Friday, 11 December 2009

Christmas Cards, Letters, Emails

For years after I moved away from home I did the Christmas card thing, after a fashion. I think I often had to borrow Mom’s address book, mine not being quite up to date, in spite of some of the relatives never having a different address all my life. Nearly all the addresses were somewhere in Oklahoma City, with a couple in Texas or Louisiana.

After Mom’s death and my move to Utah, I still consulted her address book for several more years. It was then, when I lived away, that I started trying Christmas letters, as there were many long time friends with whom I really wanted to stay in contact. In fact, I wrote something like quarterly letters and included a tick box form with silly questions and a self-addressed envelope in hopes of getting a reply. I was pretty homesick for a while. Not long after, email become more common and I got a home computer.

However, with dial-up, it never much occurred to me to send pictures or drawings of any kind and posted cards were still the trend, until I moved out of the country. Posting cards across the Atlantic looked exorbitantly expensive to me, not to mention the earlier deadline, which is practically fatal.

In order to keep in touch and send Christmas greetings, I turned to making up a Christmas design in Paint and sending homemade e-cards and, for some, a long Christmas email, with links to illustrative websites. My Paint efforts were very grade-school level, and tended to take several hours to produce, but they amused me so I didn't mind. Last year was the first in which I saw real snow here in England, when we were in the Yorkshire Dales celebrating Bill's birthday, so my usual childish drawing was replaced with a snow scene. This past February it snowed here at our house and I went about I capturing potential Christmas cards, though I wouldn't hesitate to go back to my Painting.

This weblog makes a Christmas letter mostly redundant. The few people on my card list who don’t use computers now get monthly or quarterly letters with pictures, my penance for not having written to Rita more often. Like Mom, this is the time of year I miss her the most.

In the old days (like, when I was growing up), nothing but a hand-written card or letter would do. These days a posted letter of any kind is a treasure. Typed and photocopied Christmas letters enclosed in cards used to be considered tacky. If I like someone at all, I'm quite keen to hear about what has been going on with them and their family, even if they only tell the good stuff (I think that's the part that gets people's goat).

Bill still resists the idea of emailed Christmas messages, but for many of my friends I only have their email address. This year we've sent some of everything -- cards, letters and emails. I'm happy to have whatever others send me; I'm just pleased to be remembered.

How do you send your Christmas greetings? Leave a comment, or take the poll at the bottom of the blog!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

We send cards with a short hand-written note on the card-a sentence at least, and a paragraph or more for those closest dear ones. We also include a picture. Some years we've done a picture page! And some years a letter. I don't do the letters much anymore since I'm in pretty good touch with anyone who cares to hear what is up. But I love getting the letters from others-even the ones that are annoyingly over-braggy. ;) I hand-address the envelopes too. We get a few cards with computer-addressed envelopes and pre-printed signatures. It is clear I wasn't thought of while the card was being sent out, but I still appreciate it. I really love getting cards the most. It's tradition!