I recently finished up my pile of Christmas cards and sent them off in the mail. People think I’m crazy sending out so many cards or even sending them in the mail at all.
It’s one of the things I love about the holiday season. It gives me a chance to reconnect with people in a less hurried and more thoughtful manner.
It’s interesting how, over the years, my card production has evolved.
First it was printing off mailing labels. Addressing each of 70 or so cards by hand was the most time consuming chore, so this was a major step forward in efficiency.
I used to send out long, individual letters to people I didn’t see much. (I’ve never been a fan of sending out generic “this is what I did this year” letters.) So my next step was to print off the letters from the computer. Anyone who has encountered what passes for my handwriting understands this was very much appreciated by the recipients.
This also allowed me to copy sentences and paragraphs that I was repeating. (Word processing rules!) I still tailored each letter to whomever I was sending it.
Unfortunately, the pressures and demands of the season have cut down the time I can spend writing these letters. (Of course, the fact that things haven’t changed a whole lot in my life may have something to do with it, too. Can you say B-O-R-I-N-G?)
Still, I manage to write out each card with a sentence or two of personal greetings. The cards bring memories of my friends and family before me as I write. They reinforce my bond with them.
Sure, I can send out e-cards to lots of these people or post a message on my social network sites. I’ll probably to that, too.
It’s just that sending a card in the mail that I’ve taken time with is a stronger connection, a way to say, “I’m thinking about you and all you’ve meant to me over the years.”
You may not receive one of my cards in the mail, but let me wish you a joyous Christmas (or Hanukah or Saturnalia or Yule or whatever midwinter holiday you celebrate) and hope you get to reinforce your life connections at this time, too.