Christmas Letters, Is 2016 the Year???
Where did you go?!?! It seems like just yesterday we were welcoming you in as the New Year. Alas, as each year passes and I grow (ever so slightly) older, time goes fast in slow motion. While in the moment, you creep ever so slowly, only to realize in retrospect that it was actually the blink of an eye.
Of all the holiday traditions, writing Christmas cards is the
one that I have had the most difficult time embracing, despite my best intentions. There just never seems to be enough time in the day to get them done. I buy the cards each year during my annual “Buy-wrapping paper-decorations-and cards-on-the-day-after-Christmas-50%-off-sale”, and they pile up in my storage until the next year – untouched. I have even tried placing reminders on my calendars to start them. The reminder has been popping up weekly … every Monday at 9am … since OCTOBER 1st!!! Still no progress. About every other year or so, I actually seem to be able to get things in order enough that I get them in the mail (score!)
The Christmas card tradition was one of immense importance to my mother, Leona Louise (Lugar) Curry Mock. Great care and attention was always paid to every minute detail of each card. My Mom would purposefully select a gigantic variety of cards to be sure to include ALL of our closest friends and family: Nativity of the Lord cards for our Orthodox brothers and sisters; Hannakah cards for our Jewish friends; cards with dogs for the animals lovers; Santa cards for those with children … and on and on and on. She would handwrite a special note, no matter how brief, on the inside of each and every card she sent during the holidays. For those she spoke to frequently, it may just be a sentence. But, for those on her list that were out of town, or that this was the only communication they shared each year, she would FILL the inside of the card with all of her nuclear family updates, sometimes spilling onto the back of the card as well. Those cards that she received in return were treated with just as much love as those that she sent. The contents would be read aloud to us all, sometimes with a little additional commentary from Mom, then placed prominently in the front hallway of the house for all to see during the holiday season. And don’t
think she wouldn’t notice if you didn’t send a card one year — oh no siree Bob! She WOULD notice, AND be sure to call you sometime before the end of January to let you know how much she missed hearing from you (I would know because I got just such a phone call the year I actually got cards out and I didn’t send a Christmas card to her because we talked on the phone multiple times a day and she already knew everything that the cards said). Christmas cards were SO important to my mother, that when she passed away in June 2014, I found cards she had started to write for that upcoming Christmas in her small living room table where she would sit! What I wouldn’t give to get just one more of her handwritten cards ….
Thus, despite the difficulty this tradition has posed for me in the past, including my guilt for not getting them in the mail last year, I have decided THIS. Will. Be. The. Year!!!! (YAY — GO ME!!!)
So — family and freinds —– be watching your mailbox between now and January 14th (yet another “You know you are Orthodox if …” reference as many of us still use the Julian calendar for our Nativity Feast celebration).
Likewise, I will be watching the mailbox for your cards as well — get to work on them – chop chop!