Christmas cards. The bane of anyone that doesn’t plan ahead. Every year it’s the same question. Should I get them done before the 10th, or wait until the last-minute and pray that the post office doesn’t let me down for being procrastinatory? Usually it’s the latter.
Every year we get in the mail a pile of free cards from one charity or another, so it’s not like I have to go to a stationery store (like there are thousands of them nearby) to get cards. Sure, even dollar stores nowadays have a small selection of cards for those of us that don’t really give a rip how much the things cost, though I fondly recall my mother going all out to make sure the cards were done every year and sent out across the country to the relatives. But then again, our relatives for the most part were in two Northeastern states. Post 1975, two parts of the Ohio contingent relocated to Virginia and South Carolina respectively (due to marriage), but it wasn’t putting a bind on the USPS to get the cards to them in time.
As the years passed on, my mother became less enthused with getting the cards out. I think it had a lot to do with her becoming bored in her home life, and the more that happened, the more she was drinking. The consequences of that became very obvious. More things tended to either get pushed aside, or forgotten completely. Certainly this seemed to have an effect on my brother and I in various ways, but one major effect was, when we’d get birthday or Christmas presents from my paternal aunt, we’d have to be browbeaten into sending thank you cards. Finally, it came down to a halting thank-you phone call, because we were just becoming too lazy to send a card.
Fast forwarding 30 some odd years, for the most part my wife and I don’t send out cards every year. Only in the last couple of years has that changed a little bit, but that’s been due to the reconnection between myself and my birth mother. She still sends out cards for all occasions. So over the calendar year we get cards for Easter, my birthday, my wife’s birthday, our wedding anniversary, Thanksgiving and Christmas. Each one has a personalized note and it arrives on time. So to counter, I’ve been trying my hand at doing something similar, just not as prolific. The last couple of years I also sent out cards to my cousins in Syracuse. To be honest, they are the ones to which I still have addresses. I have 3 other cousins who live elsewhere in the US. One of which I’m in touch with via Facebook. But we were never so close as to be exchanging more than pleasantries. So she’ll just get a message on FB. Seems a good compromise.