Tuesday, November 20, 2007

With the smell of Thanksgiving preparations in the kitchen and the news of an approaching cold front in a couple of days, it’s Christmas Card time. We try to have the cards addressed and ready to mail right after Thanksgiving.
We don’t send out as many cards as we did in days gone by, but we still like to keep in touch with those who are out of town and we don’t see very often. Most of these people have been special to us in the past and remain special in our memory. We try to keep that memory alive with the Christmas Cards. These are folks from high school, college, medical school, the army, church, work and everything in between. Unfortunately, the list is growing shorter each year.
One of the hardest things is keeping our address list current. Some of the young folks, who are mostly relatives, move several times a year and even their parents have trouble keeping up with them. I think only one person on our list has had the same address for the past 50 years. There were two until last year and one is now in a nursing home.
Going through the list is also sad. More die each year and I have to drop either a Mr. or Mrs.. We have had a few casualties from divorce and other odd circumstance, but this number has been small. A few have just sort of disappeared from the face of the earth as if they didn’t want to be bothered again.
We like to send out a card with a picture of our grandchildren but that is about to end because they are growing up and it’s hard to get everyone together for a group picture. It takes about a hundred shots before you get the right photo, without someone’s eyes closed or looking away. I know it is like bragging to send out this picture and we are careful not to send it to a few who are sensitive about kids because they don’t have any or they don’t like a happy family. Yes, there are a few Scrooges on our list, but I pretend I am a ghost of Christmas past and want to remind those folks of what Christmas could be like.
The cost of cards, photos and postage have increased incredibly in the past few years. It’s almost as bad as gasoline. The cost may become prohibitive for anyone except the most wealthy to send cards. That will be too bad because many of the wealthy, like Scrooge, don’t always seem to appreciate the meaning of Christmas.

As for me, sitting on the porch, I like to mainly think about Christmases past. That’s why cards remain important to me and I will keep sending them even if I have to go back to work to afford the postage. The cards are a way of celebrating Christmas of the future. I will honor Christmas in my heart and try to keep it all the year.(Scrooge to Ghost of the Future)


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