Culture · Holidays

Why Christmas Cards Matter

Christmases Past: Some cards Herb and I have sent over the years

An old friend sent an email yesterday asking for my address. We moved last year and she had forgotten to enter our new address in her address book. She wanted to send me a Christmas card. That got me to thinking about Christmas cards and why they matter. She could have easily wished me a Merry Christmas in her email, but I am so glad she didn’t and I look forward to receiving her card.

Why, I wondered, do I care? Why is it that Christmas cards are really my favorite Christmas custom?

Here, I think, is the answer: Who we are, after all, depends on all the experiences we have ever had in life and that includes the interactions we have with our friends. Old or new or ongoing, our friends matter—a lot.

In fact we may not see them often; realistically we may know that we will never see many of them again. But we have not forgotten them, and when an envelope with a familiar handwriting appears in our mailbox, we know they have not forgotten us.

There may be a short note—or even a letter, though that is not often the case. But there will certainly be a signature .and we will have the opportunity of holding the hand of a friend in our hand and reflecting on our friendship and the times we have spent together. You can’t hold an email in your hand.

And that’s why Christmas cards matter.

Handwriting

Thank Goodness for Christmas Cards

The first Christmas card to arrive
The first Christmas card to arrive

They are my favorite part of Christmas—a season which in the main unaccountably saddens me. I understand I am not alone, Christmas depression being fairly common.

But the cards have started arriving! Each one lifts my spirits, and I have just figured out why. It’s the sight of those handwritten envelopes—several of them in each mail. I recognize each friend before I look at the return address because I know his or her handwriting, even though I probably haven’t seen it for a year. It’s as if these friends have come to visit, for a good bit of their personality and their individuality is conveyed by the unique way they have of putting pen to paper.  I really cherish each one. So far, no e-cards. Continue reading “Thank Goodness for Christmas Cards”