Year after year, for what seemed like weeks and weeks, my mother used to sit at the dining room table and write Christmas cards to friends and family.
It was correspondence she enjoyed. It was a practice she was diligent about maintaining.
Some of the cards were addressed to faraway places, other envelopes were stamped and sent to houses right down the street.
It was her way of sending holiday cheer.
Mom had a list she would update as required, or when a card from somebody else would arrive with a new address. Any change of address notice that had arrived throughout the year would be checked against the list to ensure accuracy.
Each card was a handwritten. There were no photocopied form letters, and rarely was there a family photograph; it was just her beautiful handwriting.
This was her way of telling people that all was well in the Lewis household, and her way of letting others know they were in her thoughts.
I did not realize the true value of one of these cards until after I had moved away to another city and received one in the mail. The warmth of the season was abundantly clear. A Christmas card extends the spirit.
I have been nowhere near as diligent with my holiday cards. I went through a few years where I didn’t send any at all. Through a few moves I’ve misplaced addresses, or lost contact with many people on my list (I’m not particularly good at keeping up with lists, or friendships in some cases), and we move around more frequently now than we did decades ago.
It takes a little more effort to keep up with faraway friends.
I’ve been trying a little harder over the past few years to re-establish my personal practice of sending cards. I sent off a few yesterday, and will write a few more throughout this week. We’ve just gone through a postal strike in Canada, and I’m a little behind. . . or perhaps that is simply a convenient excuse.
I haven’t been in touch with some of the people on my list for a while (or longer), but now is a good time, I think, to make contact.
Writing a Christmas card takes very little time, and too much time has already passed between some people.