I’m staring at a holiday card received from someone I haven’t seen in about 30 years. It’s from a very nice person and we’ve exchanged cards annually, but I’m re-thinking my greeting card relationships. It’s been a thorn on my side for years and now I’ve decided to get it out in the open.
Years ago, I mailed out so many holiday cards that I had to block off a good portion of the day just for that purpose. I worked in an office where address lists were circulated, setting in motion a mass mailing of obligatory cards. Whether we sincerely wished our co-workers would have a happy holiday or covertly wished they would burn in hell, the holiday cheer was spread throughout. I had it down to a science though: computerized mailing labels, customized cards embedded with our family name, and plenty of stamps purchased in advance of the holiday season post office frenzy.
Over the years, things changed. Offices don’t seem to publish those address lists anymore, probably due to privacy laws. Relationships evolve. People move away and lose touch. I began to adopt my mother’s approach, sending cards only to those who send to me.
Some people write long letters, compelling me to do likewise, but my handwriting is terrible and I don’t know how much I want to divulge to my greeting card friends. One person encloses a two-page typed letter recapping major events of the whole year. It isn’t personalized, the same letter being sent to a multitude of people. But the letter fosters a connection on some level, as opposed to cards from people I haven’t seen in three decades stating, “Hope all is well. Everything is good here. Happy Holidays.” Rather hollow, don’t you think? They don’t include a phone number or email address, so I wouldn’t even know how to reach them should I wish to expand our greeting card relationship to something more meaningful, or perhaps dispute the assumption that all is well.
So here I sit, contemplating if I should break it off with my greeting card friends. Would they be heartbroken? Would they wonder what happened and try to reach me to affirm I am still alive? Or would they assume I am rude and never let their cards darken my mailbox again? Will my mailbox feel lonely as incoming cards dwindle down?
Oh well, happy holidays to my greeting card friends, my blog friends, my face-to-face friends and all!