In learning to alleviate so much guilt from my life, over the years, certain topics still trigger more than a minimum amount for me. Christmas cards appear on that list. Every year I received scads of them and every year, for so many back I can't recall, I haven't sent my own. Not a single card in years.
It's so easy to buy a box of cards. I have the addresses of all my friends and family members. Stamps are still reasonably priced. But I have purchased box after box and they sit there on the shelf and in the drawers glaring at me.
So I stopped buying them. I think it was around the time I had so many I sold them for next to nothing in a yard sale, finally, just to make room for other things in my home.
Among my favorite cards to receive are the Holiday Letter. In those, my writerly friends recap the year with good humor and the feeling I get is really warm and fuzzy. I usually laugh a lot as I read them. Except for the year a friend who'd recently added to her family declared that people who don't have children don't understand what real love is. Being a non-mother, that one kinda' got under my skin. But I understood the reason for her assertion and forgave her. Mostly.
Maybe my failure to send these cards is related to my own tainted Holiday Letter Writing experience. A relative who received one was offended he hadn't received his very own letter, written just to him. It took me a while before it ever sunk in: he's never once written me a letter - individually or as a part of a group. That unpleasant memory has peeked its head into the conversation each time I've considered writing another one. I think I've let that go by now, but who can say? It was the only year I wrote a Holiday Letter. I did purchase New Years Themed paper for the letter once, thinking it might be fun to send them at the beginning of the year instead of the end of the former year. But I ended up using that paper a little at a time, throughout the year. For other things.
It seems I really do want to send them. There are a lot of wondeful people in my life to acknowledge and even though many of them don't send cards (a lot of 'em do, too,) I know how good it feels to receive them. And so I bought a box of cards last weekend. Friday, actually, I think it was. It's Wednesday now. Today's schedule is already overstuffed. I won't be working on them today, then. That seems to be the theme, after all. Letting other obligations move higher on the priority list until finally I'm taking down the tree and it's far too late to send a Christmas card.
The newest box is sitting on the shelf in my bedroom. Pretty little cards. I bought the stamps, too. They're in my wallet.
Anyone want to place a bet on whether they do or do not leave the box this year? Think long and hard. You earned that money...