Yesterday I got my Christmas cards out. When I was going through Mom’s closet I found a couple of boxes that she must have purchased at one time. When we were young I think Mom had about 60 people that she sent cards to. Aunts of Dad, all of my cousins, friends but the last few years the number had dwindled down to about 30 and we would be lucky if we got half that number back. Mom’s generation were good at writing letters but we didn’t get letters back from cousins. When their kids were young we would get the card with the yearly Christmas photo.
My Dad’s Aunt May was so appreciative of Mom’s Christmas letters. One of my Dad’s cousin’s (who was over 100 when he died) said that my brother was the spitting image of my Dad’s father. And where else but family would you hear him called “Uncle Willie” for William. The wife of a cousin of Dad’s would do water colour pictures on her cards into her eighties.
I miss going to the mail box and getting a big bundle of cards. It now costs 1.00 per stamp to mail a card. It’s ridiculous. And it costs 2.50 to mail a card internationally. I have a couple of friends who I’m going to send to this year because I’m not buying gifts. Who doesn’t love getting a letter in the mail?
I wrote a letter to my cousin. I know that she will pass the card around to her brothers and parents. Usually Mom and I tried to make the letter sound bright even if our year had challenges but I didn’t do that. I wanted to explain what happened with Mom and not sugar coat it like my brother did. I also put the poem I wrote for Christmas in. People are shocked when they read it. “You wrote this?”
I have written some cards to people on Mom’s list as some were friends of Dad that she still corresponded with. And there are ones she only writes to at Christmas.
My cousin sends us a card and her husband prints out a page full of pictures from their year. The daughter is in gymnastics, one son is in karate, school events etc. Mom and I would sit beside each other and wonder at how much stuff they fit into the year.
Janet and I used to split our list. We had about 14. We would have cards addressed to Janet and Jennifer. I missed it after she died. My twin friend in the States does it and it’s so special.
Christmas really is about the traditions.