Tuesday, November 30, 2010

it's almost time

Buying holiday stamps and double checking the address list can only mean one thing - it is almost time for the annual tradition of sending out Christmas cards.

This was a tradition at my house when I was a little girl. My folks were Army folks, moving every year or so, having lived literally all around the world, and in doing so met a lot of people they wanted to keep in touch with. So every year my mom would get out the dog-eared address list, check for any changes to be made, and start addressing envelopes. I started out helping stuff the envelopes, every year helping out a little more according to my ability, licking stamps (well maybe we didn't actually lick them, or did we? but they definitely were not the self-stick ones like today), signing my name, and finally moved up to the actual addressing of the envelopes when my handwriting improved enough. We sent out Christmas cards to past acquaintances and lifelong friends and family all over and received ones in return. Mom would write a little note in most of the cards, catching folks up on all the year's news and we looked forward to reading the news in all the cards that came in.

Over the years our Christmas card address list has grown. As the economy goes up and down the question pops up whether to spend the money on stamps etc., but since this is literally the only contact we have with most of these folks, we always decide it is worth it. Some of these people we have not seen in 30 years! And some of them I have never even met in person. So a once-a-year note will not break the budget and keeps us connected.

Jump forward to now, I still sign the cards by hand, but as far as the envelopes go - I just hit 'print' on the computer and out spits all the labels, in alphabetical order, easily readable, ready to stick on. It seems rather impersonal, I wonder if that is what folks think? Sometimes I think I will hand-address them, but that thought doesn't last long. Besides, folks are not looking for the handwritten envelope or hand-signed card or even if there is a card at all. They are looking for The Christmas Letter.

A tradition of our family started 20 years ago is the annual letter written by Buddy, detailing all the goings-on in our family over the last year, a story told as only Buddy can with his wit and Southern charm and don't forget the accent!

So it is almost time for that annual tradition. I am doing my part, gathering cards and printing labels and buying stamps. Buddy will do his part when the notion strikes him. He acts like he dreads it every year, but we all know he loves it, especially when through the year folks tell him how much they enjoy and look forward to his annual message.

So while waiting on this year's edition, you can catch up on the past 20 years here at The Christmas Letters.

1 comment:

Carrie said...

This letter is really just a ploy to make sure the kids and grandkids are "good" throughout the year. So whatever it is they did BAD doesn't make it into the ... da da DA ... Christmas Letter!