I have spent the past hour and a half writing personal messages on Christmas cards, addressing and stamping them, getting them ready to mail. They will go out next week.
My father was a letter carrier for the Postal Service for more than 30 years, in a time when mail carriers walked their routes with their bags on their backs. This time of year, the bag became increasingly heavier with the passing days as Christmas approached. Our family learned to address our mail clearly and to send it out early.
The act of sending Christmas greeting cards invariably brings me joy and a yearning to see and hug these friends instead of simply writing to them. This year, though, there’s also a tinge of melancholy as I reluctantly delete some of the names from our list — mostly people we had only brief contact with years ago and haven’t heard from since. The process makes me a bit sad, but it’s sensible.
If you send Christmas greeting cards this year, please do it early. Better start on them now. And add a personal note. It need not be long, just a sentence or two to remind those whose friendships you cherish that you truly care for them and aren’t just going through the motions of an annual ritual. This card might be your only contact with some of them all year. It should mean something to you both.
I hope the act of sending them brings you joy.