As a child, participating in the writing of Christmas cards was an honor. Not something done on your lap during commercials, Christmas card writing was a very carefully laid out ritual. Joseph and I vied to be the one to lick the stamps or return address labels, or to stuff hundreds of cards into envelopes (image side up, closed side into the envelope first) or mark off in the address book as a card was addressed each year.
Every year when Grandma wrote out Christmas cards, she sent one to Sr. Mary Gertrude. She was one of my grandmother’s teachers, back in the late 1920’s. I never met Sr. Mary Gertrude, but every year, she wrote back to Grandma. ThenI began a few years long tradition of making her chocolates and shipping them to Immaculata, PA.
This continued until Sr. Mary Gertrude died. A few years after Grandma died, I graduated high school, and I began sending one of my high school teachers a Christmas card every year. Sr. Concepta and I corresponded yearly, via Christmas card, for about 15 years, until her death. I still have her cards around here somewhere. I treasure them.
Now, with the internet, and free long distance, and Facebook and email and Twitter and texting, there are not a lot of people that you only connect with once a year. But at this time of the year, I look forward to the now traditional color photo copy of a cousin, his children and grandchildren; of another cousins incredibly active eighth decade, and of the variety of holiday greetings, be it a singing email, a dancing reindeer e-card from Hallmark or the thoughtful note jotted onto a bit of stationery.
And while my Christmas card marathon writing session WAS in front of the television, and I AM sending you this virtual plate of cookies, possibly instead of a card in the mailbox, I hope you know that my warmest wishes for the most special of Christmas’s are not in anyway diminished by the method of delivery.
Enjoy your holidays, and thank you for all you give me all year long, in friendship, and encouragement and positive thoughts.
Merry EVERYTHING! (and don’t worry…there are still a few more days of photos coming!!!)