24 December 2008

Christmas Eve 2008

Holy Cow it's Christmas Eve. I've just finished all the cards I am going to send. Everything just seemed to take a little longer to get into the groove this year, despite my diligent planning. This may be the last year I send Christmas cards. So many of my friends and relatives have already stopped the practice. Oh, there will always be those stalwarts who send one every year like my aunts and my mom, who can always be counted on to give one of those chronological exposés on all that they did in the past year, travels and visits made, babies born and so forth. Still, not only has the practice of sending Christmas cards fallen off, but it could hardly be considered very "green" by today's standards. Oh well, as I bought three boxes at an after-Christmas sale last year I have now used them all up. If I send any next year I think it will be a more traditional correspondence, or homemade cards recycled from old cards.

I have saved many cards throughout the years. Mostly those most dear to me. Especially the ones friends send with pictures of the children growing up. I still have the handmade cards my late grandmother made with liquid embroidery. I like to look them over every year. They are a touchstone to Christmas Past. But as I get older, maybe I don't really need to save everything. It's a hard choice for me between sentimentality and simplicity. But maybe some can be reincarnated into something someone else can enjoy for a moment.

And now we have eCards. But they're so ... digital. There's nothing to hold. To feel the presence of your distant loved one by holding the very card they touched, laboured over, chose, hopefully inscribed and carefully addressed all with you in mind is as sweet as a beloved's kiss under the mistletoe. The feel beneath your fingertips of an embossed snow scene, or a gilded Madonna. To hear a bit of news from afar. Perhaps even a faint smell of perfume or kitchen that provokes a long forgotten memory. When a digital card can accomplish all of that then maybe I will warm to it.

So, for now, whether you are having a Charles Dickens sort of Christmas or a Charlie Brown Christmas (and in this economy you can guess which one I'm having) I'd like to wish all my readers and all the world a peaceful Christmas holiday season.

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