere, addressed to everyone. I am the biggest scrooge on Earth. I am the first to admit I am ready for the Christmas season to be over at the first seasonal commercial, which now airs in August.
“Don’t you judge! I am on a mission! My grandmother sends Christmas cards. My mother sends Christmas cards. I will single-handedly bring back the Christmas card.”
“I believe you.” He smiled and picked up a card to admire the incredibly cute birds.
“I wonder how many we’ll get back.”
“Well, you’ll know who to cut off the list next year.”
Should I? When next year comes around should I only send to those who sent to me? This is going to bring on a world of pondering in three hundred and sixty five days.
Twenty four cards are ready to be delivered to their new homes. Homes that may be surprised. Homes that have wondered why old Scrooge McMel needed their address. Homes that will hopefully love whichever version of the bird card they received. (Of course I had more bird designs! All of my Christmas cards had birds on them!)
There they go! Bye-bye little bird cards! Yes, my mailbox is covered in ivy. I know it drives the mailman mad but it fills my need for a cottage garden look.
It feels like the most simple gift I can give. A gesture that tells people I still think of them during this insane time of year. I hope it touches some souls and encourages others to reach into their roots and pass on a tradition most of us have witnessed in our childhood. I’ve stepped up to the plate. Let’s see who is ready to join in my own little holiday cheer.