Sending Christmas cards seems to have fallen by the wayside, a victim of the busyness that accompanies the end of the year. Commercialism has sent us into a shopping and shipping frenzy, often leaving this simpler gesture behind.
I have a renewed appreciation for the little works of art that come in our December mail, delivering greetings from family and friends. We may only hear from each other this time of year, so it’s nice to keep in touch and share updates on our lives.
These little gifts’ colorful graphics become part of our Christmas decor. When the holidays are over, they are stored in an envelope for safekeeping, like a holiday time capsule. When I look through past years’ receipts, it’s fun to see how kids and families have grown through the years, and sometimes savor the sentiments and handwriting of someone who is no longer with us. To hold a card that they once did offers a momentary connection, an added blessing from when it was first received.
When going through my parents’ things, they had kept greeting cards since they were first married. It gave me a different perspective on ephemera – the value it could hold much later in time. When I read names of their friends from early in their marriage, it jogged the dusty corners of my childhood memory. Notes from extended family members that I didn’t have the chance to get to know gave me a glimpse into who they were. Now, when I’m writing cards and letters, I approach it with the idea that it might be something that is kept.
I haven’t always gotten Christmas cards out. Some years have been too busy with the season’s hustle and bustle, but my husband and I are trying to simplify. The Christmas season had become too stressful. We wanted to get back to the true meaning of the holiday and more of what it used to be like.
Simplifying has meant less of some activities, but snail mail greetings are one thing I’m reviving. Sitting down to write Christmas cards, to let friends and family know that we’re happy they’re a part of our lives, takes me back to that simpler time. Gifts don’t have to cost a lot or take a lot of time to let someone know they’re loved and appreciated. An inexpensive card has the potential to be priceless.
I hope you get some holiday greetings in your mailbox this year. Even though it seems a small gesture, receiving a card means so much more. If you look for it, you’ll see the love tucked inside.
Merry Christmas to you and your family!
With love, Michelle