I’m going to get a bit sentimental, a bit nostalgic, and a bit festive. Let’s talk Christmas cards.
I have strong memories of my mother sitting down every December to write out personalized Christmas cards to a huge circle of friends and family. She would sit at the kitchen counter with her address book, her pen, and her stamps, and very thoughtfully and deliberately write a note in each one. Sometimes a Christmas letter would be printed, summarizing our year for those we didn’t see often, and a family picture was always thrown in the mix. As a young child, I remember my dad fiddling behind the tripod to get the right shot, and as a surly teenager, my patience would wear thin with try after try.
But, as with most things, you don’t realize that memories are being made until they are already a part of you. So as December rolls around, my own Christmas card clock starts to tick. My list has grown over the years, and I now send more than one hundred cards, either through the mail or hand-delivered. I’ve got my spreadsheet, my address book, and my envelope-sealing husband; we’ve become a finely-tuned assembly line of Christmas cheer. I send them as a way to keep in touch; a real, personal, from-the-heart touch in this world of email/Social Media immediacy. Christmas cards are my annual way of sending a hug across the miles and a you’re-important-to-me message through the mail.
With a childhood in Alberta, school friends all across Canada, and backpacking friends overseas, my postage order is colourful and diverse. This is my way to reflect on my life, cultivate my community, build my village. My cup runneth over.
This year, the message on our card reads “Come and visit us.” And I mean it.
To my friends overseas, I hope to see you soon.
To my friends across North America, the guest room’s open.
To my friends in Burlington, pop-bys are welcome and the coffee is on.
To my family and friends in Alberta, I miss you.
Come and visit us.