I didn't send out very many Christmas cards this year and it's not because of the high price of postage or Christmas cards. I didn't have that many addresses. When I sat down to address cards, I only had about 20 addresses.
I had a bunch of e-mail addresses and a slew of cell phone numbers but real street addresses were few and far between. I guess I'm dated because I still like to go to the mailbox and get Christmas and birthday cards. There's something that is both personal and satisfying about opening cards for special occasions. It shows that someone is actually thinking of you and cares enough to take the time to sign their name and address it to you personally.
I get cards, especially at Christmas, that are part of an assembly line. These cards are especially made for companies and are signed "from your friends at..." Most of these cards come to the office but occasionally a few will show up in my mailbox at home.
I've sent my cards out but I kept a few in reserve for the people whose addresses have been left off my list by mistake. When I get those cards, I'll remember that it's the person I forgot.
But how do you know when to stop sending cards? My rule is that if I send a card for two consecutive years and I don't get one in return I don't send another one. Maybe that's not the Christmas spirit but it's the way I do it.
I like my cards signed. It doesn't have to be a message; the sender could simply sign the card with something like "with love." At least it lets me know that you cared enough about me to sign your own name.
My friend and a former coworker, Jackie Brown of Delray Beach, never writes a letter and we talk on the telephone abut twice a year. But Jackie is what I call a "catcher-upper." We all know them or have one or two in our circle of friends. These are the people that you don't hear from often but when you do, be prepared to catch up. Jackie's Christmas cards are like letters because she has written so much on the cards, you have to find the rest of the inside message between the lines.
The first time I got a card like that I thought it was strange, but it's just Jackie and I've learned to look foreword to her cards with the big writing.
There are only a few more days to make it to the post office to mail Christmas cards but if you forgot mine, there's always Kwanzaa. Those cards can go out anytime between Dec. 26-31.
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