Sunday, December 11, 2011

OBSOLETE THINGS: CHRISTMAS CARDS AND ME

Today I signed, hand-addressed, licked/ sealed and stamped 65 Christmas cards with this picture of me and my grandchildren.

I know that no one sends cards anymore except a few of us diehards. It would be very dense of me not to know, because folks tell me this on a regular basis. Often someone I’ve sent a card to.

“I got your card, but I don’t send any, so you won't get one from me.”

I’d already figured that out, since none had arrived in the mail, but saying that would be rude. And besides, I like this person, a lot, or I wouldn’t have sent the card.

“That’s okay,” I say, “I just send cards because I enjoy it. I don’t expect one in return.”

I said this to a darling but outspoken cousin last year. She didn’t seem to agree with me about not expecting a card back.

“Yes you do,” she said, “and that’s why I’m calling you…instead of sending a card.”

Gotta love my cousins.

Perhaps I should have explained to her,  that sending Christmas cards has been a tradition for me since I was a child. My mother was a teacher in a small town. Usually a different one each year because, although she was a very good teacher, she had the unfortunate habit of telling parents the truth about their child.) She always recruited me to help. I was the stamp-sticker and the envelope licker. This started back when I was very young and postage stamps were 3 cents each. And that was a lot for a teacher to pay. Cards and stamps were a major Christmas expense for Mother. Back then you could actually buy something for a penny.

Anyway, I still send cards because I enjoy sending cards to the people I like. And if you’re a recipient, don’t worry because you didn’t send one to me. I absolve you of your guilt! I love Christmas and all it stands for.

Hugs,

Jackie

17 comments:

Mystery We Write Authors said...

I've sent snail mail cards for years, but this year downsized the list to those special friends who actually seem to enjoy receiving them.

They also reciprocate, which is wonderful. OTOH, I've sent virtual cards as well, and enjoy the ease and speed.

Like so many things, one tradition is replaced over time with another.

Fun post, Jackie. I wish you and yours all the best of the season, and of course, happy writing!

kathleenkatmclaughlin said...

I've gone electronic both in card sending and gift giving. But not by choice! My disability warrants the careful consideration of all endeavors. I wished I could resume sending cards and wrapping gifts, but some things are relegated to memories. Don't stop doing the things that bring you joy! The grinches are out and the world is no longer civil. I don't even get the usual smile and hello from the Walmart greeter anymore. Well regardless of when it happened or why, I'm going smile not just for the season, but year-round, hoping to instill in others the true meaning of Christmas. Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and Happy New Year to all!

Sandee Wagner said...

Jackie,

We were a military family for years and the only time I reach out to some of these folks is with a Christmas card. I want to keep in touch, so I send the cards. spw

Jackie King said...

Hi Anne, Thanks for responding. Every year I say to myself, that I, too, will cut down on the cards I send. Every year I talk myself out of it once again. For me, it's a private memorial to my mother and my childhood.
Hugs,
Jackie

Jackie King said...

Kathleen, I love your spirit, girl! I also believe that smiles should be given freely. They cost nothing and bless both the giver and the receiver. And I hope you have the loveliest Holiday ever!

Thanks for stopping by and posting. You've cheered me up today.
Best,
Jackie

Jackie King said...

Sandee, It's wonderful to hear from you! For me, Christmas is about the only time I hear from my myriads of cousins. I send cards to the ones who don't respoond, too, hoping it will remind them of happy memories at Grandma's house.
Cheers,
Jackie

devotedtoquilting said...

Jackie, For years I didn't send cards. When we were first married it was an expense we couldn't afford, besides, all our friends were in college with us, who would we send them to? As the years passed we never adopt the card tradition. We enjoyed the ones we received, we knew they were sent with love and good wishes and not expecting a card in return. After all, many of those people never got a card, yet they kept sending one to us. This year I'm changing that and sending my version of a Christmas card, quilted ones. I don't like sending the electronic cards, they require too much thinking and looking on my part. :) Although, I love to receive electronic cards. Go figure. :) Quilted Blessings, Nita

Jackie King said...

Nita, Quilted Christmas Cards! How unique and special. Thanks for letting me know about that. You and yours have the best Christmas ever.
Love,
Jackie

Zequeatta Jaques said...

I try to send out Christmas cards every year, although I don't mail as many as I used to. And I don't always get a card back but that is okay. I just like for people to know that I am thinking about them.

Jackie King said...

Zequeatta, You and I are kindred souls! That's exactly why I send cards each year. I have some cousins who are old now, and I remember them when they were cool teenagers and I was just a snot-nosed nothing. :-) I want them to feel loved during this joyful season.

And by the way, Zequeatta is such a lovely name. I don't think I've heard it before.
Hugs,
Jackie

Janet K. Brown said...

Christmas cards are an invaluable way to keep in touch with many over the years. As long as I have friends or family that don't do facebook & live away, I keep sending them.

Jackie King said...

Thanks for dropping by and commenting, Janet. There is something so wonderful about sitting down with a handful of Christmas cards to read through them and enjoy thoughts of friends.
Best Wishes,
Jackie

WS Gager said...

Jackie: I'm working now on sending out 124 cards. Our list is longer tha usual because we've moved and need to keep in touch with those where we used to live and make sure they have our new address. We do it every year and I always enclose the latest info on my books too. Now I have to get back at it.
Wendy
W.S. Gager on Writing

Pregnancy Help Center said...
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Jackie King said...

Wendy, I'm sure your friends appreciate being kept up to date on your current address and what's going on in your life; including your writing. I know that I would.

Thanks for stopping by at such a busy time of the year.

Cozy in Texas said...

I didn't send any this year but will resume the tradition next year. It doesn't bother me if people don't reciprocate.
Ann

Jackie King said...

Ann, I always appreciate having your opinion. Merry Christmas to you and your family.
Jackie