Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Lovingest Season: Sending Christmas Cards

For years I prepared to send Christmas cards. Often I bought them. Sometimes I got as far as addressing them. I hardly ever got around to mailing them tho.

Sending Christmas cards does not have to be an ordeal, nor does it mean sending dozens. Once I understood that, I finally accomplished my goal. Write a few to friends farthest away. That done, write a few more to next door neighbors. A few at a time is the way to go for me. Simple signatures inside, no attempt at writing a letter. Keeping it simple keeps me from getting overwhelmed with good intentions. The past couple of Christmases, I have succeeded in actually sending them.

As a result, we get more cards too. It is a nice thing, to get a card in the mail. Each is a little bright spot in the day. A little more love in the Lovingest Season.

I bought our cards the other day. A bargain at $5 for a box of 18. We've had trouble the past couple of years finding traditional cards but this year they were plentiful. That is a good sign!

One cute place I found online, for printing your own cards, is Jan Brett's website, with adorable hedgehogs and mice. Just click the "Cards" tab. The envelope templates are there too. All you need is plain white printer paper.

If you find vintage cards, they are wonderful to recycle with a note of your own added. I used some 1950s greeting cards as markers for Bunko last time I hosted it and people loved them. It's a kick for a collector! Double the reason to pack the card away with the ornaments to enjoy again next year.

The vintage Christmas post cards in the photo above are from 1913, and are embossed with glossy color, as was common for the time. Two are actual Christmas messages. The third, with the meaning of Cedar in the language of flowers ("Cedar: I live for thee"), was mailed in October 1913. If you find or make blank ones, postcards cost only 28 cents to mail in 2009.

Christmas cards give us a chance to reach out to people we might otherwise feel shy about approaching, and to those we think of fondly. It's a small way to be a good neighbor, and a good friend.

Small traditions, like Christmas cards, add up to preserve a good way of life.

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