My parents send Christmas cards every year to all the people they ever met and valued. Over the years this was a significant number of people. It is a kind of calling card and a way off staying connected in a world that is casting us all to different locations.
As a kid, I used to help mom put on lables and lick stamps. It was always a big production. Their list has grown shorter over the years because my parents are in their 80s...well dad is. Mom will be there soon enough...but they still do Christmas cards. I do sometimes. Most of the time with working it is just another bother and expense. Not the joy it once was...I need to mark my calendar and do it better. This year it will be New Years cards again...I am just not motivated to get moving for Christmas until about two weeks before and by then it is too late. I get overwhelmed. I miss helping my mother wrap gifts and do cards. I used to get some help from my daughter doing things like that and baking cookies. My husband would help, but I guess I never asked...but maybe next year I will get organized. I need to get my calendar in shape.
So, this year my dad calls me and asked me if I have the address of one of our old neighbors. He knows I have been talking to her daughter recently and I am connected to her on Facebook. I love Facebook for this kind of thing. It has laced together friends from the neighborhood growing up, my high school buddies, and other friends sprinkled across the world. I needed facebook because I am lazy collecting that stuff and Facebook does a nice job of organizing my friends.
I got a note back from my friend about her mother. She is caring for her as her mother is getting hospice care now. This may be her last Christmas. The card that was returned to my parents will get a new address. She will get it in a few days and know that my parents, after all these years, more than 30 plus...have not forgotten her.
On my old street, I do not think many of the parents are left. There are my parents, the Doyles, Mrs. Highley, and Mrs. Ricker (Curl). I think that is it now. Not many. One other family that I know of also remains. I forget his name but he used to row his boat down the canal in the days before exercise was a big deal. He is also in his 80s. I did see him on my last visit.
So, the cards wentout and the connections remain, even across the miles. I think cards are one of the nicer traditions. It connects people and lets them know, they are not forgotten. I guess Facebook will have to do for me most of the time...it is a card I enjoy all year long.