I realize it’s December 26th, but Christmas is not officially over yet—at least until the decorations come down. And I can guarantee we will receive a few late Christmas cards over the next several days. I have a love/hate relationship with Christmas cards. I love to get them. For the days leading up to Christmas, I happily anticipate my trip to the mail box to see if there are any Christmas cards waiting for us. If not, I am a tad disappointed. On some days, we hit the jackpot and receive half-a-dozen cards from old friends and family who we only catch up with once a year. Believe it or not, everyone is not on social media.

At church, we have a box in which we place cards to exchange with other parishioners without the expense of mailing them. Before and after church, I expectantly rifle through the cards to see if there are any new ones. The thing that baffles me is there are a few people who apparently don’t share my enthusiasm for receiving a card, and week after week, a small stack of cards for the same people remain unclaimed in the box.

All our cards are displayed on a decorative evergreen strand that stretches from one end of the dining room to the other. As we get closer to Christmas, the more the strand sags with the weight of the cards. We start running out of room to hang new ones and have to move cards so they overlap one another.
This is my love relationship with Christmas cards. The other side of the coin is my hate relationship. While I love receiving cards, I hate sending them. My hand gets cramped from writing all those names and addresses. All that repetitive writing puts my brain to sleep. And every year I have to come up with something interesting that happened in our lives during the past year to put in our annual Christmas newsletter, which I’m sure people are chomping at the bit to read. I’m going to go out on a limb and admit something—other people’s newsletters are seldom as interesting as ours. (At least in my humble opinion.) But I still anxiously wait to read them. At least I don’t have to sit down and write out all our news by hand, like my mother used to do. Nevertheless, getting out more than seventy cards every year is a bit daunting, and I look forward to the task with all the anticipation of having a root canal.

I am old-fashioned in that I still use an actual address book in which are written the names and addresses of friends and family. Each year, as I go through my Christmas card list, I come across the names of people who have somehow made their way into my address book many, many years ago, whom we haven’t seen in over forty years and with whom we have completely lost contact. Some of them were mere acquaintances way back in the day. They are virtual strangers to us. Every year, I try to whittle down the number of cards we are obligated to send out by inadvertently(?) leaving one (or more) of these names off our list. And every year, as sure as I don’t send someone a card, we receive a card from them, necessitating a last-minute hustle to get another card out in the mail.

Still, all things considered, the Christmas card mismatch is a minor issue. At least I don’t have to worry about it again until next year. I pray your Christmas was merry and your new year will be filled with blessings.