Well, not much for blog posts or poems. I did have to do some commentary on articles about fracking because the one-year anniversary of the announcement of the fracking ban in New York State has produced another round of pieces on fracking, including a lot of hand-wringing from people who still believe the lies of the landmen from the early days of the ordeal.
But most of my writing this week has been Christmas/holiday cards, which are finally all in the mail.
While there have been many items on the Christmas to-do list that I have winnowed down over the years, sending holiday cards has remained one of my top priorities.
My ideal is to choose a card from my stash for each person/family on my list, hand signed with a short greeting, sealed with a Christmas Seal, and affixed with a holiday stamp appropriate for the recipient – Madonna and child for church friends, more secular designs for those who are more secular Christmas celebrants or who aren’t Christian. (While I tend to call it my Christmas card list, I include Jewish friends, agnostic friends, etc. on my list. Wishes for peace are always in season, as are wishes for happiness in the new year.)
Some cards get longer handwritten notes and some get a printed letter enclosed, which, while it has a common core, is personalized for each friend and signed by hand.
Some years include a family photo.
There are still vestiges of old-style etiquette stuck in my head…
In some years recently, reality has intervened and I haven’t lived up to my ideal. For instance, last year when I had shingles, I resorted to just sending a mass letter to most of my usual list. No card. No personalization. I delegated or axed almost everything else on the to-do list that year, but I refused to give up on sending greetings.
The real motivation for me is that many of these greetings go to people who I know longer get to see every year, people from various stages of my life – friends from school, neighbors who have moved away, relatives who live far away. It is my way of keeping in touch, of reminding people that they are still important to me.
Some of these people I haven’t heard back from in years, but that doesn’t matter. Some are too busy or too old or not oriented toward written communication. I don’t send greetings so that I get cards in return.
I know that the love I send out is received. That is the reason I will keep writing, addressing, stamping, and mailing every year as long as I am able.