Saturday, December 17, 2011

Holiday Cards

Last year I ran so far behind in the holiday season that I never did cards.  I felt like I'd failed on a basic, important rite of the season.  It's not like I have a list that stretches around the house.  I don't send cards to people that I work with or otherwise see all of the time.  This is a way to reach out and let my far away friends and family know that I'm thinking of them, looking forward to seeing some of them when I travel up north, and let them have a look at my life.

Yes, when I moved to Florida I became a fan of holiday photo cards.  Who wouldn't if, like me, they could include photos of themselves posed with dolphins or sea lions? 

This year, I was determined to get cards out before Christmas actually happened.  While I was in the process of writing them out and addressing envelopes, I couldn't help but think of my Mom.  She had a system for doing her cards each year.  Good thing, because I believe she did a few hundred every year and wrote out a message and signature on every card.

Right after Thanksgiving she got out the card table and set it up in the corner of the sun porch with her address books, boxes of cards and special pens.  That way she could still sit in the evening and watch television with the family while she worked on the cards.  Over the course of several days and nights, she first wrote out the envelopes, carefully sorting those for friends who lived in other countries into a separate stack.  Once she'd addressed all 200 or 300, she wrote the messages on the cards, slipped them into the envelopes and sealed them.  Some years she had our return address printed on the envelope, but sometimes she used a gadget that impressed the address into the envelope flap before she sealed it shut.  Once the cards were assembled, she affixed pretty holiday stamps and stacked them into the now empty card boxes for easy, neat transport to the post office. 

As you know from my previous post, my handwriting is less than stellar, so the only way that I could help was to seal and stamp cards.

This was a big task every year, but Mom seemed to enjoy doing it and I don't remember her every complaining.  Judging from the number of cards she received each year, the recipients loved the fact that she took the time and made the effort. 

I do about 80 cards each year.  This year I finished over the course of two evenings and only complained to myself twice about hand cramps.

For everyone who doesn't get a card from me in the mail, allow me to take the elctronic route to wish you a very happy holiday!

Do you send out holiday cards?  Are you an annual letter writer, too?  Do you prefer traditional or photo cards, or do you send out your seasonal greetings via email?  


Nancy J. Cohen said...

I send out seasonal cards and sometimes include a family photo or photo collage. My messages are brief but I figure any personal, handwritten scribble in these days of electronic communications is meaningful.

Hope said...

We loved your card!!!

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