Scattered across the top of my desk are the last of the late arrivals of this year’s Christmas cards. Less than twenty friends chose to send me cards this year, each year the number dwindles. I understand it is so much easier and cheaper to just share some greeting or another on Facebook and reach all the people who are on the list of friends who get whatever I may broadcast in their news feeds, though there are many people who do not use social media or even own a computer.
When postage was a fraction of today’s rates, I recall sending and receiving two hundred or so cards. That was before cell phones, digital communication and long impersonal reports summarizing lists of amazing accomplishments of the children of my friends and descriptions of their exotic vacations.
Last year the local discount drug store was selling Christmas cards long before Halloween for $1.50 per box. Of course the postage could buy another box for the price of three stamps. Perhaps that is part of the reason so few folks send cards anymore.
I usually buy a box of religious and non-religious cards and stamps which follow suit. The left over cards are put into a large plastic box until I can use them another year for someone who didn’t get that particular card. This year I sent out about forty cards as I try not to lose touch with old friends, though I do not hear from them every year.
Sometimes a lovely card brings a little Christmas spirit or otherwise brightens my day. It is good to hear from people with shared history, even if only once a year.
I can remember years when the joy of the holidays completely eluded me until the last minute when I then went into card making frenzy, printing in hot pink oil based ink, in the lower right corner of sheets of green construction paper, the peace sign I carved into a linoleum block. I hung the papers on a clothes line to dry in the bedroom I used as an art studio. Once dry I took them down, folded them and wrote in black India ink, May the peace of Christ be with you! I believe I also made envelopes to fold around the thick paper and got them all out before the New Year.